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GOP Elections Official Fires Back At Elon Musk After He Shares False Voter Registration Claim

After Elon Musk shared 'extremely concerning' and extremely false voter registration information, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican, fired back with facts.

Stephen Richer; Elon Musk
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images; Saul Martinez/Getty Images

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican official, shut down billionaire Elon Musk on X after he made a false voter registration claim, countering Musk's lies with necessary facts.

Earlier, Musk said it was "extremely concerning" that the "number of voters registering without a photo ID is SKYROCKETING in 3 key swing states," as claimed by the far-right X account End Wokeness.

The account claimed that the states in question—Arizona, Texas, and Pennsylvania—have allowed millions of people to register without photo identification and linked to data from the Social Security Administration (SSA) to bolster its point.

You can see Musk's post below.

Musk's post quickly caught Richer's attention—so he engaged in a quick fact-check thanks to having "easy access to Maricopa County's data -- which makes up 62% of Arizona."

He swiftly called out Musk with the following remarks:

"Only 39,653 new voters have registered in Maricopa County in 2024 in total. For Arizona, that number is about 60,000."
"Arizona's voter rolls have actually been going down. In Maricopa County, we've gone from about 2.6 million active registered voters in 2020 to about 2.4 million active registered voters in 2024."
"SSA is not used to check citizenship. It's used to check proof of identity."
"Motor Vehicle Divisions are typically used for proof of citizenship. In Arizona, since October 1, 1996, drivers have had to provide proof of citizenship for driver's licenses (except Type F). We use this data to confirm citizenship for the vast majority of registration applicants. We also have some other tools at our disposal, or we communicate directly with the voter to get documentation."

Richer pointed out that if a prospective voter "cannot provide documented proof of citizenship, but still attests under penalty of law that he is a citizen, he goes on what is called the 'Federal Only' list in Arizona." He noted "there are 20,768 registered voters on the Federal Only list" in Maricopa County and that there are only "30,000 for all of Arizona."

Richer stressed that "these people attest that they are U.S. Citizens, but they have not provided documented proof." Additionally, the majority of studies "show that these people are disproportionately college-aged students (perhaps who don't have ready access to a birth certificate)."

He concluded:

"But there is 0 validity to the suggestion in the original post that 220,731 illegal immigrants have registered in Arizona in 2024. Hope this helps."
"We loved the recent rocket launch that we could see in the Arizona sky. Thanks for all the cool sciencey stuff you continue to do."

You can see his post below.

Richer's response was exactly the fact-based retort that Musk needed—and many joined Richer in calling him out.

Richer has taken a very vocal stance against voting misinformation.

Last month, Richer defended the mail-in voting process in Arizona after voter Aubrey Savela, who identifies as a field representative for the right-wing nonprofit Turning Point Action posted a photo of two mail-in ballots and early voting packets on X and tried to put the county on blast for sending her two ballots for the upcoming primaries.

Savela said the supposed error is a sign of "Maricopa County at its finest"—alleging election fraud, supposedly enabling people to vote twice. Richer was quick to respond to Savela's insinuations about potential irregularities in the voting system.

He clarified that the mailing of early ballots was based on the information available in the voter registration system, and in this case, Savela had recently updated her address.

Shortly afterward, an X Community Note appeared under Savela's post, noting that her claim was misleading.