Democracy Had Good Run, But Trumpy Ratf*kers Now Taking Over Running Local Elections
Rarely is the question asked: Is our Republican electoral ratfuckers learning? At first you might think they aren't, since so many believers of Donald Trump's Big Lie are still insisting on holding Arizona-style "audits" of elections in states where the votes have been tallied and retallied and there's still no proof of fraud. But while Republican ratfuckers may be idiots who are disconnected from reality, they also know that the attempt to throw out the results of the 2020 election was thwarted in part because state and local election officials insisted on doing their jobs and running clean elections, which is why it's so important to harass them until they resign in fear for their lives. The harassers are, in fact, quite proud of what they've done, because it's to save America.
As the Washington Post reports, Republican ratfuck enthusiasts are also working like crazy to take over the machinery of running elections wherever they can. Most noticeably, a lot of committed Trumpers are running for statewide office; WaPo has tallied up "10 running for secretary of state and eight running for attorney general" across the country. Beyond that, Republicans are also working to get Trump loyalists and Big Lie advocates working at the local level in administering elections and counting and certifying the votes.
Citing the need to make elections more secure, Trump allies are also seeking to replace officials across the nation, including volunteer poll watchers, paid precinct judges, elected county clerks and state attorneys general, according to state and local officials, as well as rally speeches, social media posts and campaign appearances by those seeking the positions.
Now, such jobs have traditionally been seen as nonpartisan, technocratic positions. But that might mean Democrats still win elections by getting more votes, a clearly unfair result, so it's only fair that Republicans balance things out by making sure only legal Republican votes count.
It sort of stands to reason, at least in the way that some Republicans vote twice just to offset a little bit of the vote fraud by Democrats they're convinced is going on. Since Democrats have clearly rigged the elections, it's only fair to rig them for Republicans instead, to Take Their Country Back. It's also the same "logic" that drives a lot of rightwing media: The mainstream press has a liberal bias, so of course news needs to be given a rightward slant, even if it's dishonest. Gotta save America, after all.
But wouldn't you know it, Democrats and even some Republicans who don't understand democracy think it might be a bad idea to have elections run by committed partisans who believe loony conspiracy theories.
“The attacks right now are no longer about 2020,” said Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D). “They’re about 2022 and 2024. It’s about chipping away at confidence and chipping away at the reality of safe and secure elections. And the next time there’s a close election, it will be easier to achieve their goals."
And so you have states like Michigan, where Republicans are dedicated to not allowing any more of that nonpartisan independent crap in vote counting ever again. You've got Matthew DePerno, one of the leaders of the failed lawsuit to overturn the election results in Antrim County (where Trump won) running for attorney general. Another Trumpenloon, Kristina Karamo, who claimed she saw absolutely true but unprovable fraud in the vote count in Detroit, is running for secretary of state. Both have been endorsed by Trump.
But Republicans are also pushing to get loyalists on local canvassing boards, which count and certify the vote. The four-person boards have two Republicans and two Democrats for balance, but a lot of the Republicans aren't the right kind of Republicans for Trumpy types.
William Hartmann and Monica Palmer, the two Republican board members in Wayne County, home of Detroit, received calls directly from Trump, they later said in interviews.
Both initially voted not to certify, then reversed themselves after receiving promises that the vote would be audited. They then tried unsuccessfully to rescind their votes.
Palmer was replaced by Republican Robert Boyd, who told the Post he probably would not have certified the 2020 vote. But don't worry! He's got religion, so he'll do great:
“I am really interested in the integrity of elections, and I am a Christian, so I want to make sure that we do the best job we can and be as transparent as we can . . . so elections can be trusted.”
Gosh, not a bit of buzzwording there, so you know he's trustworthy. The Post notes that Boyd was one of three people the Wayne County GOP considered for the post, and that all three "have expressed support for Trump’s false claims of fraud." Count your blessings, Detroit; they didn't go with the lady who attended the January 6 rally or the other lady who was a "witness" at Rudy Giuliani's bizarre post-election parade of people telling a Michigan state Senate committee they all saw something nasty in the vote shed.
Update: We had initially said that Mr. Hartmann remained on the board, but an Alert Reader points out that today, the poor man died of COVID, so we guess the Wayne County GOP will have another shot at putting a Trumper on the canvassing board. WaPo had noted he was hospitalized, but when the story was published Monday, he had not yet died. Wonkette regrets the error. Yipes!
But wait, there's more!
In Michigan’s third-largest county, Macomb, Republican officials appointed to the canvassing board a former Republican poll challenger, Nancy Tiseo, who tweeted shortly after the 2020 election that Trump should suspend meetings of the electoral college and have “military tribunals” investigate claims about election fraud.
Thank heaven serious people will be doing serious things with the 2022 and 2024 votes.
There's plenty more where that came from, in plenty of other states, too, and you really should read the WaPo story if you have any free articles available, if only to relish how virtually none of the new election folks anywhere would reply to a request for comment. That Wayne County guy seems to have been a rare Boyd indeed.
Fortunately, despite the rather disturbing news that rightwingers are sharing job listings for local election administration positions on social media, at least complete crazies aren't likely to take over some of the more sensitive jobs. For instance, while a Steve Bannon fan shared an opening for an "IT Technical Project Manager” in the Colorado Secretary of State's office on a Let's Audit Everything channel on Telegram, Griswold reassured WaPo that
she was “aware that election conspiracists are encouraging people to apply for jobs in our office.” But she added that safeguards are in place that will screen out such applicants.
“Many of the positions require a high level of expertise or skill that just can’t be falsified,” she said. “Positions are available only to Colorado residents. You have to pass reference checks and background checks.”
So hooray, those jobs will only be available to highly skilled computer users, and what are the chance of them being Trumpist whackaloons?
Everything should be just fine.
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