Watch a very stable genius named Matt Baker yelling at the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors last week. He's one of many in Arizona crying "election fraud" despite evidence that both Maricopa County and statewide elections were fair and free from fraud.
Nearly two dozen spoke during the public comment portion of the Wednesday morning meeting, most of them there to speak out against the way the election was handled.
Elections in Maricopa County are administered through a joint effort between County Recorder Stephen Richer and the board of supervisors, which both support the county elections department. Richer's office is responsible for early voting while the elections department manages Election Day voting, where there were problems with ballot printers and tabulators.
"Once again, the eyes of the world are upon Maricopa County for another botched election," Matt Baker told the supervisors. "Am I here to accuse you of stealing the vote? Heavens, no, for that would make me a terrorist, wouldn't it?"
Baker spoke about tabulator issues that left voters who cast their ballots in person on Election Day with the choice to either place their ballot in a box named "door 3" to be tabulated later or go to another voting site. By the end of his comments, he was screaming at the supervisors, telling them, "You are the cancer that is tearing this nation apart!"
During the Nov. 8 midterm, around 70 of Maricopa County's 223 voting centers experienced issues with printers, meaning that some ballots could not be read by the on-site tabulators. Voters had the option of placing their completed ballots in a secured box at each site so it could be counted later at the county's election center or canceling their ballot and going instead to another voting center.
None of the other speakers expressed their dismay as aggressively as Baker, but Supervisor Bill Gates did have to ask people in the audience to be quiet numerous times, as they clapped or cheered or attempted to speak over those they disagreed with, including some of the supervisors.
Maricopa County Supervisor Steven Gallardo is certain that the elections were "safe, secure, and accurate" — and researchers at PolitiFact who have studied the matter extensively agree. PolitiFact explains:
We've debunked many claims seeking to undermine this [Arizona] contest's results, including false allegations about voting machines, printers and efforts to disenfranchise voters.
Voting machines at about 70 vote centers in Maricopa County temporarily stopped processing ballots on Election Day; some of the ballot printers didn't use enough ink, making the ballots unreadable by a tabulator's scanner.
But voters weren't turned away. They could place their ballots in a secured slot so their votes would be counted after polls closed or they could go to different Maricopa County polling locations that had working tabulators.
Another piece of misinformation that took hold: that the county — the state's most populous — intentionally reduced polling places, suggesting a bigger disenfranchisement plot.
But Maricopa County had 48 more voting locations in the 2022 general election than it did in the 2020 general election.
Among other related claims we've debunked: that the social media followings of Lake and Hobbs suggest election fraud; that bags of ballots in Maricopa County are evidence of election fraud; that split election results show the race was rigged; that Hobbs was caught in a vote counting room; that there was no chain of custody for ballots at a polling site in Maricopa County; that the chain of custody was broken there; and that final, unofficial election results in Arizona were delayed because election officials there wanted "more time to cheat."
No evidence has emerged of widespread voter fraud in Arizona, just as it didn't in the 2020 election.
This isn't the first time Matt Baker has yelled nonsense. Here he is in Huntington Beach, CA, earlier in the pandemic, yelling against "Satan worshipping fools" and mask mandates. On his Twitter he describes himself as: "a freedom fighter and owner of slave2liberty clothing company fighting medical mandates and technocratic tyranny." And on his Instagram — which is filled with QAnon, pro-Trump, anti-mask, and anti-vaxx content, along with clips of his appearances on Alex Jones' InfoWars — he mentions "San Diego Board" and posts often about California. In one video he explains that "before the war" he was a glass blower, and his old Instagram states that he blows glass and lives in Ocean Beach, California. It's clear he doesn't even live in Arizona, he's just here promoting his Alex Jones-infused ideologies and his clothing line.