Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting

THE LATEST


an azcir two-part series (PART I)

Arizona ‘ground zero’ for extremist, anti-government sheriff movement

More than half of Arizona’s county sheriffs are at least partially aligned with a growing movement of so-called “constitutional sheriffs,” with an ideology that threatens to radicalize law enforcement by indoctrinating them with false legal theories about a sheriff’s authority over state and federal government, and a duty to nullify laws they interpret as unconstitutional. A shift toward amplifying misinformation about widespread voter fraud has experts sounding the alarm.

PART II

Experts warn of extremist push to expand sheriffs’ role in elections

Election and domestic extremism experts warn that so-called “constitutional sheriff” groups are compounding problems created by disinformation campaigns and undermining public confidence in elections and law enforcement, setting the stage for situations that can lead to voter intimidation and ultimately subvert free and fair elections.

related: methodology & az sheriff list

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Health


EDUCATION


A Place That Should Know Better

Arnold v. Sarn, a class action lawsuit that called for services for people with serious mental illness regardless of cost, celebrates its fortieth birthday in 2021. The litigation ended in 2014 with a settlement agreement that largely replaced “shall” with “may,” encouraging the system to try its best while softening requirements, and permanently doing away with a court monitor—the last remnant of robust accountability that had been in place for decades. Now Charles “Chick” Arnold, the lead plaintiff, says the agreement should have been more aggressive. An AZCIR series by Amy Silverman


Elections

State, county policies impact rejected ballot rates in November election

Election officials didn’t count 27,327 ballots cast by Arizona voters in the November election, rejecting more than twice the 10,457 votes that flipped the state for President-elect Joe Biden in what was the closest raw vote margin of any state in the nation. The uncounted votes, which are legally rejected by officials for reasons such…


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