Blake Masters says Arizona vote location watchers should follow the law, continue filming others
Oct 25, 2022, 11:57 AM | Updated: 12:18 pm
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, right, Maricopa County Elections Department Screenshot, left)
PHOENIX — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters is OK with people watching vote locations as long as they follow the law, a view that some Maricopa County officials disagree with.
Masters told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Tuesday he also encourages those people to film voters, an action he believes will ensure election security.
“If you are planning on watching the ballot boxes, stay whatever distance away, don’t intimidate voters, get your video camera out and record to make sure people aren’t ballot harvesting,” Masters said.
Maricopa County officials have pushed back against Masters’ beliefs and people watching vote locations after reports of intimidation.
Sheriff Paul Penzone told The Mike Broomhead Show on Tuesday his agency is spending too much time monitoring vote locations, even if most activity is lawful.
He said MCSO has received 14 election-related tips of people surrounding drop boxes and two suspicious activity criminal reports have been filed.
MCSO responded to a ballot drop box in Mesa on Friday evening after receiving reports of two armed individuals in tactical gear near the area.
“Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should,” Penzone said.
“I can understand if you’re well intended, but you also need to recognize that there’s good people just trying to vote, go to work or take care of their families and your presence … suddenly you’re in their space in a capacity where it makes them very uncomfortable.”
Bill Gates, chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, told Gaydos and Chad on Monday that he believes vote watching needs to stop.
Gates said those watching are doing so on false premises, such as the ballot harvesting Masters says to watch out for.
“Anyone in Maricopa County has the right to go up to a drop box and put their vote in there, put the vote of their family members in there,” Gates said. “That’s not what this is about. This is about people who have unfortunately listened to a lot of misinformation that has been spread out there.
“It’s been discredited and it’s really not a good use of of these guys’ time on a weekend evening.”