Maricopa County GOP Recorder candidate believes 2022, 2020 elections stolen, blames Zuckerberg

Jun 25, 2024, 3:03 PM

PHOENIX — A Republican candidate for Maricopa County Recorder said he believed the 2022 and 2020 elections were stolen and blamed Mark Zuckerberg during a Monday debate.

Donald Hiatt, whose professional experience is in software design and digital records management, claimed that Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of Facebook, “dropped in illegal drop boxes” to sway the elections.

He also made other claims that the elections were stolen during the debate that featured current recorder Stephen Richer and state Rep. Justin Heap.

There has been no evidence of widespread election fraud in Maricopa County or across Arizona for either election.

“There was questionable chain of custody … there was questionable ballots that people looked at,” Hiatt said during the debate. “There was all kinds of changes on the data on reporting of the system and that’s what people see when they look at an election.

“Whether it’s proved in court or not, they look at that and say our election was stolen because of all of those steps that were put in place around it. That’s what stole the election.”

Do the other Maricopa County Republican Recorder candidates believe elections were stolen?

Heap didn’t outright say he thought the elections were stolen, but did not shut down the claim. It’s a stance he has maintained throughout his candidacy.

“As a civil liberties attorney, I don’t make statements that I can’t prove, but what I can say is there were inconsistencies and illegalities that happened,” Heap said. “I do not believe laws were followed.”

Richer has been steadfast in saying the elections were not stolen and called out the answers from his fellow Republicans.

“I appreciate that Don at least has the courage to say yes, but Justin stood here again and hemmed and hawed,” Richer said. “He didn’t give you a yes or no and I would suggest that is what is damaging to confidence to voters in Arizona.”

Richer oversaw the 2022 midterm election in Maricopa County, but was not recorder in 2020.

He sued U.S. Senate candidate and former gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake last year after she alleged he lied about the 2022 election. That suit is nearing its end after Lake requested a default judgement.

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Maricopa County GOP Recorder candidate believes 2022, 2020 elections stolen, blames Zuckerberg