ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona GOP secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem explains prior use of early voting

Oct 7, 2022, 11:05 AM | Updated: 11:57 am

PHOENIX – State Rep. Mark Finchem, the Republican nominee for Arizona secretary of state, said Thursday his concerns about mail-in voting are recent, which is why he regularly cast early ballots until this year.

Finchem was called out earlier this week for statements he made last month during a candidate debate that critics say were at odds with his actual voting history.

“I do not care for mail-in voting. That is why I go to the polls,” he said during the Sept. 22 debate.

On Wednesday, local journalist Dillon Rosenblatt reported on public records showing that Finchem was on the list to receive an early ballot by mail from 2008 to April of this year. And before this year’s primary in August, he turned in an early ballot every time he voted but once since 2004.

“What I said is, I don’t like voting by mail and I haven’t for the last election,” Finchem told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Gaydos and Chad Show on Thursday. “Now before that, yeah, I did vote by mail, but that’s before I realized that it’s not secure.”

Finchem cited the widely debunked movie “2000 Mules” as the basis of what changed his mind. But he’s been expressing doubts about President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory since well before that film was released this year.

He was in Washington for Donald Trump’s speech on Jan. 6, 2021, but there’s no evidence he participated when Trump supporters broke into the Capitol while Congress was certifying Biden’s victory.

He said during last month’s debate that if he’d been Arizona’s secretary of state in 2020, he would not have certified the election results in Yuma and Maricopa counties because he thinks they were “irredeemably compromised.”

On Thursday, Finchem denied that he wants to do away with Arizona’s popular early-voting system, something that would have to be done by the Legislature, not the secretary of state. But he still thinks it’s vulnerable to illegal ballot harvesting.

“The only way you stop that is we have to perhaps adjust the mail-in system,” he said. “Now, I think to say that I’m against mail-in voting, that’s a misrepresentation of what I’ve said.”

However, in Dec. 2021, Finchem tweeted: “We must get rid of mail in voting.”

The secretary of state’s duties include serving as Arizona’s chief election officer, and the position is first in the line of succession for governor. Early voting for the Nov. 8 general election starts Wednesday.

Finchem, a former Michigan police officer who retired to Arizona, is running against Democrat Adrian Fontes. Fontes is the former Maricopa County recorder who was in office during the 2020 election that Finchem questions. Fontes lost to Republican challenger Stephen Richer in that election.

Fontes is a strong supporter of early voting.

“It’s outrageous to think that you’re going to force people to stand in line on the exact same day, that means everybody,” he told Gaydos and Chad in a Sept. 20 interview. “You’re going to force people not to have the option to vote by mail? Where are we going to put all the polling sites?”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A DUI suspect drove down a 200-foot embankment in Cottonwood before a second DUI suspect was arrest...

KTAR.com

Arizona DUI suspect’s car careens down 200-foot embankment before 2nd DUI suspect arrested

A DUI suspect drove down a 200-foot embankment in Arizona on Saturday morning before another DUI suspect attempted to evade police at the crash area, authorities said.

32 minutes ago

Split panel image of the front of an Albertsons grocery store on the left and a Kroger plastic bag ...

Kevin Stone

Arizona joins federal lawsuit to block merger of grocery giants Kroger and Albertsons

Arizona is part of a federal lawsuit filed Monday to block the controversial merger of Kroger and Albertsons, two of the nation’s largest grocers.

2 hours ago

The eastbound Loop 202 South Mountain freeway was closed in Phoenix on Feb. 26, 2024, for a fatal c...

KTAR.com

Eastbound Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway closed in Phoenix for fatal wrong-way crash

The eastbound Loop 202 South Mountain freeway was closed in Phoenix on Monday for a fatal wrong-way crash, authorities said.

2 hours ago

Mugshot of Jill Houchens, who was arrested Feb. 19, 2024, on 146 counts of animal abuse and neglect...

KTAR.com

Arizona woman arrested on nearly 150 animal abuse and neglect charges

An Arizona woman faces nearly 150 charges after more than 20 animals, including five that were dead, were removed from her property earlier this month, authorities said.

4 hours ago

Sun at high noon over a prison....

SuElen Rivera

Man sentenced to over 5 years for coordinating drug smuggling into Arizona

A man was sentenced last week to over five years in prison for his role in coordinating drug smuggling into Arizona, authorities said.

5 hours ago

Blurry photo of an ambulance with lights on at night...

KTAR.com

1 teenager killed, another seriously injured in rollover collision in Phoenix

One teenager was killed and another was seriously injured in a rollover collision in northwest Phoenix early Sunday, authorities said.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Arizona GOP secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem explains prior use of early voting