WASHINGTON, D.C — On Tuesday, Aug. 16, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted a Missouri man for allegedly threatening an Arizona election official in the Maricopa County recorder’s office via voicemail. The indictment states that in late May 2021, the defendant left a message on the personal cell phone of the Arizona election official in which he remarked:
“So I see you’re for fair and competent elections, that’s what it says here on your homepage for your recorder position you’re trying to fly here. But you call things unhinged and insane lies when there’s a forensic audit going on. You need to check yourself. You need to do your [expletive] job right because other people from other states are watching your [expletive]. You [expletive] renege on this deal or give them any more troubles, your [expletive] will never make it to your next little board meeting.”
According to the indictment, a federal grand jury charged the defendant with one count of making a threatening telephone call and one count of making an interstate threat in violation of federal laws. If the defendant is convicted on these charges, he could face up to five years of imprisonment. This case was brought under the DOJ’s Election Threats Task Force, which was established in 2021 in an effort to combat threats of violence and intimidation against election workers. In recent years, election workers and officials have experienced rampant harassment, intimidation and threats, leading to mass resignations of election staff who feel unsafe undertaking their duties.