Jen Fifield for Votebeat:
They started searching for her in late January.
“Where’s CELIA NABOR?” one member of the angry online mob wrote. “Find her,” another wrote. Track her phone, credit cards, social security number, and social media, others suggested. It was time for her to “face the music.” “COULD SHE BE AT HOME????” someone wrote, posting her address.
And then, that same night, after 2 a.m., someone started banging on Celia Nabor’s door.
She lay frozen in bed in her suburban Phoenix neighborhood, terrified, wondering if one of her online harassers had come to follow through on the threats. Then, as abruptly as it had begun, the pounding stopped.
Nabor never found out who knocked on her door that night. What she did know was that the trouble had started earlier that week. On Jan. 30, GOP activists began spreading false information about her, based partly on documents acquired through records requests searching for fraud in Maricopa County’s elections, where Nabor helped oversee early voting.
They said Nabor was dodging a request to answer questions, prompting others to claim she had helped the county steal the election for Democrats. But that wasn’t true.
We The People AZ Alliance — a Phoenix-based political action committee funded primarily by Patrick Byrne and his organization The America Project — employed what’s become a familiar playbook among allies of former President Donald Trump: Barrage local election offices with public records requests, then twist real records to make routine actions seem suspicious.
The organization dug into Nabor’s work, asking for copies of all of her texts and her emails. They asked for information on how she and the employees under her performed their jobs and whether they were disciplined. They wanted protocols and contractor names and contracts and more.
Extensive requests such as these are a complex piece of the ballooning number of public records requests to election offices across the country, according to Votebeat’s review of hundreds of public records requests and logs.