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Top National Leader of Turning Point Resigns After Claims of Election Fraud

PHOENIX — A top leader of the national conservative group Turning Point Action, which has amplified false claims of election fraud by former president Donald Trump and others, resigned Thursday after being accused of forging voter signatures on official paperwork so that he could run for reelection in the Arizona House. State Rep. Austin Smith (R) — who was senior director at Turning Point Action, the campaign arm of Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA — was accused by a Democratic activist of submitting petition sheets with rows of voter names, addresses and signatures that “bear a striking resemblance” to Smith’s handwriting, according to a complaint. Smith “personally circulated multiple petition sheets bearing what appear to be forged voter signatures,” the complaint said. The complaint was sent to the Arizona secretary of state, who forwarded it to the Arizona attorney general for review. State election officials do not assess the veracity of allegations made against candidates. A spokesperson for the state prosecutor’s office, which runs a team that focuses on claims of voter and election fraud after widespread claims following the 2020 election, declined to comment. Both state offices are overseen by Democrats.

Smith submitted his resignation to Turning Point Action on Thursday, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about it publicly. Smith also publicly ended his reelection campaign. Smith did not respond to a request for comment.

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