On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that Mark Rissi of Hiawatha, Iowa has been arrested after calling in a death threat to the Maricopa County, Arizona Board of Supervisors over conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election being stolen.
"In the messages, he allegedly threatened to hang officials for the 'theft of the 2020 election,'" reported Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling. "The 64-year-old Iowa man could face up to ten years for threatening officials over state lines, and faces an additional count for making a threatening call, which could carry with it another two years behind bars."
“Hello ... I am glad that you are standing up for democracy and want to place your hand on the Bible and say that the election was honest and fair,” said Rissi in the call, which he placed on September 27. “I really appreciate that. When we come to lynch your stupid lying Commie [expletive], you’ll remember that you lied on the [expletive] Bible, you piece of [expletive]. You’re gonna die, you piece of [expletive]. We’re going to hang you. We’re going to hang you.”
There is no evidence of any sort that the 2020 election was stolen, and arguments that the result was illegitimate have been rejected in dozens of courts.
Arizona is a key focus of far-right conspiracy theorists, as Biden only carried the state by fewer than 11,000 votes. Republicans in the state Senate commissioned a controversial private "audit" of the results that found no misconduct and led to a flurry of litigation over the auditors' transparency. Republicans have nominated a slate of election deniers for key races, including former news anchor Kari Lake for governor and state Sen. Mark Finchem for secretary of state.
Threats and harassment against election officials have grown common since the 2020 election; in Gillespie County, Texas, the entire election staff of the county ended up resigning over the abuse.