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Arizona Secretary of State expresses confidence in elections during Yuma visit

Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes meets with Kika Guzman, election services director for Yuma County, in Yuma on Monday, Jan. 29, 2024.
Arlyn Galaviz/Yuma County
Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes meets with Kika Guzman, election services director for Yuma County, in Yuma on Monday, Jan. 29, 2024.

Arizona's Secretary of State expressed confidence that Yuma County and all counties in the state will have the support they need to ensure fair and clean elections this November and beyond.

During a visit to Yuma this week, Adrian Fontes also denounced threats to election workers, a problem in Arizona and around the country that has led many workers to leave for fear of their safety.

Fontes was in Yuma Monday where he met with local election officials including Yuma County Recorder Richard Colwell and Kika Guzman, election services director. Fontes said it's his job to meet with election officials in all 15 Arizona counties to observe their offices and make sure they know he has their backs in Phoenix.

He said 12 of 15 counties in Arizona have new leadership since the last presidential election in 2020.

"The good thing is you've still got a lot of experienced staff, support staff and individual knowledge that is helping (in Yuma County)," Fontes told reporters outside the recorder's office in downtown Yuma. "It's important for me to visit every county because these are the people that are running our elections."

There are reports of both verbal and physical threats to election workers in Arizona and around the U.S. Fontes said Arizona is playing defense and any such threats will not be tolerated.

"The attacks election offices have faced around the country and here in Arizona are, frankly, un-American," Fontes told KAWC. "That's got to stop."

Fontes said Arizona is working with local, state and federal law enforcement and investigating agencies including the Department of Justice, the FBI and even the Arizona counterterrorism information center to make sure election workers are protected.

For his part, Colwell, the Yuma County recorder, is keeping it simple.

"My goal is to have a clean, well-run election," he said.


Scroll down for earlier coverage of Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes from KAWC.

Victor is originally from West Sacramento, California and has lived in Arizona for more than five years. He began his print journalism career in 2004 following his graduation from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Victor has been a reporter for the following daily newspapers: The Monterey County Herald, The Salinas Californian and the Reno Gazette-Journal, where he covered stories including agriculture, education and Latino community news. Victor has also served as a local editor for Patch, a national news organization with hyperlocal websites, in Carmichael, California in the Sacramento area. He also served as the editor for The New Vision, the newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, which includes Yuma and La Paz counties. Victor lives in Somerton. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and following most sports.
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