Top election officials in Arizona county resign amid ‘nasty’ threats, accusations over Trump loss

Supporters of then President Donald Trump protested in front of the Maricopa County Election Department while votes were being counted in Phoenix on Nov. 6, 2020. - OLIVIER TOURON/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Two top election officials in Yavapai County, Arizona, are resigning amid ongoing threats and accusations by supporters of former President Donald Trump, who still won’t accept that he lost the 2020 election.

On Friday, County Recorder Leslie Hoffman told The Associated Press that she has accepted another job at a different county and that her last day will be July 22.

Lynne Constabile, who has served as the country’s elections director since July 2004, is also leaving for the same reason, Hoffman said. Her last day will be July 8.

“A lot of it is the nastiness that we have dealt with,” said Hoffman, who was elected as county recorder in 2012. Her job is to keep public records and oversee voter registration and early voting, according to the state’s Citizens Clean Elections Commission.

“I’m a Republican recorder living in a Republican county where the candidate that they wanted to win won by 2-to-1 in this county and still getting grief, and so is my staff,” she said.

“I’m not sure what they think that we did wrong,” Hoffman continued. “And they’re very nasty. The accusations and the threats are nasty.”

Arizona has 15 elected county recorders. They earn $63,800 a year, according to the AP. Their salary, set by the Legislature, hasn’t increased during the eight years that Hoffman has been in office.

Hoffman and Constabile are constantly targeted by protesters, who show up at meetings holding signs and hissing at them, whenever they start making presentations.

“Every time we have something on the agenda, people come in and protest it,” she said. “They don’t like the vendors we use, they don’t like the programs they want to put in place. It’s very sad.”

They are not the only election professionals in the state to announce their resignations over criticism coming from Trump supporters, who wrongly maintain that the former president lost his bid for reelection because of fraud.

Earlier this year, the state’s now-former secretary of state, Ken Matta, announced his resignation after almost 20 years on the job.

In a lengthy Twitter thread shared on May 2, Matta said that he was “at the sham Maricopa County partisan election review … almost every day as the most hated person in the room,” he wrote, referring to a Republican-ordered election “audit,” which eventually found “no substantial differences” with the election results.

He said that he “started carrying a gun when I had to start driving through a gauntlet of assault rifles carried by misinformed protesters to get into the Coliseum (where the review took place) every day, and when our office started receiving horrible threats,” and that he couldn’t wait “for the day I don’t feel I need that anymore.”

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