PHOENIX, Ariz.—Angie Russo chuckled at the clear blue urban sky over Phoenix and said, “You see the drones? We got drones.”
One law enforcement camera drone was visible, buzzing overhead in a stationary position.
Russo then noticed two armed police officers in body armor positioned atop the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC).
Another pair were on the building across the street, watching her location with binoculars.
“We got snipers—because we’re dangerous. Can’t you see how dangerous we are?” Russo said jokingly.
At 1 p.m., Russo was among the first to arrive at a prayer rally outside the fortified perimeter of the county’s main tabulation center on Nov. 14.
That the gathering took place inside an official “free speech zone” didn’t sit well with Russo, who thought it “ridiculous.”
“I live in America. Everywhere is free speech,” she said.
And the heavy show of law enforcement and surveillance?
Intimidating, Russo told The Epoch Times.
“Unfortunately, this is how they treat you. If you’re an American who believes in the Constitution and free speech, this is what you get.”
“If you’re not hiding something, why would you do this? I don’t usually barricade something I’m not hiding, you know what I’m saying?”
Inside the facility, ballot workers continued their slow, laborious tallying of ballots though a clear winner in the race for Arizona governor remained in doubt Monday afternoon.
However, NBC News projected Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs would defeat Republican Kari Lake in Arizona’s race for governor, 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent, hours later.
“Do I have faith [in the process]?” Russo said. “At this point, you’d have to prove that an election is legitimate. I won’t believe it unless I have proof—so no. I have zero confidence in our elections.”
All Michelle Dillard, a conservative Republican from Mesa, said she wanted was “legitimate results,” given widespread reports of ballot tabulator machine failure on election day.
By Allan Stein