“The ‘Johnny Appleseed of election fraud’ wants to upend voting in America. Why he’s focused on California”

LA Times:

Frank is convinced that American elections need saving and believes that to do so, people must take back the ballot box one county at a time. And though his allegations have been disproved and dismissed by election experts and fact checkers, he hasn’t been deterred from spending the last 2½ years on the road, spreading his message to any group that will host him.

“I’m fighting for the country that I grew up in that’s no longer here,” Frank said in an interview with The Times.

His more than 50 speeches in California and hundreds more across the country are part of a multi-pronged effort by the election denial movement to make a significant impact on future elections by changing state laws, training candidates and — in Frank’s case — organizing volunteers to challenge local results and voter rolls.

Paul Gronke, director of the Elections & Voting Information Center at Reed College in Portland, Ore., called Frank’s theories “fiction.”

“He’s a compelling presenter, but that doesn’t change the fact that what he’s saying are not facts,” Gronke said….

Frank said he got involved in Shasta County’s efforts last fall. Local activists had already been knocking on doors to conduct their own election audit and were pressuring county supervisors to stop using Dominion Voting Systems machines. Sympathetic county supervisors were elected to the board in November and Frank visited the county several times to present his election fraud theories.

He said he “coached” some of the supervisors on strategy in daily phone calls and private meetings. The Shasta County Board of Supervisors ended its contract with Dominion in January, and went a step further in March when it voted to stop using electronic machines to tabulate ballots. Only a small number of the roughly 10,000 election jurisdictions in the U.S. have stopped using electronic voting machines since 2020.

Frank speaks of Shasta County in biblical terms, holding it up to audiences as an inspiration and template.

“Once David slew Goliath, then the Hebrew children, the Israelites, chased the Philistines out of the land. … They suddenly all got brave, right? Shasta just slew Goliath. Now you all need to get brave,” he said in Hemet.

Election officials are worried Frank’s claims are being embraced by people who feel disenfranchised and oppose efforts to expand voter registration and voting by mail.

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