Sheriff Penzone: Protecting the 'free vote' is the 'unequivocal priority' on Election Day

Published: Monday, November 7, 2022 - 6:29pm
Updated: Tuesday, November 8, 2022 - 9:10am

In the weeks leading up to Election Day, Maricopa County voters and poll workers have expressed concerns over their safety.

During a press conference Monday, Sheriff Paul Penzone said his deputies will do everything they can to protect democracy on Nov. 8.

“We will have deputies that will be out in plain clothes, keeping an eye on polling sites because we don’t want voters to feel uncomfortable if they see a military-esque, or law enforcement presence," Penzone said. "But if there is a need for us to deploy some uniformed deputies, then we will.” 

Penzone said it doesn't make him happy that they're taking deputies from other assignments to do so, but protecting the "free vote" is the "unequivocal priority." He added that words have consequences too.

"To some of my colleagues who are either in leadership or pursuing it, your words matter," he said. "If you choose words that invoke violence, you will be listed on the criminal reports," he said. 

Politics Elections