WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, Oct. 21, the Arizona secretary of state’s office referred two more reports of voter intimidation to the Arizona attorney general and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). In one of the cases a 70-year-old man and his wife were filmed on Thursday, Oct. 20 as they dropped off their ballots at a drop box in Mesa, Arizona, one of the two early voting drop box locations in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix. The couple’s car and license plate were also photographed for — according to those taking the photos — “election security.” In the other case an individual was similarly photographed on Wednesday, Oct. 19 dropping off their ballot at the other drop box location in Phoenix.
These incidents follow another case of voter intimidation earlier this week at the same drop box location in Mesa, which was also referred to the DOJ. According to ABC15 Arizona, on Monday, Oct. 17, a voter was followed by a group of individuals as the voter attempted to drop off their ballot. Video footage of the incident was later obtained by ABC15 Arizona.
In Arizona, early voting began on Oct. 12 and many voters will cast their ballots by mail; in 2020, over 90% of Arizonans voted early or via mail. Reports emerged right after the start of early voting last week that people were gathered around drop box locations. Right-wing activists in Arizona — including GOP secretary of state nominee Mark Finchem — have called upon volunteers to “monitor” drop boxes, with elected officials encouraging these drop box observers to use cameras and keep track of license plate numbers, raising concerns of voter intimidation.