Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Another Part of the Takeover

The Right's voter suppression through changes to state laws and gerrymandering gets little enough attention, but even less attention is being paid to the way they are putting people in place in the so-called battleground states to overtly overturn any election not in their favor.

Some of those are people running for offices like secretary of state or attorney general, but many others are people filling obscure spots on canvassing boards and as precinct judges or county clerks.

While Chris Hayes and particularly Rachel Maddow have had segments on aspects of these stories, a recent Washington Post story gave the most complete round-up of examples, and a depressing read it is.

  • Michigan: The two Republican members of the Wayne County canvassing board will almost certainly not vote to certify Democratic wins in their county (where Detroit is located!). One, recently appointed, has already said he would not have voted to certify the 2020 election. The other, who has been in his position and finally did vote to certify Biden's win, is currently in the ICU with Covid (having compared public health efforts to Nazi Germany), so whether he recovers and continues his term or is replaced with a new Big Lie believer, that canvassing board seems pretty pre-baked. Other canvassing board members in counties with heavy Democratic vote totals have also been replaced with Big Lie believers. A woman who testified that she witnessed (unsubstantiated) voter fraud is running for the Republican nomination to be secretary of state. She appears to have no qualifications for the job at all, although maybe it's her master’s degree in Christian apologetics that will put her over the top. For state attorney general, a prime candidate is a guy who tried to expose "election fraud" in a northern Michigan county, only to have his case labeled as having "zero credibility" in the final report issued by the Republican-controlled State Senate.
  • Pennsylvania: Two people who "embraced election fraud allegations won races...to become local voting judges and inspectors."
  • Colorado: "2020 doubters are urging their followers on conservative social media platforms to apply for jobs in election offices," including IT positions.
  • Georgia: Trump has endorsed U.S. Rep. Jody Hice against Brad Raffensperger for secretary of state. Republican Raffensperger, we all remember, refused Trump’s attempt to get the secretary of state to reverse the election.

Of course, all of these takeovers are promoted as needed to make elections "more secure," when in fact it's the exact opposite. Voters must have the right to "scrutinize" the process, but it's already scrutinized to a valid degree. As we already know from Arizona's failed forensic fraudit, they want to gish gallop away with the idea of scrutiny.

The push to take over the country’s election administration is being fueled by figures including [Steve] Bannon...who has promoted a blueprint he and others call the “precinct strategy” to take over every level of the GOP, from statewide officeholders to volunteer poll watchers and local committee members.

I wonder how much billionaire money is being poured into this "grassroots" effort? And how many other low-level positions, in states not mentioned in the Post story, are being filled by conspiracy theorists? Arizona was conspicuously absent, for instance, and Wisconsin and Georgia were only mentioned briefly.

Combine this with the overt intimidation of election officials that's happening, so that honest people leave their jobs and volunteer positions, making it possible to replace them with henchmen and henchwomen of the Big Lie, and you get a big flashing red warning sign.

And that part about the flashing warning sign isn't from me. It's part of a quote from the former chair of the Michigan Republican Party in the Post story:

“This is a great big flashing red warning sign. The officials who fulfilled their legal duty after the last election are now being replaced by people who are pledging to throw a wrench in the gears of the next election. It tells you that they are planning nothing but chaos and that they have a strategy to disrupt the certification of the next election.”


Pair this up with a couple of my recent posts:


Update: The Republican Wayne County canvassing board member who was in the ICU with Covid has died, according to reporting on December 2, 2021.

No comments: