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Maricopa County Recorder Fundraised Off Voting Machine Failures

November 9, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

“Where there’s crisis, there’s opportunity,” as the saying often attributed to Albert Einstein goes. 

In the midst of a widespread Election Day disaster concerning tabulation machine malfunctions reportedly caused by printer settings, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer capitalized on the crisis in his county as an opportunity to fundraise for his campaign. 

In an email to voters publicized by the Arizona Daily Independent, Richer explained his office takes responsibility for voter registration and early voting. Those in charge of the tabulator failures would be the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, he added, throwing in commendation of his own job performance. Richer included a contribution link and a disclosure that the email was paid for by his reelection campaign.

“Since becoming Recorder in 2021, I have worked hard to improve voter registration and Early Voting, while also supporting the Board’s administration of Election Day operations and tabulation, as well as bolstering communications about elections holistically,” Richer said in the email.

On Richer’s personal Twitter account, which he usually uses to discuss his work, this letter was published without disclosing its campaign origins or including the contribution request. 

Voters faced with faulty vote centers were faced with multiple options, some leading to potential disenfranchisement: leave without voting, spoil their ballot, cast a provisional ballot, or wait in the hopes that their ballot would be tabulated properly (sometimes for hours). 

GOP consultant Constantin Querard told the ADI that this was a bad move on Richer’s part.

“I can’t imagine a worse time for a County Recorder to be soliciting contributions than on Election Day, while your voters are stuck in line, waiting for your malfunctioning machines to be repaired so they can vote,” said Querard.

Richer’s term doesn’t end until 2025. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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