The Pima County Recorder has asked for an investigation into a candidate who posted photos on his Facebook page taken within the 75-foot limit at an early-ballot drop-off site.
F. Ann Rodriguez said she was “shocked” that Vic Williams, a former state legislator and a candidate for Pima County supervisor in District 1, “would violate state statutes, particularly after he was specifically told that photos were prohibited.”
Williams shrugged off the allegation hours after posting the photos Thursday, saying, “I would never intentionally do anything wrong.”
“My pictures are on there and if I’ve done something illegal we’ll see about that but I don’t think I have,” he said. “But (this is) typical Pima County Democratic government trying to spin something up.”
Rodriguez said Williams was with two people who were turning in early ballots Thursday at the Pima County walk-in early voting site at the Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Administrative offices on River Road.
Rodriguez said Williams asked for permission to take photos where ballots were being taken and was told it was not permitted by state law. Williams confirmed that exchange in an interview.
“So I walked outside to the lobby and I walked outside to the foyer and took some pictures outside and in the lobby,” he said.
When told some of his photos showed the area were ballots were turned in, he said, “We’ll take a look at that. If there’s some evidence I’ve done some wrong-doing, obviously we’ll deal with it.”
State law prohibits taking photos inside an early voting or Election Day polling site and within 75 feet of the door of a polling place or early voting site, according to Rodriguez, and signs are posted.
In a later Facebook post Thursday, Williams said the Recorder’s Office “has made potentially false and libelous allegations about my campaign. The Recorder's Office is misconstruing and making false statements about events earlier today.”
Rodriguez is asking the Pima County Attorney’s Office for “investigation and possible prosecution for violations of state law.” She said it is a class 2 misdemeanor to take a photograph inside or within 75 feet of a polling place or walk-in early voting site.
“Mr. Williams did not cast a ballot at the site,” according to a press release from Rodriguez’s office. “His entire purpose of being there was apparently to take these illegal photos.”
Williams posted seven photos on his Facebook page that show him within the 75-foot limit.
Rodriguez also said Williams violated a county mandate to wear a mask in common areas of county facilities, referring to a photo that shows him without a mask and a person he was with wearing one.
She said it was “concerning that he would also recklessly endanger my staff and the staff of the Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Department by removing his mask solely to take a publicity photo.”
Williams posted on his Facebook page that “a couple of voters” had “reached out for a ride so they could cast there (sic) ballots at a (sic) Early Voting location. Hey guys thanks for your support and your votes.”