At least one incompetent, or corrupt, election official in Arizona has finally received a comeuppance, though for recent debacles, not for 2020 fraud.
David Friske, the elections director for Pinal County, Arizona has been fired over how he ran the primary elections (into the ground) this past Tuesday. Virginia Ross, who has been Pinal County Recorder since 2013, resigned her position and was then appointed to replace Friske. The Recorder’s office oversees voter registration in Pinal County, according to the county website.
While Pinal County voters approved of the firing, they are not so at ease with who the county chose to replace Friske, as per a report, “Voters in Pinal County say now they feel like they are watching the chairs being moved around the deck of the Titanic“.
David Friske hailed from heavily blue Kitsap County, Washington, where he had served as Project Manager of the Elections Division since 2018, and had worked for Kitsap since 2015, according to his bio on Pinal County pages.
Friske was appointed to Pinal County Director of Elections on March 8, 2022, and was to “lead a team of five, focused on planning elections in Pinal County, ensuring they are secure, transparent, accessible, free, and fair elections that inspire public confidence in the election system.” Fun while it lasted, eh?
Friske’s problems started almost immediately, as even prior to election day “Pinal County became the focus of lawsuits after the Elections Department sent about 63,000 voters in seven municipalities an incorrect early ballot in the mail.”
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On election day, stories from Pinal County about turning republican voters away because they ran out of ballots went viral. Friske was said to have relied on a formula from Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ office to determine how many ballots were needed at each voting site.
The excuse from the county was the shortages were due to “unprecedented demand,” but they totally printed more and distributed them. How long would that process take?
Due to unprecedented demand for in-person ballots, Pinal County has experienced a ballot shortage in certain, limited precincts. Pinal County is continuing to print additional ballots and distributing them to each affected precinct polling place.
— Pinal County – Government 🌵 (@PinalCounty) August 2, 2022
Kari Lake is not satisfied with the Pinal County moves however, asking her twitter audience two questions:
“If your right to vote was literally taken away, is this person’s resignation enough to remedy that?”
“How much bigger would our win be if all these people were allowed to vote?”
🚨 PINAL COUNTY UPDATE
The Elections Director has officially resigned.
2 Questions: ⤵️
If your right to vote was literally taken away, is this person’s resignation enough to remedy that?
How much bigger would our win be if all these people were allowed to vote?
— Kari Lake for AZ Governor (@KariLake) August 4, 2022
Jeffrey McClure, chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Pinal County, issued the following statement on behalf of the Board:
“As a Board we are deeply embarrassed and frustrated by mistakes that of been made in this primary election, and as such we are taking immediate steps to ensure the November election runs smoothly, as elections in Pinal County have historically done prior to this primary.”
“It is vital that we restore trust for Pinal County voters, and I can assure the community that there’s no better leader to take control of our Elections Department than Virginia Ross. As a fellow elected official, I am grateful to Virginia for sacrificing her elected role to answer the needs of Pinal County.”
What is troubling about the move, is that Pinal County received more Zuckerbucks in 2020 than any other county in Arizona, other than Maricopa. So, how many involved in securing those funds in 2020 are still around?
“In December 2021, AZFREE News revealed that Pinal County was one of the recipients of the nearly $5.17 million spent during the 2020 election by the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL). CTCL’s “biggest grant was Maricopa County at over $1.84 million. The runner-up grant amounted to over $950,400 awarded to Pima County.”
On October 20, 2020 a letter from CTCL was sent to Virginia Ross congratulating her on the granting of $806,042.00 USD to Pinal County. That letter can be viewed from the Pinal County Board of Supervisor special session on October 22, 2020.
Two Supervisors actually voted against certifying the 2020 election over the Zuckerbucks issue, Ally Miller and Steve Christy. They “didn’t believe the grant money was helping to secure the election.“