Maricopa County, Adrian Fonterra, Arizona discussed on Mac and Gaydos
News. Arizona's afternoon news with magin, Gaydos. News ninety two three FM. You just heard Becky Lynn say in her newscast. There has been an agreement as far as the voting situation and a lawsuit by the Republican party in Arizona brought against fifteen different counties. Fifteen counties in Arizona Republican lawsuit alleged that the all the states county recorder's they don't follow a uniform standard for allowing voters to address problems with their mail in ballots. So the settlement has been reached Arizona, Republicans and Democrats have agreed to allow rural areas of the state a chance to fix their ballots all counties will allow voters to I guess cure their signatures, which means fix the signatures through and make sure that they are. They are right through November fourteenth. That's what Maricopa County has always been planning to do. Correct. But there is, but there's more there's more to this story. The Arizona Republican party. And now national national Republicans if you will are jumping up and down about this election, and they have a problem with America county recorder and have accused him of things that are pretty personal. And in our in our estimation. Pretty heinous joining us now is Adrian font has COPA county recorder. Mr. Fonterra's, it's always good to talk to you. But man, what a week this has been. How are you? I'm doing great. As a matter of fact, I just spent I took about forty five minutes and went to my kids school. They were having a recital for Veterans Day. And I heard the third graders sing for a few minutes. Non back at the work warehouse back at work, former marine, correct? Semper fi. Thank you for your service. So Mr. Fontes, let's go over what happened in the courts. Just a few seconds ago. Does the settlement affect anything you're doing in Maricopa County? No, this is an absolute affirmation of the adjustment. We made here in Maricopa County. This is exactly what I had proposed earlier on. This is exactly what folks were trying to stop me from doing. And now, they have all agreed that this is the right process. And I'm very glad that we are all on the same sheet of music, and I feel vindicated. So you're gonna keep counting votes, you're going to keep trying to cure these certain votes. That may be signatures. Don't match up you continue to do that. No problem. Absolutely good enough for the voters that showed up on election day without their ID to be able to cure. There's within certain number of days afterwards. It should be good enough for those early voters who drop their ballots off in the envelopes with signature they can also have now the same opportunity under the settlement. I'm very excited about. It Adrian Fonterra's joins us. He's the Maricopa County recorder. We know that the democrat. I'm sorry. The Republicans brought this lawsuit the other day and they've attacked Maricopa County. But now they've attacked you the Arizona Republican parties accused you of premeditated destruction of evidence and voter re regularities in this election. Do you know what they're talking about? And what evidence do they have? I have no idea what that means. And I would assume you're pretty angry because that's a personal attack. No, I'm not angry about it. It's just you know, it's political nonsense right now, they sent me a letter awhile back telling me to hold ballots from the emergency voting thing that we ended up doing under law, which is exactly what is allowed and required. And they wanted me to hold the ballots as evidence, which is insane. And it's also a violation of federal law. If I have a valid ballot. I've got count it. I can't. Sequester it and and catalog it and keep that person's identity attached to their votes. That's crazy. Now, the other half of that is the envelope. I'm absolutely happy to have those envelopes put to the side those that were were that we could put to the side because they're notice came to us late. So all of the envelopes that we could hold aside if there's litigation in the future, which by the way, there is no lawsuit pending, and I have no legal obligation right now. But in these sorts of circumstances folks will say, hey, we might file a lawsuit hold onto these things. So those things that I could legally hold onto. I am those things that they want me to hold on which are the votes of legal legitimate American citizen voters. I didn't you know why? Because those votes needed to be counted with everybody else's vote. So that's what I've done and can you go into a little bit. You said it's also federal law. What what does that mean what what is the federal law? That says you have to do what if I've got a valid ballots to count it. This is in control election for congress, United States, Senator etc. So you. You know, this is where there are consistencies if I have a valid ballot. From a valid voter. This is their voice. This is their vote. I don't have any right under any circumstances to hold that away from tabulation. I don't have any right to hold that separate. So that some litigation can go beyond the time when we would have a canvas when I could count it. And I think it's outrageous that somebody thinks that that's some kind of evidence in their possible lawsuit in the future that they're thinking about filing. Now, I have a record that they voted during a certain period of time that they don't think I could have allowed folks to vote. That's fine. I have the envelopes that they would have signed. So that they could vote. That's that that time that's fine too. We can have the litigation if they want, but there's no way I was going to let them get those votes to be not counted not on my watch. Arizona Republicans are saying that our guest America county recorder. Adrian font has has destroyed evidence from midterm elections. Here's the second part of it, Mr. Fontes yet the state. Republican chairman