Former President Trump attempted to overturn the 2020 election by manipulating the slate of electors from seven states. False lists of electors were allegedly turned over to the National Archives as evidence by officials from Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
The plan to use election deniers did not stop in 2020. Multiple Republican governors are adapting that plan for use in 2022, to elect or appoint supportive secretaries of states, elections judges, state representatives, elections board staff and others. According to States United Action, there are 14 states with deniers running for attorneys general. Their goal is to change our policies and laws as designated by Trump, so that they can manipulate elections by rejecting the will of the voters.
In Arizona, Rep. Mark Finchem, a member of QAnon and Oath Keepers, is running for Arizona Secretary of State to oversee future elections. About 20 Arizonans are running for various election office posts in order to ensure they like the outcome in 2024.
In Georgia, election deniers are working to replace Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger of Georgia, who famously refused Trump’s demand for 11,780 votes when he lost the state in 2020.
In Nevada, Rep. Jim Marchant claims his own election was the only honest one in a decade. He’s another denier running for secretary of state. In Pennsylvania, you’ll find Josh Shapiro, who protected the 2020 election, running for governor opposite election-denying Sen. Doug Mastriano. Colorado election deniers are seeking work in election board offices. Texas Republicans recently declared Biden’s election illegitimate.
According to the Election Assistance Commission, recent elections were operated by 917,694 poll workers. Poll workers are being harassed and voting locations are being changed making it more difficult to vote. We can expect even more election deniers to become election officials after the 2022 mid-terms. Our votes could become meaningless.
In Ohio, we already have a legislature that produced unfairly drawn district maps, refusing to draw new ones even when ordered directly by the Ohio Supreme Court. DeWine signed bills to arm teachers in classrooms, authorized concealed carry without training and restricted abortions, despite a majority of Ohioans who don’t want those things.
Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez will not run again and has been harassed since voting to impeach Trump. Retiring GOP Senator Rob Portman approved Ohio’s electoral count, yet still refers vaguely to unsubstantiated election fraud; his reassurance of a fair process could do much to heal voters before he leaves.
We must vote blue on Aug. 2 to protect our voices, and again in November.
LINDA COCUZZI RICHTER