Arizona county ousts elections officer after primary fiasco

Just days after a ballot-shortage fiasco in Pinal County, Arizona marred the primary election in the state on Tuesday, the county’s election’s director is out of a job.

In a press release Thursday, the county announced that “David Frisk is no longer in the position of Elections Director and is no longer employed by Pinal County.”

Frisk — who had taken over the job in March, according to the Arizona Mirror — was the county’s third director in just two years.

Pinal County is traditionally a Republican stronghold, with 58 percent of the vote going to former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

However, the state overall had gone for Joe Biden in 2020, despite usually being a GOP lock. That’s what made the debacle in Pinal more problematic.

“Apparently voters were turned away as early as 1 PM and ballots didn’t get brought until later in the evening so the afternoon voters have been disenfranchised,” tweeted Republican state Sen. Kelly Townsend, who lost her race.

“I am calling on the @PinalCounty supervisors to nullify the election and repeat it.”

Frisk’s office was just recovering from a major botch just a few weeks prior, when 60,000 primary ballots went out without municipal races on them.

Frisk will be replaced by County Recorder Virginia Ross.

“Despite rumors to the contrary, Ross did not oversee the Elections Department for this primary election in her role as the County Recorder,” Pinal County said in a statement.

“Ross was in charge of Pinal County Elections in her first term in 2014 and 2016, but with the growth of Pinal County, and as a result, an increase in Recorder responsibilities, an Elections Director was brought in to oversee the Elections Department from 2017. Since that time, the Elections Department has reported to County Management, which is overseen by the Board of Supervisors.”

“Having been the Recorder for Pinal County since 2013, this primary election has been a stinging experience for us all,” Ross said.

“I look forward to involving all stakeholders in Pinal County as we work together to finish this primary election, before immediately turning our attention to the November election.”

Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and the Republican Party of Arizona chairwoman Dr. Kelli Ward released a joint statement applauding the move as a first step.

“Pinal County Elections Director David Frisk’s removal is an important step towards restoring Arizonans’ faith in their elections,” the two said.

“The election failures observed by our joint election integrity program during Arizona’s primary were unacceptable and underscore why transparency at the ballot box is so important,” they continued.

“Republicans will continue to hold incompetence accountable, fight for transparency, and make it easier to vote and harder to cheat in Arizona and nationwide.”