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'Safe and secure': Maricopa County officials respond to false voter fraud accusations after dumpster-diving incident

"They did...climb into the dumpster outside the building and remove trash," the Maricopa County Recorder's Office said in a statement.

MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. — Three people attempted to break into the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center and went through the center's dumpster on Saturday, the Maricopa County Recorder's Office said.

"Camera footage shows that those three attempted to unlawfully pry open our warehouse doors, but were unsuccessful," Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer said in a press release Tuesday. "They did, however, climb into the dumpster outside the building and remove trash.”

Photos circulated online over the weekend posted by the dumpster-diving individuals shared multiple previously debunked claims of election fraud in the county. This weekend's claims also included a picture of what were claimed to be shredded ballots from the 2020 election. 

The recorder's office and the county's elections department have both responded to the claims posted over the weekend, reinstating that the election process in the county is "safe and secure."

"Maricopa County has not, and would never destroy voted ballots until legally authorized to do so after the 24-month retention period," county elections department spokeswoman Megan Gilbertson said in a statement.

"None of the ballots or other General Election materials from the vault were in the garbage, and as a matter of business, the county can and does throw out trash."

The recorder's office echoed the statement, saying all of the 2.1 million legally voted ballots from the 2020 election are safe and accounted for in the Elections Department vault.

"What we cannot have, and what nobody should be comfortable with, is individuals attempting to break into secure facilities potentially interrupting the legal processes currently underway, as well as an election currently in process for the City of Goodyear," the recorder's office said.

The Maricopa County Elections Department has said it has plans to follow up with law enforcement about the dumpster diving and attempted break in.

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