Accusations Fly Between Finchem, Fontes During Arizona Secretary of State Debate Focused on Voter Fraud

Trump-endorsed State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley) faced off against Democratic former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes in a debate Thursday evening hosted by Clean Elections on KAET PBS. Most of the lively exchange focused on the candidates’ stark differences regarding voter fraud, with Fontes more dismissive and Finchem stating election integrity is a priority. 

Finchem said in his opening statement that he is running due to what’s happened to the office under the current officeholder, Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor. He said he wants to “restore honor, integrity, and security” to the position. “It’s not up to the secretary of state to make the law, they enforce the law that’s already laid down.” In addition to other controversies, Hobbs has been involved in a high-profile legal dispute with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich for making changes to the state’s Election Procedures Manual that Brnovich asserts are outside of her authority.

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Trump-Endorsed Mark Finchem Leads Adrian Fontes by over Six Points in Arizona Secretary of State Race: Poll

A new poll from The Trafalgar Group shows Trump-endorsed State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who is running for Arizona secretary of state, more than six points ahead of his opponent, Democratic former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes. Conducted between September 14 and 17, the survey of 1,080 likely voters by the Republican-aligned pollster found that 47.5 percent chose Finchem and 41.1 percent chose Fontes.

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Blake Masters Campaign Celebrates Momentum in ‘Dead Heat’ Race Following New Poll Results

A new poll from the Trafalgar Group shows Trumped-endorsed Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters making momentum against his opponent, incumbent Mark Kelly (D-AZ).

“This race is a dead heat despite Mark Kelly spending $60 million to paint himself as some type of moderate, when he’s been nothing more than a rubber stamp for Joe Biden’s failed agenda. Blake Masters is gaining momentum every day as voters learn about Kelly’s extreme voting record and reject him,” said Blake Masters’s press contact Zachery Henry to the Arizona Sun Times.

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Kari Lake and Mark Finchem Appeal Judge’s Decision to Dismiss Their Electronic Voting Machines Lawsuit

Although the deadline for printing ballots for Arizona’s midterm election on Nov. 8 has passed, ending the time for litigation regarding items that must appear on the ballot, one lawsuit regarding the election continues to wind its way through the courts. After their lawsuit requesting the halting of electronic voting machines in the election was thrown out by an Obama-appointed trial court judge, U.S. District Judge John Tuchi, the attorneys for Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Trump-endorsed State Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State, filed a notice of appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Tuchi stated in his order dismissing the case that “speculative allegations that voting machines may be hackable are insufficient to establish an injury in fact,” it was too close to the election to file, and the lawsuit should have been filed in state court, not federal court. 

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Kari Lake and Mark Finchem Denounce Maricopa County Supervisor’s Motion for Sanctions over Election Integrity Lawsuit

Trump-endorsed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake filed a lawsuit along with Trump-endorsed State Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State, in April to block the use of electronic voting machines to count ballots in the 2022 election. The Maricopa County Supervisors responded last week with a motion requesting sanctions against the pair and their attorneys, which include former Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz, asserting that the suit was “frivolous.” 

Finchem tweeted, “The threatened action by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, is nothing more than the attempted weaponization of the judicial process against the political process. If they can’t stand up to scrutiny for elections, that’s their problem — not our problem. Elections must be secure and trustworthy, Maricopa County has demonstrated neither is the case in the last election. “

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Republicans Rumble in Final Forum for Arizona Sec State and Treasurer

The grassroots organization America Pack put on its last Republican primary debate Friday night, featuring the candidates for Arizona Secretary of State followed by the candidates for Arizona State Treasurer. During the first debate, Secretary of State candidate and current State Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-Scottsdale) took an aggressive stance toward her opponents, and her fellow Republicans responded in kind. 

During the second debate, State Representative Jeff Weninger (R-Chandler) went after the sitting treasurer, Kimberly Yee, who responded back just as feistily.

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Wendy Rogers and Mark Finchem Endorse Eli Crane for AZ-2

State Senator Wendy Rogers and State Representative March Finchem endorsed Eli Crane in the race for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District seat.

Both Rogers and Finchem have received President Trump’s endorsement in their campaigns for reelection and Arizona Secretary of State, respectively.

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Gosar, Biggs and Finchem Respond to Lawsuit from ‘Random Members of the Public’ Trying to Remove Them from Ballot for ‘Insurrection’

An organization calling itself “Free Speech for People” filed lawsuits against three prominent Arizona Republican officials, asserting that they are unqualified to hold office due to their connections to the Jan. 6, 2021 protest at the U.S. Capitol. The lawsuits aim to stop Rep. Paul Gosar (R-04-Ariz.) and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-03-Ariz.) from running for reelection, and State Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley) from running for Arizona Secretary of State, claiming the three engaged in “insurrection” which is prohibited by the Fourteenth Amendment. 

Jack Wilenchik, the attorney for Finchem, told The Arizona Sun Times, “The lawsuit is long on publicity but short on law. No convictions or congressional authority for suit.” He told Capitol Media, “We don’t allow random members of the public to accuse politicians of a crime and remove them from office.” He explained how it would open the floodgates for anyone to try and remove any elected official they disagreed with, from Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton.

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Grassroots ‘America Pack’ Recommends 36 Bills in the Arizona Legislature This Session

America Pack, a grassroots movement “built to empower citizens to hold elected officials accountable, advocate for honest elections, support law enforcement, and fight for freedom and liberty,” has issued a list of its most important bills this session in the Arizona Legislature. The topics primarily address election integrity, education, and COVID-19. They must be scheduled to be heard in a committee by Feb. 18, or they will die.

