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Voters — And One Alleged Signature Gatherer — Say Their Names Were Forged For Arizona Candidate

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At least four voters say their signatures were forged on petitions to qualify an Arizona Libertarian candidate running for Congress to appear on the ballot, according to a report from the Arizona Republic. And now a man whose name is listed as one of the signature gatherers says his name was also forged and claims he’s not involved.

Michelle Martin is seeking to get on the ballot in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, which includes part of Maricopa County. Martin needed roughly 800 signatures from registered voters to qualify, and her team reportedly submitted approximately 1,200 signatures.

But among the signers’ names were at least four people who claim they never signed any document supporting Martin’s candidacy, the Arizona Republic reported after speaking with those voters.

“That is definitely not me,” Phoenix resident Stephen Riordan said. “Not even close to my signature. That’s very upsetting.”

Shannon Speagle and two other residents told the Arizona Republic a similar story.

“I’m disappointed,” Speagle reportedly said. “It completely delegitimizes this candidacy.” According to the outlet:

Speagle said she got in touch with three of her other neighbors on Friday after learning through The Republic they also were listed on the petition. All three said the images of their signatures were ‘bogus,’ too, Speagle said.

The four signatures were allegedly collected by three different people.

Nine individuals were listed as conducting the signature gathering. One of the nine names was Jeremy Garrett, and as the Republic noted, a Jeremy Garrett on LinkedIn is listed as working for the leftist group Our Voice Our Vote.

But in an update to its story on Monday, the Republic said Garrett told reporters he had no idea who Martin was and was not involved at all with the effort to collect signatures.

“I don’t know why I’m being involved in something I didn’t even do,” Garrett told The Republic. “I’ve never gathered signatures before. I’ve never done any signing of anything. I’ve never collected ballots for people. I’ve not signed anything.”

Garrett claimed the signature next to his name was also forged and “presented photos of his passport and driver’s license signed simply with the letter ‘J,’ contrary to the petition paperwork, which is signed with his first and last name.”

A spokesman for the Arizona Secretary of State’s office told The Federalist after this article’s initial publication that any challenges to candidates will not be posted until April 15. He did not answer The Federalist’s question as to whether Secretary Fontes is investigating the matter.

The Arizona Republic has previously described Our Voice Our Vote as a “dark money” organization “that does not have to name its donors.” Our Voice Our Vote is funded in part by Democracy Alliance and by the Open Society Foundation, which is funded by left-wing billionaire George Soros.

Our Voice Our Vote did not respond to an inquiry about the allegations.

Arizona’s 1st Congressional District is currently represented by Republican David Schweikert. The seat is currently viewed as a toss-up, according to the Cook Political Report.

“Arizona is going to be one of the handful of most competitive states for president,” elections analyst at the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia Kyle Kondik said in December, according to Cronkite News. “And at least two congressional districts, in Schweikert and Ciscomani’s seats, that are going to be among the most competitive in the nation.”

This article has been updated since publication.


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