It’s time to give thanks, show appreciation to Richer


A welcoming Stephen Richer heads up the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office with knowledge and a dedication to continue meeting the needs of constituents, improving processes and procedures, and instilling confidence in Maricopa County elections.

When 2024 votes are cast in Maricopa, you can be assured that Recorder Richer has devoted his time in office to providing a reliable and principled early voting experience. His dedication, ethical approach and moral compass have given Arizona one of the finest voting systems in the country.

Many do not know that the fast-growing Maricopa County is the second largest voting jurisdiction in the United States, behind only Los Angeles County. The ever-increasing number of voters have created races to become closer than ever in the county as Republicans, Democrats, and so-called “Independents” each make up a third of the voters. This has caused the media to be unable to “call” the elections in many cases because the races come down to the wire.

As an example, you only need to look at the state’s 2022 race for attorney general – that race came down to a difference of just 280 votes. This means media and statisticians were waiting for each daily ballot drop update with bated breath, unlike states like California where one party has a built-in and almost insurmountable registration lead and can therefore be called after the very first day’s ballot count drop. The importance of accuracy is first and foremost. Because of Recorder Richer’s diligence, voters can be assured their vote is correctly counted!

Recorder Richer has made upgrades since taking office in 2021, one of which includes strengthening the signature verification process. The Recorder hired 41 temporary staff members to work on signature verification during the 2022 elections (compared to 29 temporary staff in 2020). Permanent staff and the temps who verified signatures all received proper training, so they were ready for this big job. Another example is Recorder Richer and his team’s diligent work to respond to constituents’ questions, with accuracy and timeliness. They responded to more than 40,000 emails during the 2022 elections — oftentimes in just minutes. Monitoring the effectiveness of all systems across the office better serves constituents and helps to instill confidence in our election process.

It is the Recorder’s responsibility to record public documents, manage voter registration (one of Recorder Richer’s priorities is making certain the voter list is clean and up to date), and administer early voting. The popularity of early voting continues to exceed expectations, with 84% of voters voting by early ballot in the 2022 general election. With this high demand, Recorder Richer and his team are making certain voters have access to the information and resources they need, early voters know the recommended mail-back deadline, and plenty of trained signature verifiers are ready to go when the election rolls around. No eligible voter who wants to vote should miss out. Many citizens have strong opinions on every issue, and by voting, their voices can be heard. Maintaining our democracy and protecting our rights is more important now than ever.

Despite ongoing death threats, conspiracy theories, and unjustifiable personal attacks from those who still cannot accept their defeat, Recorder Richer, along with his devoted and conscientious staff, work tirelessly to improve their already steadfast voting system. Today, many politicians disappoint by not making people their first priority, but Recorder Richer and his team present a sharp contrast by returning calls, promptly answering questions and continually connecting with their constituents.

It is vital the public understands that Recorder Richer and his team want everyone to have a positive government experience, and they are committed to serving Maricopa County constituents and providing voters with information and resources.

Just the Facts is a resource that counters the misinformation and distortion of truth:

Be Ballot Ready contains personalized election information, details about upcoming elections and more information.

Email the Recorder’s Office with questions or comments at [email protected].

Interested groups and organizations are welcome to tour the Maricopa Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC) in downtown Phoenix. And check your local news sources — Recorder Richer regularly answers media questions and participates in interviews, with the goal of keeping the public informed.

Voting today should be an accessible and an easy process. Recorder Richer has made voting in Maricopa County his No. 1 priority. Voters can be confident the person they selected for the job is working hard 24/7 to provide a safe and secure voting system for the entire county.

Not only is Recorder Richer an Arizona Capitol Times Leader of the Year, but he is a leader for all Arizonians.

-Joanie Rose