Election Integrity – House Government and Elections Committee

HB 2023, sponsored by State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Mesa) with several co-sponsors, requires digital images of ballots to be posted publicly online after elections.

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Arizona State Lawmaker Introduces Resolution to Decertify 2020 Election in Three Counties

Arizona Republican State Rep. Mark Finchem introduced a bill Monday calling to decertify the 2020 election in three counties.

“In the case of Maricopa, Pima and Yuma Counties, the fact that there is evidence showing illegal acts occurred, whether by intent or omission does not matter, the margin of error exceeds the margin of victory,” said Finchem, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump for Arizona Secretary of State.

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Arizona Lawmakers Hold Hearing in Pima County Analyzing 2020 Voter Fraud Allegations

Nine Arizona legislators held a hearing Monday in the Democratic stronghold of Pima County and Tucson over persistent rumors of election irregularities, including one anonymous allegation that 35,000 fraudulent votes were added to the final tally.

State Sen. Kelly Townsend (R-Mesa) explained why the Pima County election integrity hearing was necessary.

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Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Prosecuting Felon Who Voted From Jail

A state grand jury has indicted a 46-year-old felon for illegally voting while in jail. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced that Manuel Aguirre of Sahuarita was indicted on one count of false registration and one count of illegal voting, both felonies. He voted during the 2020 election from the Pima County Jail. 

Aguirre falsely stated on his voter registration form that he had no felonies or that his rights had been restored. He has five felony convictions, including vehicular theft, criminal trespassing and weapons misconduct. 

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Citing Precincts with Ballot Return Rate Greater Than 100 Percent, Donald Trump Calls to Decertify Pima County’s 2020 Election or Hold a New One

Former President Donald Trump issued a statement on October 15 denouncing the results of an investigation of mail-in ballots in Pima County’s 2020 election, calling for either the results for president to be decertified with Trump declared the winner or hold a new election. He said the election was “Rigged and Stolen,” citing “staggering anomalies and fictitious votes” that “stuffed the ballot box” with more ballots than were sent out in some precincts. Arizona Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State, echoed Trump’s claims, saying there are “34,000 or 35,000 fictitious voters” in Pima County.

Trump said the analysis was done from publicly available election data, and showed that mail-in ballots returned in Pima County during the election initially showed him up 3 points over other Republicans, with Joe Biden underperforming other Democrats by 3 points. Then the mail-in ballots started returning at an abnormally high rate, over 87%, and Trump suddenly started performing worse and Biden better. However, “they overplayed their hand, and got caught. Two precincts in Pima had over 100 percent turnout for mail-in ballots — which is impossible — and 40 precincts had over 97% returned.”

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Former President Trump Calls In to Bannon-Headlined ‘Take Back Virginia’ Rally

Steve Bannon headlined a get-out-the-vote rally for the MAGA base in Henrico on Wednesday evening, where speakers included Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) and Arizona State House Representative Mark Finchem, who is using 2020 election audits in that state in his campaign for Arizona Secretary of State. But the biggest reaction from the crowd came when former President Donald Trump called in for about five minutes.

“Glenn Youngkin is a great gentleman,” Trump said. “You have a chance to get one of the most successful businessmen in the country, and he did it in a quiet professional way, in Glenn Youngkin. I hope — he and others by the way — but I hope Glenn gets in there  and he’ll straighten out Virginia, and he’ll lower taxes, all of the things that we want a governor to do, and I really believe that Virginia is very, very, winnable.”

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Arizona State Rep. Turns State Ballot Integrity Project into National Opportunity

Mark Finchem, the State Representative from Arizona who has also received the endorsement of former President Donald Trump in a bid to become that State’s Secretary of State in 2022, has effectively taken his Arizona Ballot Integrity Project (BIP) national as of this past Wednesday when he and approximately 30 others from around the country gathered at the suburban Dallas offices of international authentication leader, Authentix, to create a process for introducing a highly counterfeit-resistant paper ballot. 

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Arizona Democratic Legislator Responds to Defamation Lawsuit Filed by Gosar, Finchem and Kern over January 6 Remarks

Rep. Charlene Fernandez (D-Yuma) responded to a defamation lawsuit filed against her by three Arizona Republican leaders by asking the court to dismiss it. U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04), Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley) and former Rep. Anthony Kern (R-Phoenix) filed the lawsuit against her due to a letter she sent on February 12 to the FBI and Department of Justice along with the rest of the Democrats in the Arizona Legislature asking the agencies to investigate the men about their role on January 6 at the U.S. Capitol protest. The three were at the Capitol that day but did not participate in the unauthorized entry of the building or aggressive behavior. 

Finchem told National File that “it’s been horrible” dealing with the accusations. “They’ve destroyed my character in the public eye. They’ve destroyed my reputation, and all of it is a big lie.”

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Five Voting-Related Ballot Proposals Seek to Make Arizona 2022 Ballot

Five ballot proposals addressing voting may be on this fall’s ballot if their sponsors collect enough signatures. Three of them, known as referendums, seek to stop legislation from becoming law, requiring 118,823 signatures each. The other ballot initiatives need 237,645 signatures each. Even if all the signatures are collected, a successful legal challenge could keep them off the ballot.

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