Arizona election officials continue to face threats, some counties delay certification

As counties across Arizona work to certify their ballot counts ahead of the state canvass on Dec. 5, many are being threatened and Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone says enough is enough.

Maricopa County finished its count on Nov. 21 and officials plan to canvass its results on Nov. 28.  The county saw a 64% voter turnout this year and that's a record for a midterm election.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates says they will also respond to a letter from the Arizona Attorney General's Office seeking information about how the election was administered – which comes as threats towards Gates and other election officials continue.

We're learning Gates even had to spend the night at an undisclosed location for his safety during the election. Penzone says the threats were broad, and mostly came from out of state, but they are still a crime.

"We hold people accountable, and they can hide behind their keyboards and have this kind of keyboard courage and, and they can use technology to disguise their false bravado. But at the end of the day, the people who have to lead this state in this nation are the ones who oftentimes are in harm's way and at risk to those cowards, and we have to take a stand against that."

No arrests have been made.

Statement from Chairman Bill Gates on Upcoming Canvass & AG Response

"Maricopa County has finished counting all legal ballots cast during the November General Election and will hold a public meeting to canvass the election on Monday, November 28. The canvass is required by law and is the full accounting of ballots cast.  It's meant to provide a record of the votes counted and those that were not legally cast. There will be no delays or games; we will canvass in accordance with state law.

Prior to the canvass, the County will respond to a letter from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office requesting information about the administration of the November General Election.  Board members received this letter on Saturday night and had a team working on a response all day Sunday, even as staff continued counting votes.  We look forward to answering the AG’s questions with transparency as we have done throughout this election."

Yavapai County's results will also be canvassed on Monday. Gila County certified its results last week. Cochise and Mohave counties are delaying certification of results until the deadline.

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