GOP Activists and Candidates Set the Stage to Claim Elections They Lose Are Stolen

The most recent example is Trump’s attorney, Christina Bobb, who said in a recent interview that it will look “highly suspicious” if states fail to determine results by Election Night or early Wednesday. However, GOP activists across the country have been encouraging voters to wait until Election Day to cast their ballots in person or deliver their ballots by mail.

Arizona features perhaps the largest and most competitive racing lineup in the nation, including races for Senate, Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General. In Maricopa County, where the vast majority of the state’s votes are concentrated, Supervisor Bill Gates has stressed that the results may not be known until Friday.

That’s because hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots are expected to arrive in mailboxes on Election Day. That will require verifying voter signatures, a lengthy process that by law won’t begin until Wednesday. If too many people don’t vote early, there will also be long lines, further stressing vote centers and the teams responsible for counting.

Gates, a former election attorney for the Arizona Republican Party, led a press conference on election eve in Phoenix on “disinformation.” Although he did not name names, Gates mentioned the type of messages that Hamadeh, Bobb and others have been advocating as the most problematic.

This disinformation campaign, Gates said, “went into gear” last week.

At the same time, Republican activist groups and even candidates have been instructing their voters to cast ballots in a way that could lead to long lines and processing delays. Mark Finchem, the Republican candidate for secretary of state and a staunch election denier, is among those encouraging voters to show up on Election Day.

The guidance for Republican voters echoes what Trump did in 2020, when Democrats were expected to vote in large numbers by mail due to concerns about the pandemic. Trump built a campaign around delegitimizing mail-in ballots and even tried to stop them from being counted, prompting a spate of baseless legal challenges and even a draft executive order for the military to seize voting machines.

In an interview with POLITICO, Gates said he fears a repeat after voting day. If Republicans win, “they can say ‘we outvoted fraud,’” as gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake did during her primary contest, Gates said. “If you lose, then you can say, ‘Oh, look at all these terrible things that happened on Election Day.’ I’m thinking that’s probably it,” Gates said.

“If you’re planning on complaining about how long it takes to count ballots, which they’re already doing, and yet they’re working to make it harder to count ballots faster,” said David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Research and Innovation. , “makes you wonder if that’s intentional.” The center is a nonprofit organization that works with election officials.

In a sign of how worried Democrats are about a list of GOP “election deniers” sweeping the state’s top executive jobs, it was at a Nov. 3 meeting. rally in this state that former President Barack Obama warned that democracy “may not survive.”

It appears that the push for last-minute voting is based on a conspiracy theory that Democrats can rig voting machines. State Sen. Wendy Rogers, a Republican who backed a partisan review of the 2020 ballots in Maricopa County, told One America News Network viewers last month that “we need to vote on the last day, on election day, so they don’t know how much to cheat.”

Gates stressed that all voting machines must pass tests before the election and manual recounts of “statistically significant batches” are conducted by bipartisan groups.

Meanwhile, Finchem has suggested he won’t accept his own race results if he loses and will demand a manual recount. At the news conference, Gates was asked if any of the Republican candidates for governor, Senate, secretary of state and attorney general in the past two years accepted a standing invitation to tour the tabulation center given his concerns. “None of them,” Gates said.

Calls to vote only on Election Day, while longer count times are questioned, are rampant. “Any state that doesn’t count all the votes and announce the winner Tuesday night is incompetent,” said Richard Grenell, a close Trump ally and former ambassador to Germany, tweeted last week.

Maryland affairs reported that an assistant Michael Peroutka, the Republican candidate for state attorney general, encouraged voters to “form long lines” by arriving two hours before polls close on Election Day. “Vote on November 8 as late as possible,” campaign coordinator Macky Stafford said. “If everyone could make long lines at 6 o’clock, that would really help us.”

In Georgia, a recent online flyer from a grassroots group said, “Voting in person and on Election Day is the only way to overwhelm the system.” the Associated Press reported.

More recently, some Republican candidates have contradicted those instructions. “If you have a mail-in ballot, I think you should mail it in. I want people to vote,” Lake said. reporters this month. “And vote how you want to vote, but vote.”

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