The Arizona secretary of state this week shot down claims that a Hispanic get-out-the-vote group had committed voter fraud in Yuma County, in the race for the seat held by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D).
As we reported earlier this week, right-wing blogs were claiming that the SEIU-affiliated Mi Familia Vota had committed voter fraud by submitting thousands of fraudulent voter registration forms to the county. But the group hadn’t submitted new voter registrations — instead, they were signing up already registered voters to the permanent early voting list, meaning they’d get an early ballot mailed to them every year. The top county elections official said that there was no evidence of fraud.
Now the top elections official in the state is chiming in. Secretary of State Ken Bennett, a Republican who’s been endorsed for his re-election campaign by Gov. Jan Brewer and Sen. John McCain, released a statement saying the allegations are “without merit” and debunking them one by one.
“I take seriously any allegations of fraud in our election process,” he said. “As soon as these accusations came to light, we got in contact with elections officials in Yuma County and across Arizona to determine if a fraudulent scheme was afoot. With our initial inquiry complete, I’m happy to report that these latest allegations of rampant registration fraud are without merit.”
“Why make our findings public? Because the truth matters. Unfounded rumors and undue allegations only serve to weaken public faith in our elections, which are one of the underpinnings of our representative democracy.”