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The Justice Department announced on Wednesday that it had charged a Missouri man for leaving threatening voicemails for an Arizona election worker following the 2020 presidential election, signaling the latest effort by the department to mitigate the threats against election workers.
Walter Lee Hoornstra, 50, was charged with one count of communicating an interstate threat and one count of making a threatening telephone call, according to the DOJ. The indictment, handed down on Tuesday, alleges that on May 19, 2021, Hoornstra left a voicemail message on a Maricopa County election official's cell phone.
In the voicemail message, he allegedly said: "You call things unhinged and insane lies when there's a forensic audit going on. You need to check yourself. You need to do your fucking job right because other people from other states are watching your ass. You fucking renege on this deal or give them any more troubles, your ass will never make it to your next little board meeting."
Hoornstra could face up to seven years in prison if convicted of these charges, according to the DOJ.
During the 2020 presidential election, Arizona was one of the key battleground states that President Joe Biden ultimately won. Following the election results, then-President Donald Trump declared that election fraud occurred in Maricopa County and called for an audit. Cyber Ninjas in Maricopa County conducted a GOP-led audit. The company ultimately concluded that there was no evidence of election fraud, despite Trump and others insisting there was.
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