Arizona Prayer Rally Under Surveillance As Members Gather In ‘Free Speech Zone’

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Authored by Allan Stein via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Republican pastor Jerone Davison addresses a prayer rally outside the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in Phoenix, Ariz., on Nov. 14, 2022, under the watchful eye of sheriff’s deputies. (Allan Stein/The Epoch Times)

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.

 

Participants at a prayer rally outside the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on offered prayers for a fair and accurate vote tally on Nov. 14, 2022. (Allan Stein/The Epoch Times) 

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?”

‘Zero Confidence’

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.”

 

A woman holds an Arizona “Gadsden Flag” during a post-election prayer rally in Phoenix on Nov. 14, 2022. (Allan Stein/The Epoch Times) 

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.

“Everybody talks about voter suppression all the time,” Dillard told The Epoch Times at the prayer rally. “Voter suppression is super long lines. The morning polls are when people are on their way to work. They can’t stay and wait around for them to fix a printer.

These people are going on election day to vote in person for a reason. They were disenfranchised. Turned away. Many people did not vote.

“It’s worse than it was back in 2020,” said Gage, a Maricopa County poll worker at the prayer rally, who said both tabulators at his precinct center stopped working during early voting.

He said he saw many voters step out of line and leave out of frustration.

“They had to go. They didn’t have time to stand and wait any longer,” Gage told The Epoch Times.

County election officials said that ballot tabulators at 20 percent of polling sites malfunctioned on election day despite testing before the election.

“You would think you’d double-time it, making sure those printers worked,” Russo said..

At press conferences before the election, county election officials cautioned against what they described as “false narratives” of election fraud on social media as law enforcement promised to investigate any complaints of voter intimidation.

“I have plenty of cells for you,” Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said at a press conference on Nov. 7.

“There’s a better option.”

Republican pastor Jerone Davison, who led Monday’s prayer rally, asked for divine guidance and assurance that county election workers count all ballots fairly and accurately.

“If we allow [fraud], this will be the beginning of your greatest regret in your entire life. This is only the beginning of great trouble and sorrow if we allow it,” Davison said.

 

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