Politics Electoral rejects are running to control the polls. ...

Electoral rejects are running to control the polls. Here’s how they’ve fared so far


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Rep. of Georgia. Jody Hice speaks during a rally as former President Donald Trump looks on last September. Trump endorsed Hice in the Georgia secretary of state race, falsely believing there was fraud in the 2020 election, but Hice lost.

Shawn Rayford/Getty Images

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Shawn Rayford/Getty Images

Georgia Republican Jody Hice speaks during a rally last September as former President Donald Trump looks on. Trump endorsed Hice in the Georgia secretary of state race, falsely believing there was fraud in the 2020 election, but Hice lost.

Shawn Rayford/Getty Images

Election officials and Democratic experts are sounding the alarm as Republicans who reject the results of the 2020 election are now close to overseeing the voting process in five different states.

Arizona could become No. 6 on Tuesday, when GOP voters there decide in the state’s primary whether they want to nominate one of the two candidates running for secretary of state.

“These are the people who set the rules, who count the votes and are ultimately responsible for protecting the will of the people,” said Joanna Lydgate, CEO of States United Action, a nonpartisan organization that tracks election-decline. Candidates are running across the country for the post of Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State. United States shared it The most recent findings Exclusively with NPR ahead of their release.


“In 2020, when we had a sitting president try to overturn the election, we saw state and local officials across the country who stood up and who defended our freedom to vote,” Lydgate said. “So if we want to see this happen again in the future, we have to make sure that we are putting people in these positions who believe in free and fair elections.”

The duties of a state secretary of state vary, but in most cases, they are the state’s top voting official and play a key role in enforcing election laws.

Across the country, numerous Republican candidates for these positions — and others with some role in election administration, such as governor and attorney general — have falsely admitted that widespread fraud affected the results of the 2020 election.

Twelve of the 16 Republican Secretary of State primaries held so far this year have had at least one candidate questioning the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s 2020 victory, according to States United.

And four of those candidates won seats in the November general election: in Alabama, Indiana, Nevada and New Mexico. A fifth candidate, Christina Karamo of Michigan, won the party’s vote to become the Republican nominee at the endorsement convention in April.

If any of these candidates wins in November and is elected state chief, they could make two key points, says Rick Hassan, director of the Safeguarding Democracy Project at UCLA.

“One: Are they going to run elections fairly? And two: Even if they do, do others trust that they run elections fairly?” Hassan said 1A of NPR. “This can really undermine both the experience on the ground and the confidence that our elections will be conducted fairly.”

Many election deniers have used the false narrative that the 2020 election was rigged as justification for eliminating voter access measures such as ballot drop boxes and other forms of early voting, as well as election security tools such as electronic registration information centers.

Tammy Patrick, a former election official in Arizona and now a senior adviser to the Democracy Fund, called the trend “very troubling.”

“We can discuss policy issues, such as appropriate timelines for voter registration or appropriate security protocols,” Patrick said. “But I never thought we were talking about individuals who controlled our electoral system … who felt they should count their fingers.”

Patrick said she talks to election officials in other countries who look to America for leadership and doesn’t know what to tell them.

“They say things to me like, ‘We look to you to set the standard…and if you’ve been a democracy for hundreds of years and struggled, what hope do we have?’ ”

Will Arizona be No. 6?

Arizona State Representative Mark Finchem October 13, 2021 in Richmond, Va. Speaking during an election rally here. With Trump’s endorsement, Finchem is now running for Arizona Secretary of State.

Steve Helber/AP

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Steve Helber/AP

Arizona’s secretary of state primary will be widely watched on Tuesday, as the state becomes the center of the 2020 election denial movement.

Two of the four Republican candidates running to oversee the polls there have made a name for themselves with election conspiracies.

GOP state Rep. Shawnna Bolick proposed a bill last year that would have allowed the Legislature to override the will of the electorate in selecting presidential electors (a tactic adopted by Donald Trump’s team after the 2020 election).

Mark Finchem, another state representative running for Arizona’s top voting seat, has a resolution To nullify the results of the 2020 elections in the state.

Finchem – long time member of Oath keepersA far-right extremist group — was in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and in an interview with NPR earlier this year he refused to call what happened there a riot or an insurrection.

“What happens when people feel they’ve been ignored, and Congress refuses to acknowledge the blatant fraud. #stopthesteal,” he Tweeted That day, along with a photo of people waving Trump flags on the steps of the Capitol.

Trump endorsed Finchem in the race last September.

There are two Republicans who declined the election Also ongoing For Arizona Secretary of State: Michelle Ugenti-Rita and Beau Lane.

Where Republican voters stand

Although polling data While a majority of Republican voters still believe the 2020 election was affected by fraud, this year’s primary results suggest a more complicated picture, as many prominent election denialists lost races against more moderate candidates who did not spread misinformation about the 2020 results.

Overall, States United found that electoral decliners actually lost the GOP primaries they won in races for governor, attorney general, and secretary of state.

That includes Georgia, which saw Trump-backed Republicans lose the Republican primary for secretary of state to incumbent Brad Raffensperger, who has spent the past two years arguing that the 2020 election was free and fair.

Colorado is also notable, where Election rejection hero And Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who is facing charges of tampering with election equipment, lost her bid for the Republican nomination for secretary of state.

Peters finished second and the winner, former Jefferson County Clerk Pam Anderson, said Colorado Public Radio It was a sign that voters wanted to elect professionals to such offices.

“We want free, accessible and fair elections and push back the political hyper-partisan rhetoric surrounding the administration of elections,” Anderson said.

The United States’ Lydgate, however, cautioned against focusing too much on where the electoral decliners lost. She pointed to Georgia in 2020, when Trump called Raffensperger after the election and pushed him to “find the vote,” saying even one electoral rejection in a position of power was too many.

“If someone else was in that position and willing to go along with it, maybe we would have seen a different outcome,” she said. “The truth is that a single voter in a single state can throw our elections into chaos and threaten our democracy.”

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