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Phoenix Election Worker Allegedly Stole Security Fob for Vote Tabulation Machines

 June 26, 2024

A temporary election worker in Maricopa County, Arizona has been accused of stealing a security fob and keys, leading to intensive reprogramming efforts and heightened security concerns for the election equipment.

This incident in the Phoenix area highlights the stringent security measures in place and the potentially serious legal consequences of breaching them, as The Blaze reports.

Discovery of Missing Election Materials Sparks Concern

On Friday morning, personnel at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in Phoenix, Arizona, discovered that a security fob and keys were missing. Immediate concerns about the security of election equipment arose.

Surveillance footage provided crucial evidence in the case. It showed Walter Ringfield Jr., a 27-year-old temporary election worker, taking the items around 5 p.m. the previous day.

When confronted by authorities, Ringfield initially denied any involvement. However, he later suggested that the items might be in his car.

Items Recovered During Searches

Authorities conducted a search of Ringfield's vehicle, where they found the missing lanyard but not the security fob itself. The investigation did not stop there.

Law enforcement officers then proceeded to search Ringfield's home. The missing fob was eventually found in Ringfield's master bedroom.

Ringfield claimed that he took the items to "clean up" and intended to make his temporary job permanent. His actions nevertheless disrupted the election preparations.

Substantial Costs for Reprogramming Machines

The security of the tabulation machines was of paramount importance. According to the protocols, access to these machines requires both the security fob and a password.

To safeguard the integrity of the upcoming elections, election workers had to reprogram the machines and conduct thorough logic and accuracy testing. The cost of these procedures surpasses $19,000.

Jennifer Liewer, a spokesperson for the elections department, emphasized the ongoing efforts to uphold the integrity of Maricopa County Elections.

Ringfield's Legal Troubles and Political Aspirations

Ringfield was arrested and charged with felony criminal damage and misdemeanor theft. He is currently being held without bail as the investigation continues.

This isn't Ringfield's first run-in with the law. Last fall, he faced felony theft charges for allegedly stealing over $1,000 from Fry's Food And Drug.

Despite his legal troubles, Ringfield had political ambitions. He previously registered as a Democrat and was interested in running for the 2024 U.S. Senate race in Arizona. His social media showcased photos with several high-profile Democrats.

Support from Family Amid Controversy

Ringfield recently graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in political science. His father, Walter Ringfield Sr., expressed unwavering support, stating his intent to reserve judgment until all facts are known.

The timing of this incident is critical. Mail-in ballots for the state primary elections are scheduled to be mailed out next week. primary election day in Arizona is slated for July 30.

The Office of the Arizona Secretary of State noted that while the event was indeed unwelcome, it underscored the robustness of the security protocols embedded in Arizona's election systems.


The arrest of Walter Ringfield Jr. for allegedly stealing a security fob and keys has led to significant security concerns and financial costs for the Maricopa County election process.

Actions are being taken to reprogram and test the election equipment to ensure its integrity. Meanwhile, Ringfield remains in custody, and his family anticipates further developments as the investigation unfolds.