Recorder Richer Statement on 2020 General Election Ballots

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Media Contact:
Cara Coleman

Recorder Richer Statement on 2020 General Election Ballots


Since Saturday, I have been working to get to the bottom of the accusations recently leveled against the Recorder’s Office and the Maricopa County Elections Department. On Friday, two individuals visited the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (“MCTEC”) during working hours to ask for voter registration forms and to take pictures from the outside. On Saturday, one of these individuals returned, accompanied by two others. Camera footage shows that those three attempted to unlawfully pry open our warehouse doors, but were unsuccessful. They did, however, climb into the dumpster outside the building and remove trash.  


My office, the Maricopa County Elections Department, and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors all have the same goal: to continue to have safe and secure elections. That is why the Board of Supervisors conducted two independent audits on the tabulation equipment, and that is why my office aspires to be as open and transparent as possible. What we cannot have, and what nobody should be comfortable with, is individuals attempting to break into secure facilities potentially interrupting the legal processes currently underway, as well as an election currently in process for the City of Goodyear.   


I want to be very clear: I can say with 100% certainty that the 2.1 million legally voted ballots from the November General Election are safe and accounted for in the Elections Department vault, under 24/7 surveillance.


Here are additional facts: none of the ballots stored in the vault have been unsealed or shredded. Not one. Every single ballot of the 2.1 million November General Election ballots that were tabulated have been held securely and the chain of custody has never been broken. I do not know what was in the yellow bags that have appeared in photos online because I have not seen the contents of these bags. After speaking with the voter registration team, I’ve confirmed that we shred a variety of non-classified documents. In addition, we also destroy deceased voter ballots since they could never be legally tabulated. I am a firm believer in continuous improvement, and I, along with my staff, will review this office’s past practices, and best practices from other counties, to make sure we are not only following the law, but also implementing strong document retention and disposal policies.