Worker accused of stealing from Phoenix election office

An Arizona election worker is accused of stealing from the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in Phoenix.

The incident happened on the morning of June 21 after Maricopa County Elections said workers identified an item that was stolen from the ballot tabulation center the night before.

According to court documents, Walter Ringfield, 27, was seen on surveillance video stealing a lanyard with keys and a fob attached to it. 

When confronted about the theft, Ringfield allegedly denied taking the keys and the fob. However, security working at the election office saw the lanyard and keys inside Ringfield's car.

Police later went to Ringfield's home and arrested him. The lanyard and keys were found in his car. The missing fob was found inside his home.

Ringfield allegedly admitted to stealing the fob but said he "gave it back" after 20 minutes.

"Walter stated his reason for taking the fob was because he wanted to ‘clean up,’" court documents read. "Walter said the job was temporary and he was trying to make it permanent, so he wanted to clean up."

Walter Ringfield

Walter Ringfield

The fobs are used in conjunction with secure tablets for elections.

"Because the security fob was removed from the secure facility, all the security fobs and secure tablets will need to be reprogrammed to be secure for the upcoming election," court documents said.

Maricopa County Election officials estimate the cost of the reprogramming to be more than $19,000.

"The secure operation of the facility is greatly impeded until the reprogramming is complete," court documents read.

Ringfield was booked into jail and is accused of theft and criminal damage.

Map of the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center