Arizona Election Worker Who Stole Device Was Hired Despite Prior Arrest

Surveillance footage from mid-June showed a temporary election worker in Maricopa County, Arizona, purportedly stealing a digital magnetic key from a ballot tabulation center. 

According to court documents, the same individual was arrested just months ago for allegedly stealing from a cash register while employed at a nearby grocery store.

During a news conference on June 25th, the notorious Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates acknowledged that Walter Ringfield (27) was enrolled in a felony diversion program. This fact was not revealed in the suspect’s criminal record check that was performed prior to his employment as a temporary election worker. 

According to Gates, no criminal record was found during the background check. 

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office initiated the case last year.

Authorities added that Ringfield was apprehended once again on Friday in relation to the heist of a security fob from the Phoenix-based Maricopa County Elections facility.

During Tuesday’s news conference, reporters wanted to know whether Maricopa County Sheriff Russ Skinner knew if the theft had political undertones. He said that he was unable to make any speculations at this time, but they are not dismissing the possibility. 

Claims of election fraud have been piling up in Maricopa County in recent years, particularly before the 2020 presidential election, due to the county’s history of problems with tabulation machinery. 

A probable cause statement states that security fobs were utilized during the election in combination with specialized secure tablets. To protect them for the next election, all of the security tablets and fobs will have to be reset. According to Gates, the county alerted the political parties and reprogrammed all of the tabulators.

Video footage shows Ringfield swiping a red wrist lanyard that has keys and a security fob as he walks past a desk and tabulators. He stretched by raising his arms after slipping the keychain and fob into his shorts.

Ringfield’s employer approached him. It wasn’t in Ringfield’s pocket when he returned home, so he informed his boss that if he had taken it by accident, it might be in his vehicle. In a search,  detectives discovered a red plastic lanyard attached to the shifter and a tag that identified the station. However, they were unable to find the fob at that time.

Ringfield was apprehended by police the next day as he stood outside his Phoenix apartment. 

Detectives discovered the fob on a dresser in his bedroom while carrying out a search request.