Jonathan lines says that you a democrat, and I quote cannot be trusted to administer elections in Arizona. So he so he's saying you're a democrat you're against the Republicans. How can you how can you count votes? That's the dumbest thing I ever heard of. Well, look, I'm an American. I I swore in constitution of the United States of America. And the state of Arizona these votes that are coming in. I would have no way of knowing who who's voting for anything like that. So Mr. Lyons in his hyperbole are bad for our democracy. I hope that folks all over the political spectrum will understand whether you're a tea party patriot. Or whether you've got a pink knit cap on your head. We are all Americans. I our votes are all going to get counted. Under my administration and let the winners be discovered. Once we are done with a thorough, accurate and accountable election. That's. Where I stand. That's what I volunteered for years of my life in the Marine Corps to defend and I-. Interestingly find myself defending it still. So basically he's saying that you're fixing the vote, right? Well, I frankly, I don't really don't care what he has to say. I've got an election to run Adrian Fonterra's. Maricopa County recorder joins us any thought of suing for defamation something like this. When all of a sudden done, you know, look you consider the source if Mr. Lyons was worked suing for defamation. I might consider what he's not. So whatever we don't need anymore lawyer's fees in court fights, we just need to get on with being Americans getting this election over with. And you are yourself a lawyer. So okay. Yeah. But a lawyer saying we don't anywhere lawyers with me anymore. That's a pretty big statement eight Mr. Fontes, what do you think of if if they don't trust you to count the votes? Okay. And you're talking about the Arizona Republican party if they don't trust you to count the votes. I you counted the Ducey votes and he won. Right. Ironic, isn't it? It is ironic. You know, there are other Republicans that actually one in votes that you counted. But. Let's just let's just let's just put this on the table. This is political gamesmanship is posturing, it is distraction, and it is frankly, not worthy of much more discussion. What we have here. Here's a good election. Every board that I have in here is made up of Democrats, and Republicans and independence and greens. And libertarians in opposing political parties clearing through these ballots doing the work that has to be done. We've got hundreds of good patriotic Americans in here making sure that this election runs. Well, it's the exact same chief staff across the senior management in this department that we've had for decades. In fact, our election directors been in this office for more than a quarter of a century. So for them to be thinking that all of a sudden, everything has changed. It's just political hyperbole, and it doesn't help Americans have faith in our elections to have faith in our institutions and faith in our democracy. It is destructive to the American fabric. And I frankly am. Not very happy about it. Adrian, Fonterra's Maricopa County recorder. So I don't know the answer to this. If you can tell me, that'd be awesome. Did did you change any of the rules? When you got in there about counting the votes twenty sixteen. Yeah. Did you change anything like can't change those rules? Those are all state rules and federal rules. So no, I didn't change any of the county securing ballots. That was always there. Yeah. We we are following the law. I mean, look he's been doing it for fifteen years. You know, Virginia Rosser Republican down in Pinellas county. He's been doing it for years. Well, like, I don't know why this is all of the sudden the big issue that everybody needs to be suing over and over by the way, the Republican party just agreed that this was the process that everybody should be going under the where in the world is the controversy. The rules that I put in the wolves that I started using in two thousand eighteen or the rules that the Republicans now want us to go under statewide. Why is there criticizing me? And that's the part that we don't understand either. You would think that they would want to go after these other counties that aren't staying late from seven eight at ten P every day through the weekends to cure these votes, and we have two sources saying that there are other counties that are actually destroying ballots, in some cases, you would think that they would want to go after them. We can't understand why they are going after Maricopa County and now personally attacking you when you've you've stood up and said, I'm doing it the right way, I'm following all the federal and state guidelines. We just don't understand. And maybe it is gamesmanship. We just don't understand where the Republican party is coming down on Mr. Fontes. I've been tough on you the last few days. I, you know, I don't like the system of how your counting the votes. Take time. It takes drives me crazy. But the one thing I do know about you is you are trying to count every single vote. I get I get that. And I swear you're saying that's a right thing to do. Even though it drives me nuts that it takes nine days. Business of driving you nuts or no. I know. But. Okay. I don't have any problem with Republicans Republicans on my staff. Right. We have to have a robust discussion among different points of view in this country that kind of intellectual pluralism is what the founders required. Otherwise, we wouldn't have elections in the first place. You see what I'm getting absolutely? There's a country that was founded on diversity of thought it was founded on diversity of position and these battles are supposed to be fought at the ballot box. Look, I feel filmed a thing with with the county. Attorney Bill Montgomery just the other day talking about how the ballot boxes where we settle our differences. And that's right..