An Arizona election integrity group accuses Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer of illegally using his office and public funds to campaign against Proposition 309, which will create universal voter ID requirements for all voters to cast a ballot.
The Gateway Pundit previously reported on the Arizonans for Voter ID Act. This ballot initiative will require all voters to have proof of registration regardless of how, when, or where their ballot is cast. This is a common-sense measure to protect our elections.
The Gateway Pundit has reported on Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer and his extreme opposition to election integrity. After running on a platform to secure elections and speaking out against the corrupt elections officials on the campaign trail, Richer fought in lockstep with corrupt Maricopa County Supervisors and his predecessor to cover up the stolen 2020 election in Maricopa County.
He even wrote hit pieces for fake news CNN against Republicans and the Maricopa County full forensic audit.
After this and the botched 2022 Primary Election in Maricopa County, Stephen Richer was formally censured by Maricopa County Republicans, calling on him to “immediately resign or be recalled.”
More recently, Richer busted lobbying against this ballot initiative and illegally publishing a document in opposition to the County website. This letter was also written by a County employee during work hours, which is another law violation.
The federalist reported,
He even set up a Democrat-funded political action committee to support Arizona candidates who share his views, a move strongly rejected as unethical by ethical election officials. The Republican National Committee and Republican Party of Arizona just sued him for packing polls with Democrat workers and seeking to bury the paper trail.
And now he is alleged to have broken the law by using taxpayer resources to advocate against a ballot measure in Arizona that would improve voter identification methods for both unsupervised and in-person voters.
“Usually it takes a while for people to become co-opted by the system and reverse the positions they ran on. With Richer, it seemed to happen immediately,” said Gina Swoboda, executive director at the Voter Reference Foundation.
The latest drama from the man who once pledged to support election integrity is his lobbying against Arizona’s Proposition 309, which would strengthen the state’s existing voter-ID laws. Current law requires only the signature of the voter. Under the proposal, however, voters casting an unsupervised mail-in ballot would be required to add two new pieces of identification: their date of birth and a voter ID number (usually found on a driver’s license or government-issued ID or the last four digits of a social security number). For voters casting a ballot in person, they can no longer present an alternative to a photo ID at the polls, such as a utility bill, but must present a government-issued ID.
The vast majority of Americans — a whopping 8 in 10 Americans, according to a new Gallup poll — support voter identification for balloting. This ballot measure is supported by the state’s major conservative groups and all Republican lawmakers, who passed the bill that sent this measure to the ballot. Left-wing groups and Democratic state lawmakers are opposed to the measure.
Joining the Democrats is Richer, who heads the lobbying group Arizona Association of County Recorders. He pushed through a vote opposing the ballot measure — for a while, falsely claiming he had the unanimous support of other recorders — and then posted on the county website a political message telling people how to vote on the ballot measure.
That’s where he got in trouble.
“[T]he County Recorder’s website is a publicly funded website, and using it as a vehicle to promote Mr. Richer’s political agenda is not only inappropriate, it is illegal,” a complaint filed with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said. “This website is not at Mr. Richer’s disposal to use as a campaign website for his favored political causes.”
Richer took down his political ad against the bill, but not before observers noted the document was created by Maricopa County Recorder’s Office employee Cassidy Claridge during work hours, in alleged violation of the same laws.
“[P]lacing his thumb on the scale illegally in this context [does] not auger well for maintaining a professional perception in other realms,” said Republican lawyer Timothy La Sota, who filed the complaint.
“It is quite concerning that he can’t even follow basic election law and yet we’re trusting him to administer our elections,” added Amy Yentes of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club.
Richer admitted he was wrong to use county resources to lobby for his preferred political outcome but suggested it was a minor issue. His former supporters aren’t so sure.
“As someone who was a staunch supporter of Richer, distributed his campaign literature in my neighborhood, and convinced as many people as I could to vote for him, I find his latest actions to be not only disappointing but deserving of scrutiny on multiple levels,” Jose Borrajero said in a letter to the editor.
Additionally, AZ Free News reports,
But that is not the only problem stemming from Richer’s distribution of the anti-Prop 309 statement, which he said on Tuesday afternoon was approved by AACR members by “unanimous voice vote (no nays, all ays).” Richer also tweeted that “14 of the 15 counties were present” for the vote, with only Apache County absent.
According to Cochise County Recorder David Stevens, the inference voters will make from the AACR statement and Richer’s social media comments is that all 15 county recorders are against Prop 309. In fact, Richer retweeted someone else’s comment that the vote was unanimous against the proposition.
That, Stevens says, is not true. In fact, he is an adamant supporter of Prop 309 and has demanded Richer correct the AACR statement and clear any misperception.
“Stephen, I was out of the office yesterday and did not see this email. I STRONGLY OBJECT to anyone assigning an opinion to me without my expressed consent. Silence is NOT acceptance. I do support prop 309 and kindly request you remove my name from this list and issue a retraction immediately,” Stevens wrote.
Arizonans for Voter ID tweeted the following complaint filed with the Attorney General’s office by attorney Tim LaSota.
.@stephen_richer did this to voice his feelings on #Prop309 which ensures everyone shows ID, and wrongly claimed unanimous support for his letter, which doesn't exist. We hope @GeneralBrnovich protects our elections from the inappropriate influence of the Recorder's Office. pic.twitter.com/ifbsVfRZkT
— Arizonans for Voter ID (@AZVOTERID) October 12, 2022
Read the full complaint below.
This complaint was filed with RINO Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office over two weeks ago, and we have yet to see him take action.