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Arizona refers voter intimidation report to Justice Department

<i>Mark Henle/The Republic/USA Today Network</i><br/>Arizona refers a voter intimidation report to the Justice Department. Pictured is a Mesa Community College polling place on August 4
Mark Henle/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK
Mark Henle/The Republic/USA Today Network
Arizona refers a voter intimidation report to the Justice Department. Pictured is a Mesa Community College polling place on August 4

By Kyung Lah, CNN

The Arizona Secretary of State’s Office has referred to the US Department of Justice and Arizona Attorney General’s Office a report of voter intimidation, Murphy Hebert, spokeswoman for the secretary of state’s office, confirmed to CNN on Wednesday.

The unidentified voter reported that they were approached and followed by a group of individuals when the voter was trying to drop off their ballot at an early voting drop box on Monday, according to Hebert.

CNN on Thursday obtained from the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office the report in which the voter detailed the alleged incident. It occurred, the voter wrote, around 6:40 p.m. at the Juvenile Justice Court drop box in Mesa, within Maricopa County.

The voter wrote that a “group of people” filmed, photographed and raised accusations against them as they attempted to return their early ballots.

“There’s a group of people hanging out near the ballot dropbox filming and photographing my wife and I as we approached the dropbox and accusing us of being a mule,” the voter said, adding that the group took photographs of them, their license plate and followed them out of the parking lot.

The secretary of state’s office talked to the voter, informed Maricopa County, and referred the report to the DOJ and Arizona attorney general for further investigation.

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer held a news conference last week and told reporters that people had been recording voters dropping off their ballots at the Mesa drop box. But this new complaint is an escalation from those initial reports.

CNN has reached out to the Justice Department for comment.

Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, who has embraced the politics of former President Donald Trump’s election lies and has not committed to accepting the results of her own race if she loses, said on Wednesday that she hadn’t “heard anything about” the report, but immediately seized on it to promote a central plank of her campaign.

“I haven’t heard anything about it. It just shows you how concerned people are, though. People are so concerned about the integrity of our election and this is another reason, Kate, this is another reason we have to restore integrity,” she told CNN’s Kate Sullivan at a campaign event in Scottsdale.

Lake continued, “We can’t have half of the population or more doubting our elections. It’s not impossible to restore honesty and integrity to our elections. And I assure you, when I’m governor, we will do that.”

This story has been updated with additional reaction.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Shawna Mizelle contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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