On Saturday, Arizona officials said they were “deeply concerned” over “two armed individuals dressed in tactical gear” who were seen near a ballot drop box in Mesa Friday evening. The incident comes just weeks before the midterm elections and after the Biden administration sued Arizona over an election integrity law earlier this year.
According to a joint statement by Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates and Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, the county’s sheriff’s office responded to the scene at the request of county officials and the individuals eventually left the drop box area.
“We are deeply concerned about the safety of individuals who are exercising their constitutional right to vote and who are lawfully taking their early ballot to a drop box,” the pair said in a statement before accusing the pair of “uninformed vigilantes” of prompting “voter intimidation complaints.”
“Although monitoring and transparency in our elections is critical, voter intimidation is unlawful. For those who want to be involved in election integrity, become a poll worker or an official observer with your political party. Don’t dress in body armor to intimidate voters as they are legally returning their ballots,” the statement continued. “No matter how you choose to vote in Arizona, you should feel safe doing so. We will do everything possible in our roles to protect voters, election workers, and our free and fair elections.”
Earlier this year, Arizona House Bill (H.B.) 2492, which aims to protect lawful votes by requiring proof of citizenship to cast a ballot in federal elections, was signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey.
The Biden administration subsequently filed a lawsuit against the State of Arizona, alleging the new law violates the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich slammed the Biden administration’s “lawlessness” and vowed to fight the lawsuit.
“In addition to free rooms and transportation for those illegally entering our country, the DOJ now wants to give them a chance to vote,” Brnovich said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “It’s another round of Brnovich v. Biden. I will once again be in court defending Arizona against the lawlessness of the Biden administration.”