PHOENIX — Following reports of potential illegal ballot harvesting by representatives of Democrat candidate for governor David Garcia, AZGOP Chairman Jonathan Lines today sent a letter to Garcia’s campaign calling on them to “cease and desist” any unlawful behavior.
Earlier today, St. Augustine Catholic Church in Phoenix posted on Facebook a warning to its followers about “people representing Democratic candidate David Garcia” falsely attempting to collect voters’ early ballots. The post calls the activity a “fraud” and encourages anyone contacted by the representatives to report the incident to the Phoenix Diocese.
Arizona law prohibits anyone from collecting another person’s mail-in ballot, also known as “ballot harvesting,” if that person is not a family member, household member, or caregiver. Unlawful ballot harvesting is a felony offense.
In the letter, which was copied to Secretary of State Michelle Reagan and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Chairman Lines calls on the Garcia Campaign to cease any unlawful behavior.
“To the extent that the Garcia Campaign is presently engaged in unlawful ballot harvesting practices, we demand that you immediately cease and desist from this illegal activity,” he wrote.
Read the full letter below.
October 30, 2018
Garcia for Governor
323 W. Virginia Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Re: Illegal Ballot Harvesting Activities
Dear Garcia for Governor Campaign,
It has come to our attention that the Garcia for Governor Campaign may be collecting, or attempting to collect, mail-in-ballots from individuals in violation of Arizona law.
We have been provided with a social media post from St. Augustine Catholic Church in Phoenix. In this post, a church representative states that the Garcia Campaign is “asking us to pick up voting ballots from families who were told by a group of people representing Democrat candidate, David Garcia that we can do that, because these people are sent by us, St. Augustine Church in order to support this candidate.”
As you are aware, A.R.S. § 16-1005(H) prohibits the practice of ballot harvesting of mail-in-ballots by anyone who is not the voter’s family member, household member, or caregiver. It is unlawful for the Garcia campaign to solicit and/or collect mail-in-ballots directly and encourage others to solicit and/or collect mail-in-ballots from voters.
To the extent that the Garcia Campaign is presently engaged in unlawful ballot harvesting practices, we demand that you immediately cease and desist from this illegal activity.
Arizona Republican Party
cc: Hon. Michele Reagan, Arizona Secretary of State
Hon. Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney