By TOM JOYCE
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – The Arizona Republican Party is offering a financial reward for information about “vote-buying” in the 2022 statewide primary election.
The party is offering up a pair of $50,000 rewards for information on the practice – with a maximum of one reward per person.
“There is historical precedent of vote-buying fraud which ultimately led to secret ballot laws,” the Arizona Republican Party said in a press release. “Unfortunately, the movement towards mass mail-in voting completely undoes secret ballot reform. Mail-in ballots are not secret – once a person has a ballot in their home, they can easily show it to anyone, including bad actors.”
The party says that vote-buying usually happens when someone fills out their mail-in ballot in front of the vote-buyer. It says the voter then gives their completed ballot and signed return envelope to the buyer.
The state GOP has taken the rare step of supporting candidates in contested primaries, backing former President Donald Trump-endorsed Kari Lake for governor and others mostly aligned with the former president. Ms. Lake and others assert, without evidence, that Arizona’s 2020 general election was fraudulent.
The party says that it is specifically looking for evidence of “violations of Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 16-1006: Changing vote of elector by corrupt means or inducement; classification.” It notes that violations of ARS 16-1006 are a class 5 felony.
Here are the terms that the party lays out to be eligible for the reward.
- The reward is payable to the first Relator to relate the information/evidence that leads to the arrest and conviction to the RPAZ as long as the RPAZ can verify that the Relator is the original source of the information/evidence and subject to the terms and conditions in this document.
- Rewards are payable only to natural persons and organizations to whom payment of a reward is not prohibited by applicable law.
- If a group submits the information/evidence, then the group should designate a single person to receive the reward. If no recipient is designated or more than one recipient is designated, the RPAZ may use its discretion in determining who shall receive the reward. The one reward per person restriction also applies to groups.
- The reward shall be available for reports that lead to charges prior to 12/31/22 and convictions prior to 12/31/23. Once charges are brought it shall be the Relator’s obligation to inform the RPAZ using the email contact information above. The Relator shall also have the obligation to notify the RPAZ of any conviction.
- Upon conviction, the Relator must contact VoteBuyingReward@azgop.org within 30 days to claim the reward. The Relator should attach proof of conviction.
- Relator understands that the RPAZ may submit any information/evidence received to law enforcement. Relator is strongly encouraged to also submit such information/evidence to law enforcement directly.
- Relator agrees that the RPAZ shall not be liable for any injury or damages of any sort Relator suffers in any way related to obtaining or providing the information/evidence. The Relator shall defend, release, indemnify, and hold harmless the RPAZ from any such claims.
- Relator agrees to familiarize themselves and follow all applicable federal and state laws and obtain legal counsel for assistance in understanding these laws if necessary.
- The payment of rewards is entirely within the discretion of the RPAZ and all applicable laws and requests by law enforcement. The RPAZ’s determination as to whether a reward is payable is final. This document and any related oral or written statements do not create a contract between Relator and the RPAZ.
- These terms are subject to change by the RPAZ at any time. However subsequent oral or written statements by any of the RPAZ’s officers or employees shall not modify these terms unless (1) the statement is in writing (2) the statement expressly indicates that it is modifying these terms and (3) the statement is signed by the Chair of the RPAZ or counsel for the RPAZ.
The party urges people to send tips and evidence of voter fraud to VoteBuyingReward@azgop.org.