“Special Report: Backers of Trump’s false fraud claims seek to control next elections”


Reuters interviewed nine of the 15 declared Republican candidates for secretary of state in five battleground states — Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada — and reviewed public statements by all of the candidates. Ten of the 15 have either declared that the 2020 election was stolen or called for their state’s results to be invalidated or further investigated.

Only two of the nine candidates Reuters interviewed said that Biden won the election.

The group of 15 includes Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state and the only incumbent Republican in the five battleground states who is seeking re-election. Raffensperger has consistently rejected Trump’s stolen-election allegations in the face of intense pressure from many fellow Republicans to overturn Biden’s win in the state.

Nearly all of the Republican contenders have stressed a need to curb mail-in voting, to limit ballot drop boxes and to take other steps to curtail ballot access. A majority said they backed a Republican push for more audits or other investigations of the 2020 vote, despite dozens of audits, recounts and court rulings that confirmed Biden’s victory.

Shawnna Bolick – an Arizona state representative and a Republican contender for state elections chief – has gone a step further. She proposed a law empowering the Arizona legislature, currently controlled by Republicans, to overrule the secretary of state’s certification of popular vote results. That call for a drastic change in how America chooses presidents comes after Trump’s unsuccessful attempt to get Republicans in states he lost to send electors for him instead of Biden to Congress. (See graphic on how the U.S. Electoral College works.)

Bolick said she intended to make certification “more democratic” and that her bill did not allow lawmakers to pick a winner….

In Georgia, Trump allies are eager to unseat incumbent Republican Raffensperger after he rebuffed Trump’s request to “find” just enough votes to reverse Trump’s Georgia loss.

David Becker, an election expert and former Justice Department voting-rights attorney, said Raffensperger and other secretaries of state last year formed a bulwark to protect democracy under extreme pressure from Trump and his allies. The prospect of those allies running elections, he said, “should chill all of us.”

“If one of these con artists became Secretary of State, and President Trump tried to make the call he made to Secretary Raffensperger – to someone with less integrity, who denies democracy – what happens if that person takes that call?”

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