The Trump and Elder campaign falsely claimed fraud before California votes were counted – a growing tactic of the Republican Party
SAN FRANCISCO – Former President Donald Trump’s false allegations of voter fraud found new life in California’s biggest election of the year.
The top Republican, who is seeking to replace Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, declined in his impeachment on Tuesday before the election whether he would accept the results. a Affiliate website He invites visitors to “sign a petition to stop the fraud in the California impeachment vote.” and Previous version of the site – Posted before the election – blamed voter fraud for “returning” Newsom to his position as governor.
There is no evidence for these claims, which were repeatedly amplified this week by former President Donald Trump. But their arrival in the nation’s largest blue state provided evidence of their currency within the Republican Party, as some leaders have increasingly sought to undermine public confidence in Democrats’ victories by claiming that elections are vulnerable to tampering.
With Newsom predicting an impeachment defeat, conservative radio host Larry Elder acknowledged the race early Wednesday morning, telling his fans to be “generous in defeat.” But his campaign tactics in the run-up to the vote — including open threats to cast doubt on the outcome in the event of defeat — suggest the possibility of a new normal, in which Republicans defy election losses even in states with a high density of democracy and without evidence of seriousness. Fraud or breaking the rules.
“California’s voting system standards and testing requirements are the strongest in the country,” said Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, noting that the state requires voter-verified paper ballots and post-election checks.
When asked if she had received reports of possible wrongdoing, Alexander said, “I have not heard any reports of election interference other than attempts by a former president and current alternate candidate to discourage people from voting by making baseless allegations about California election security.”
Election administrators, voting rights advocates, and then-Attorney General William Barr said there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Yet, more than 10 months into that race, however, Republicans in some states remain focused on reviewing President Biden’s victory.
In Pennsylvania, Republican lawmakers Planning to start hearings As part of the investigation into the vote. In Texas, the Senate Recently passed a bill Allow party officials to request a review of election results. And in Arizona, a Detailed report conclusions A review of the GOP-backed ballot was expected as soon as this week.
There are already signs that other Republicans are adopting Trump’s approach ahead of next year’s midterm elections. Adam Laxalt, the Trump-backed Republican who is running to oust Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, has raised concerns about the election’s integrity and discussed the possibility of preemptive lawsuits “to try to toughen the election.” During a radio interview last month.
With no major protests or threats reported on Tuesday, Trump’s campaign allegations and Elder did not appear to incite serious hostility toward election officials on Tuesday. County registrars interviewed by The Post said the vote was quiet.
But Elder raised concerns about what might happen based on what he called the “hoaxes” of 2020. Faced with a backlash from the Republican Party for initially saying Biden won “fairly and directly,” he recently backed down, warning of potential voting irregularities and noting that there are A team of lawyers is ready to step in if necessary.
Ahead of Tuesday’s vote, the radio host declined to say whether he would accept the results, repeatedly dodging the question on Monday when. Pressed by NBC News reporter Jacob Soborov.
“I think we all should look at election integrity, regardless of whether you’re a Democrat, an Independent or a Republican. Let’s all make sure that the election is a fair election.
“So this is not an obligation to accept the election results tomorrow,” Soborov He said after back and forth.
“Jacob, frankly, answered your question. Let’s work together. We must all have a vested interest in making sure that elections are fair and conducted with integrity,” Elder said.
Trump issued a statement on Tuesday calling the impeachment “completely fraudulent” and drawing attention to reports from some voters in Woodland Hills, California. said incorrectly They have already voted. The Los Angeles County Registry has reportedly blamed an equipment problem and said voters affected by the problem were offered temporary ballots before the system was fixed.
Donna Johnston, a Sutter County voter registry and president of the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials, said the incident prompted questions from voters in her area.
“People are asking us if we can check if they’ve voted before,” she said on Tuesday. “When something happens in a county or in another state, voters usually get worried and will ask us.”
Johnston said she is offering tours to interested voters in her county, which backed Trump in November, to show them the security measures in place to protect their ballots.
“A lot of times, people don’t realize that they can monitor our operations and how transparent we really are in California. We have really high standards — I think they’re higher than the rest of the states when it comes to security and transparency.
Other county clerks expressed pride in their redundant systems — and in their embrace of fair elections.
“We are confident that our system ranks correctly,” said Helen Nolan, deputy director of registration for San Luis Obispo County.
As of early afternoon, she said, in-person voting appeared to be going smoothly without major issues and nearly half of the ballot papers were returned by mail.
However, Nolan acknowledged that there was an “atmosphere of mistrust” about this election.
“Everyone has reason to think, believe, and feel the way they do and all I can do is try to reassure them that their vote is being handled securely. We are nonpartisan. Our job is not to influence or influence. It must be relied upon. Everyone in my office is an employee,” she said. An election professional who takes election integrity seriously.”
Leading Democrats – as well as some Republicans – criticized the fraud warnings ahead of Tuesday’s vote.
“Even before the election is over, the Republican Party is already returning to the 2020 rules of the game set by Donald Trump: The Big Lie. This dangerous play is incompatible with democracy,” Democratic Senator Alex Padilla, former California Secretary of State, chirp Monday.
Former Chairman of the California Republican Party, Ron Neering, chirp: “Voter fraud? Where is the evidence?”
“This pattern of grumbling about any elections we don’t win must be rigged is bad politics and bad politics at the same time,” he said. books.
Some voters still express reservations.
“I feel like all elections have to be in person,” said Ashley Tufao, 34, outside the Veterans Services center in Modesto, where she voted for Newsom’s recall. “My husband and I filled out the ballot papers here and voted in person.”
Dan Sabin, 33, also voted in favor of impeachment. He said that while he believes mail-in ballots are “a huge risk,” he trusts the election process.
“You have to trust the people doing the polls,” Sabine said outside the La Tijera K-8 Academy of Excellence, in a rapidly developing part of Englewood, California. In the end, the people who work there are people in the community. “
Other voters said they were not a fan of Elder — or his claims that election results would be distorted.
In Compton, California, where Elder grew up, lifelong resident Evelyn Lopez said she didn’t like “what he stands for.”
Lopez, 67, said, “He’s really trying to say there’s fraud, and people haven’t voted yet. I don’t agree with it. Straight from.”
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