Missouri man charged with making threat to Arizona election official

Posted at 8:42 AM, Aug 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-17 11:49:23-04

PHOENIX — A Missouri man has been indicted for allegedly making a threat toward a Maricopa County election official.

In a release, the U.S. Department of Justice says 50-year-old Walter Lee Hoornstra is being accused of leaving a voicemail with the threat on a personal cell phone of an election official in the Maricopa County Recorder's office last May.

*ABC15 has chosen not to relay the content of the threatening messaging due to its vulgar nature.*

“These unlawful threats of violence endanger election officials, undermine our electoral process, and threaten our democracy,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The department’s Election Threats Task Force, working with our partners across the country, remains committed to investigating and prosecuting such illegal threats to ensure that these public servants are able to do their jobs free from intimidation.”

If convicted, Hoornstra could serve up to five years in prison for making a threatening interstate communication, and another two years for making a threatening telephone call.

“The FBI is committed to vigorously investigating and holding accountable anyone who threatens election workers,” said Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “These public servants protect our fundamental right to vote by administering fair and free elections. Any attempts to interfere with our elections by intimidating election officials, their staffs, and volunteers with threats of violence will not be tolerated.”