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Ken Matta retires from AZ Election Security Office, worries about future elections

Posted at 7:32 PM, May 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-06 22:32:46-04

PHOENIX — After nearly 20 years on the job at the Arizona Secretary of State's Office, Ken Matta announced his last day in the office is Friday, May 6.

Matta spent the past four years in charge of election security.

During his time, Matta criss-crossed the state hundreds of times, conducting thousands of ballot accuracy tests on election equipment in every county.

He worked for five Secretaries of State, from Betsy Bayless to Katie Hobbs. "I think about all the history that's been made in this building," he said sitting in the Secretary of State's conference room on the 7th floor of the Executive Tower.

But if you're around long enough, not all of history is going to be good. Matta said his last years on the job were his most challenging, facing threats against the Secretary of State following the 2020 election.

In classified briefings with U.S. Intelligence Agencies prior to the 2020 election, Matta and others were warned about the level of misinformation related to the election. Still, he said he never expected things would get as bad as they did.

"It's one thing for one candidate in an election to say the election was stolen and throw that process and throw good people running that election under the bus. We were not expecting elected officials and leaders to climb on board that," he said.

But they did and the Republican State Senate President Karen Fann called for an audit.

Matta showed up nearly every day to monitor what was going on. He said the Cyber Ninjas required him to wear a pink shirt so he would stand out and those conducting the audit always knew where he was.

But it's not the past that concerns Matta now. It's the next election. "We don't know who the next boss will be here at the Secretary of State's Office. There is a chance it could be an election denier that takes the reigns here."

Matta will watch the results from the sidelines. He emptied out his desk earlier this week. He did save some mementos from his career at the Secretary of State's Office. Including that pink shirt from audit. He said it makes for a good rag to wash his car.