Door knockers asking how people voted falsely claim to represent Arizona county

A group of individuals are going door-to-door in an Arizona county falsely claiming they represent local election officials and asking residents how they voted in the 2020 elections, according to a report from The Arizona Republic.

Speaking to the newspaper, Yavapai County Recorder Leslie Hoffman said she was concerned that there were people claiming to represent her office, and could be collecting information that results in identity theft.

Hoffman said she was unsure if these individuals were working on behalf of a political organization.

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“I don’t want some of our more vulnerable residents giving information and thinking they’re giving it to the recorder’s office,” Hoffman told the Republic.

She said her office had received two reports of incidents in which residents were asked by unidentified individuals claiming to be elections officials about their 2020 vote. The two individuals reportedly refused to show identification when asked for verification that they were in fact from Hoffman's office.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said that a county recorder would never send individuals to ask survey questions or for personal information, according to the Republic. Anyone who is contacted in this way should contact law enforcement.

Former Republican Arizona political candidate Liz Harris said this week that she had organized canvassers to go door-to-door, the Republic reported. Harris initially told the newspaper that the canvassers were involved in the Arizona state Senate's election audit, but later said she could not confirm if they were.

"I pretty much know what's happening," Harris said in a video on social media responding to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office advisory. “There are canvassers, some within the group I’m heading up and some outside the group."

Harris denied that any of her canvassers claimed to be with the Yavapai County Recorder's Office or asked residents who they voted for, according to the newspaper.

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The Hill has reached out to the Yavapai County Recorder's Office for comment.

"No one has been authorized or instructed to do any canvassing anywhere in Arizona for the audit or for any other purpose. The original scope of work called for the possibility of some canvassing but that phase was postponed indefinitely," Arizona Senate President Karen Fann (R) told The Hill.

The news comes after Department of Justice officials raised concerns last month about reported canvassing plans by Cyber Ninjas, the Florida contractor tasked with conducting the ongoing election audit in Arizona, for Maricopa County.

Pamela Karlan, the principal deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's civil rights division, warned in a letter to Arizona Senate President Karen Fann (R) in May that actions made in the controversial recount could violate civil rights laws.

In her letter, Karlan expressed concerns about potential voter intimidation stemming from Cyber Ninja's voter authentication methods, including canvassing. Prior to its contract with Arizona, Cyber Ninjas had no experience auditing elections. 

“Such investigative efforts can have a significant intimidating effect on qualified voters that can deter them from seeking to vote in the future," Karlan wrote in her letter, the Republic noted.

—Updated at 2:47 p.m.