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Ozark County man charged with threatening Arizona election official

The federal courthouse in Springfield, Mo. is shown on June 29, 2022.
Gregory Holman/KSMU
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The federal courthouse in Springfield, Mo. is shown on June 29, 2022.

The Department of Justice announced Wednesday that a rural Ozark County man was charged after leaving a threatening voicemail on the personal cellphone of an Arizona election official.

The 2020 election saw President Joe Biden win Arizona’s 11 electors by some 10,000 popular votes. That led to allegations, which have since proven false, that the state’s electoral votes had been won by former President Donald Trump.

50-year-old Walter Lee Hoornstra, of Tecumseh, Missouri, was charged with one count of communicating an interstate threat and one count of making a threatening telephone call.

DOJ said the call took place in May of last year. Hoornstra is alleged to have told the Maricopa County, Arizona official that he needed to “check yourself” — or he “will never make it to your next little board meeting."

Justice officials said if convicted on both counts, Hoornstra faces up to seven years in prison.

Gregory Holman is a KSMU reporter and editor focusing on public affairs and investigations.