Two Orange County Republicans facing the prospect of defeat in the Nov. 6 congressional election as final ballots are counted have adopted President Trump’s tactic of making baseless allegations of vote fraud.
Neither GOP Rep. Mimi Walters nor Republican candidate Young Kim has produced evidence to back up their charges that Democrats are trying to steal the election. County registrars of voters supervising the ballot counts said they knew of no one doing anything that would compromise the election’s integrity.
Both Republicans leveled the accusations after they steadily lost ground in the continuing tabulation of tens of thousands of ballots. Walters finished ahead on election night, but has fallen 3,797 votes behind Democrat Katie Porter. Kim is clinging to a 122-vote lead over Democrat Gil Cisneros.
Walters and Kim have joined a growing number of Republicans in Florida and elsewhere who, like Trump, challenge the legitimacy of vote counts when Democrats gain in late tallies. Nonpartisan election watchdogs are appalled….
On Sunday, when she was still slightly ahead, Walters told supporters in an email that she needed donations to stop Democrats “from overturning the will of the voters.”
“I’m currently up by 1 point, but the Democrats are already preparing for a recount to try and steal this Republican seat after the fact,” Walters wrote.
In another fundraising email, Walters said she needed “to make sure vote tallies aren’t tampered with.”
Neal Kelley, Orange County’s registrar of voters, responded “emphatically no” when asked whether anyone had tried to tamper with any of the ballots.
“We take this responsibility very seriously,” he said. “I certainly do. I have seen no evidence of it.”