ARIZONA NEWS

Justice Department names Arizona elections officer for voter issues on primary day

Jul 29, 2022, 8:00 PM

(AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds, File)...

(AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds, File)

(AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds, File)

PHOENIX – The Justice Department has assigned a federal prosecutor to respond to potential voting-rights complaints and violations in Arizona for Tuesday’s primary election.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Lokey will serve as the election officer for the federal bureau’s Arizona district in Phoenix. He will also consult with the Justice Department on any instances of election fraud and voter intimidation, the agency said.

“This is the first time we’ve done this before the primary election,” U.S. Attorney Gary Restaino told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday.

“Just to try and set the tone that the federal government is partnering with state and local officials.

Lokey will be available by phone Tuesday at 602-514-7516.

Federal law protects against such crimes as intimidating or bribing voters, buying and selling votes, impersonating voters, altering vote tallies, stuffing ballot boxes and marking ballots for voters against their wishes.

The department said that anyone questioning, challenging, photographing, or recording at polling places under the pretext that they’re uncovering illegal voting may violate federal voting rights law.

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News in early June that his office would have “zero tolerance” for voting day disrupters and that plainclothes deputies will be checking polling places.

The FBI said special agents from the Phoenix office will also be taking reports on election day abuses at 623-466-1999 or online at https://tips.fbi.gov.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Luke Forstner contributed to this report.

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Justice Department names Arizona elections officer for voter issues on primary day