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Pinal County Elections Director Leaves Post Amid Controversy


In a surprise move, Geraldine Roll, the Elections Director of Pinal County, left her position citing politicization and intimidation within the department. In a scathing email sent to the county manager, Leo Lew, she accused the elections department of becoming a political tool for "a faction of the Republican party".

Geraldine Roll's email, which was first reported by Pinal Central, claimed that she was subject to "ridicule, disrespect, and intimidation" and criticized the management for not supporting her during these instances. "I have watched as you idly stood by when I was attacked," she wrote.

She pointed out that the elections department had abandoned impartiality and common sense, embracing instead what she termed as extremist rhetoric. "Clearly, politics are the value this administration desires in a place where politics have no place: election administration," Roll stated in her email.

In an interview, Roll emphasized the significance of her departure by saying that she had "quit" as opposed to having "resigned". According to her, there is a big difference between the two.

County Manager Leo Lew responded with a statement thanking Roll for her service, especially during challenging times. While he disagreed with Roll's assessment, he acknowledged her as an impactful public servant. "She has been an impactful public servant, and I wish her the best and know that she will continue to do great things in her career," Lew stated.

The departure of the Pinal County elections director adds to the woes of an already troubled elections department. Last year, Pinal County Election Department faced issues when it mailed approximately 63,000 defunct ballots to voters a month before the primary election. This was accompanied by a shortage of ballots at some polling places.

Roll's departure also highlights a concerning trend in the electoral landscape across the nation. According to a survey conducted by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, there is an expected wave of local election officials leaving their positions before the 2024 election. The survey conducted from March 2 to April 3, indicates that 30% of the local officials surveyed had been personally harassed, abused, or threatened, and 22% knew of other election officials who had left their positions due to fear for their safety, increased threats, or intimidation. Additionally, a staggering 73% of the respondents felt that threats against election workers had increased in recent years.

Pinal County residents have expressed mixed reactions to Roll's departure. While some support her stance against politicization within the elections department, others believe it to be a political move in itself.

As Pinal County searches for a new elections director, questions about the impartiality and safety of election workers remain a hot topic among the community.
Michael Mitsanas, NBC News Journalist Tweeted: An Arizona county elections director quit on Tuesday, accusing the local elections department of caving to “a faction of the Republican party” and failing to protect her from “intimidation.” Above is Geraldine Roll’s full email to the Pinal County supervisor
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Sunday, 14 July 2024

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