Arizona election worker arrested after allegedly stealing security fob for voting tabulator in Maricopa County

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An election worker in Arizona was arrested on Saturday for allegedly stealing a security fob and keys from the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center, as per court documents obtained by CNN.

Arizona, particularly Maricopa County, has been a focal point for election conspiracy theories since 2020. The Arizona secretary of state’s office stated on Monday that Maricopa officials identifying this security breach demonstrated that election safety measures in the county are effective. There were concerns that this incident could fuel further conspiracy theories in the state.

The individual, Walter Ringfield, who claimed to be a temporary employee at the tabulation center, is facing charges of theft and criminal damage. He is currently in the custody of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office awaiting his next court appearance due to an unrelated pending felony case against him, as confirmed by a local official to CNN. Surveillance footage captured Ringfield walking past a desk and multiple tabulators just after 5 p.m. local time on June 20.

The video then shows Ringfield pausing at the desk, taking a lanyard with the security fob and keys, and placing them in his pocket, according to court documents.

After being confronted by his elections supervisor about the theft, Ringfield permitted security to search his car.

Arizona detectives later searched Ringfield’s home and found the fob. The fobs are used with special secure tablets during the election process. As a result of one being taken, all fobs and tablets need reprogramming, as outlined in court documents.

An elections office director informed investigators that the cost of replacing the security fobs and tablets would exceed $19,000.

“The facility’s secure operations are significantly impacted until the reprogramming is completed,” the court documents highlighted.

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