Here’s a Close Look at Adrian Fontes and His Path of Destruction in Arizona Politics
If Adrian Fontes becomes the Arizona Secretary of State, their elections will suffer. Fontes is the reason for the current Maricopa County mess.
Adrian Fontes was one of the worst Maricopa Recorders in the county’s history, in office from 2016 to 2020. After being sworn into office in early 2017, Fontes started making radical changes to policy, staff, etc. He openly adopted election policies from the leftist Brennan Center. This group fights on behalf of Soros to stop the cleaning of voter rolls, fights against Voter ID laws, and so on. Fontes ran the election department as a Democrat GOTV operation.
Using federal HAVA law as his argument, Fontes targeted what he called the “underserved and underprivileged”. The Maricopa Recorder’s office began to partner with nearly 55 NGO’s. They went after voter registration from 4 specific Democrat voter groups – African Americans, Hispanics, College Age, and Native Americans. Fontes even deployed helicopters for faster access to Indian reservations, and their voter registration drives.
Fontes gave nearly 1,000 NGO staff access to Maricopa’s internal Voter Registration system (VRAS). He called them “Deputy Registrars”. Fontes opened corrupt “Emergency Voting Centers” four days before the 2018 election. Although very few voted at these locations, GOP staff noticed massive amounts of absentee ballots coming from these locations. A judge eventually ordered an audit of these centers. Fontes immediately moved all “Emergency Center” ballots into the boxes of other precincts. This 2019 audit failed, they could not find the ballots.
Fontes also reduced absentee ballot scrutiny, reduced chain of custody, and so on. After his election win, Fontes fired the Director of Elections. He went on to fire other key staff. This included the IT Director of 20+ years. He was the glue behind all Maricopa’s customized election technology and security. Fontes brought in his own people, including Rey Valenzuela as the new Director of Elections. Fontes did away with precinct based voting and moved to the “vote center” model. The Maricopa Board of Supervisors were useless bystanders while Fontes transformed Maricopa elections.
The 2018 midterm election was a corrupt debacle for Maricopa. A few Board of Supervisors became concerned about Fontes’ corruption. So they met with AZ Senate President Karen Fann in early 2019. At the 17:06 minute mark of this interview, the Board told Fann: “We have serious problems with the way Fontes runs elections”. The Board immediately created a working group to look at all election operations. The group created this report with several recommendations. The Board did nothing except add a new election role in June of 2019. Maricopa county now has two “Director of Elections”. They both answer to the County Recorder, but one also answers to the Board.
Fontes was voted out of office and replaced by Steven Richter in January 2021. Unlike Fontes, Richter did not bring in his own people. Richter has allowed the Democrat operatives hired by Fontes to remain in place. Richter is not really a Republican. He only ran on that ticket to get elected, and campaigned about cleaning up Maricopa elections. Once elected, he’s done nothing to fix the elections. In fact, he’s resisted every step of any election investigation, and criticized those with concerns. GP reported that Richter was using public funds to prevent Voter ID laws in Arizona.
After being voted out of office in early 2021, Fontes worked as the primary consultant for the Pima County Recorder’s office (Tucson). Ann Rodriguez was the Pima Recorder for 28 years. After the 2020 election she resigned along with her chief Deputy. Rodriguez had gained a reputation for running very loose elections that consistently favored the Democrat party. In many GOP circles, Pima would always be a lost cause as long as the Rodriguez machine was in control. After Rodriguez stepped down, Fontes was there to continue Pima County voting operations that favor Democrats. Fontes now has an understanding of Pima and Maricopa election operations.
Over his four year tenure as Recorder, Fontes was able to transform Maricopa just enough for Democrat wins. All of those changes still exist today. Many Arizona citizens are aware of Fontes, his past election antics and bias. Local media outlets reported about Fontes corruption and antics back in 2017-20. In 2022 they decided instead to attack Mark Finchem. They avoided any mention of their past Fontes coverage and that election malfeasance. As usual, the Democrat party rewarded Fontes for his corruption by backing him as their candidate for Secretary of State.
Future AZ Governor Kari Lake might need a special agency to prevent Fontes from any further damage to AZ elections. Maybe create something similar to Florida’s new “Office of Election Crimes and Security”. This still might not be enough. Fontes will have backing of the entire DOJ Civil Rights Division, and the Voting Section. This Division is run entirely by Democrats who purposely target red States about elections. They are so corrupt they don’t allow a single conservative group as one of their nearly 40 “stakeholders”. Only group like the ACLU, LULAC (Latin), MALDEF (Mexican) are allowed to be DOJ partners. They all work as one team to help the Democrats party.
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