Despite being ordered to refrain from instructing voters to cross out errors on their ballots by the Arizona Supreme Court, Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes is doing just that on Twitter. Showing contempt for the Court, Fontes is advising voters to ignore the “lawyers” and continue crossing out errors rather than obtaining a new ballot.
— Adrian Fontes (@Adrian_Fontes) September 19, 2020
“I was disappointed to see that after being ordered by a court to stop telling voters to intentionally spoil their ballot, county recorder Adrian Fontes has taken to twitter to tell voters to do just that,” said Alexander Kolodin, attorney for the Arizona Public Integrity Alliance. “Never in my career have I seen a recorder with such blatant contempt for the letter and the spirit of the law.”
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The Court enjoined Fontes, who is an attorney, and Maricopa County election officials, “and its vendors from inserting the “New Instruction” in the envelopes with the ballots for the November 3, 2020 general election.” That “new instruction,” to cross out erroneous votes, would have created tremendous delays in processing ballots due to the fact that ballot tabulation machines would kick out the ballots which would then have to be processed by Fontes’ “bipartisan board.”
That board is tasked with determining the voters’ intent.
“Legitimacy is important in election, and the longer it takes to get a count, the more people are going to question the legitimacy of the election, we cannot afford that this year,” said Kolodin.
Last week, the Washington Post reported that a new intelligence bulletin by the Department of Homeland Security advises that “Russia is seeking “to undermine public trust in the electoral process” by spreading false claims that mail-in ballots are riddled with fraud and susceptible to manipulation.”
Kolodin asks, “Who needs the Russians to undermine public trust in our elections when Americans like Adrian Fontes are happy to do it for free?”
“When will he stop? Anyone who complained about Joe Arpaio thinking he was above the law should be complaining about Adrian Fontes,” said Stephen Richer, who is facing off against Fontes in the 2020 Recorder’s race. “And what is the total cost to the taxpayer at this point of all these actions?”
Jose Borrajero, Director of the Arizona People’s Lobbyist, quipped, “There may be something to this Russian influence after all, since Fontes is trying his best to emulate Joseph Stalin by adhering to the notion that it’s not the people who vote that count, it’s the people who count the votes. Fontes needs to be stopped somehow. This should not be partisan, even the staunchest democrats should realize that Fontes’ antics do not belong in the office of County Recorder.