ICYMI: ADLCC Exposes Austin Smith Signature Fraud, Smith Drops Out of Race

Earlier this month, the Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (ADLCC) highlighted the contested ballot-qualifying signatures of Austin Smith (LD- 29) who has since “dropped his reelection bid after being accused of personally forging more than 100 petition signatures.“  Smith “took no accountability for the allegedly fraudulent signatures,” lying to Arizona voters and fabricating local support.

“Arizona’s MAGA Republicans think they can lie their way into office but we aren’t going to let them,” said Arizona Democratic Party Chairwoman Yolanda Bejarano. “Thanks to the incredible work of the ADLCC, we are running competitive, democratic candidates in every legislative district; we are prepared to hold these Republicans accountable for their extremist record; and we are on track to flip the legislature in November.”

As reported in the Arizona Mirror: 

  • The signatures “obviously look like they were all written by the same person.”
  • Two of his supposed petition signers told the court, in statements submitted along with a lawsuit challenging his nominating petitions, that they never signed the petition. 
  • Smith announced that he was dropping out of the race on Thursday, just days after the signature challenge was filed by Democratic precinct committeeman Jim Ashurst. 
  • Smith is now “facing a possible criminal investigation into his signatures after state elections officials forwarded his petition signatures to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.”
  • Per Arizona law, if Smith is found guilty of forging the signatures, Smith would also be banned from seeking office for five years. 
  • Smith has chosen to not defend his actions in court.

The Arizona Democratic Party has successfully filed in all 9 congressional districts, at least one Democrat has filed in all 30 legislative districts with a total of 93 candidates filing, Arizona’s Corporation Commission and county offices across the state. Each of the Democratic candidates offer voters an agenda that contrasts what is being pushed by the GOP— conspiracy theories, extremism and restrictions of our most basic freedoms. Voters can learn more about key issues and initiatives within the Arizona Democratic Party at azdem.org

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