Does This Video Show A Hispanic Activist Openly Committing Vote Fraud?
A Republican party official in the largest county in Arizona says surveillance tape shows a progressive Hispanic activist blatantly and openly engaging in vote fraud.
The surveillance video below was recorded on Aug. 25 during this year’s primary election cycle at a central Maricopa County elections processing facility on the edge of downtown Phoenix.
A. J. LaFaro, Chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Committee obtained the video. He was watching the polls that day during the early-voting period voting for the Aug. 26 primary.
“The team processing the early ballots through the optical scanning equipment had gotten way ahead of the ‘upstream’ citizen boards preparing the early ballot batches for processing,” the Republican party official said, according to the Arizona Daily Independent.
While the information systems coordinator was on a long lunch break, he explained, he was “seated at one of the cubicles looking toward the reception area that is now behind bullet proof glass because of the violence and protesting that occurred by militant groups during the November 2012 general election.”
Between 12:54 and 1:04, LaFaro said, he observed a man wearing a “Citizens for a Better Arizona” T-shirt loudly drop a box containing hundreds of early-voting ballots on a table.
Citizens for a Better Arizona is a progressive group.
The man then began “stuffing the ballot box,” LaFaro said. “I watched in amazement.”
There’s no sound in the video, but the county Republican Committee chairman gave a play-by-play of the conversation that occurred between him and the unidentified man.
“What’s your problem?” the man asked, according to LaFaro.
“I don’t have a problem,” LaFaro said.
“Stop watching me,” the man reportedly demanded. “You’re annoying me.”
LaFaro kept watching him. At one point, he advised the man: “One of your ballots isn’t sealed.”
“It’s none of your business,” the man then reportedly said. “What’s your name?”
LaFaro told him his name and that he is the county Republican Committee chairman. He asked the man’s name.
“Go fuck yourself!” the man allegedly replied. “I don’t have to tell you who I am.”
There was some drama over that unsealed ballot.
At a later point, LaFaro claims, the man said, “Go fuck yourself, gringo.”
In an interview with The Daily Caller, LaFaro described the man as “extremely militant” and “threatening.”
He described the video as the final result of a process he called a “ballot harvest” by a progressive operative.
“What is captured on the tape demonstrates the end result of what we believe to be vote fraud,” he told TheDC.
“This is a smoking gun that ballot harvesting actually does happen.”
LaFaro stressed that the man’s actions likely don’t run afoul of Arizona electoral law. However, he argued, that’s only because Arizona law allows rampant vote fraud.
The state’s election laws have been a source of considerable controversy in the last two years.
In a nutshell, Arizona passed a law in early 2013 that, among much else, broadly strengthened rules against vote fraud. That law was later repealed by the legislature in 2014 as left-leaning Latino groups were mounting a repeal referendum. It was and remains a bit of a cat-and-mouse game of lawmaking. Had the popular referendum passed, future attempts to reign in electoral abuses would be more difficult to pass.
According to LaFaro, the actions by the man in the video would have been illegal from June 2013 to February 2014 — the period when the law was in place.
The county Republican Committee chairman concedes, however, that in August 2014 — the time when the surveillance video occurred — the surly man’s actions were likely legal.
At the same time, LaFaro observes, the man’s actions appear to be an egregious and obvious case of ballot stuffing.
LaFaro described a couple different ways in which Hispanic activists collect copious numbers of ballots — and also control exactly how they are voted.
One of these ways is ballot party. At a ballot party, he told TheDC, activists invite voters to bring their early-voter ballots to a central location. There’s food. There’s drink. Sometimes there’s even live entertainment. Voters fill out their individual ballots en masse for the activists’ chosen candidates. The activists collect the ballots and ensure they are submitted properly.
A second, even seedier method involves activists pretending to represent the local government.
“Operatives are going around in the city of Glendale saying that they are county election officials and would be happy to collect their ballots,” LaFaro told TheDC.
He said he believes those ballots are often blank when the activists collect them. The activists then fill them out, and submit them in bulk.
An Oct. 17 report from Arizona ABC affiliate KNXV-TV substantiates LaFaro’s claims. In that report, the ABC station warned residents of Glendale, Ariz. to be on the lookout for people claiming to be official early ballot collectors.
Glendale city officials emphasized that election officials do not collect ballots from residents at their homes.
LaFaro described the 2014 Republican primary as a “very contentious” and expensive battle between more conservative and more moderate Republicans. The Hispanic activists, he said, had a strong interest in helping the more moderate Republicans win their various primaries.