Dozens of Republicans campaigning on Trump’s election lies are demanding statewide offices that give him authority over how elections are conducted and which ballots are counted. Others are running for congressional and state legislative seats, where they could shape voting laws.
Christina Karamo, the Republican nominee for secretary of state in Michigan, claims Trump won the state — even though Biden won Michigan by more than 154,000 votes. She is calling for an Arizona-style audit of the Upper Midwestern battlefield.
Caramo said in Lansing on June 29, “The people who make fun of audits are really ignorant. No, common sense tells you that if someone is doing something effectively, you learn from them that you can do the process yourself.” can repeat.”
Wren Williams, a first-time candidate for a state legislative seat in Virginia, said he believed President Joe Biden was duly elected because his victory was certified by Congress—but he claims that state certificates of vote totals was based on that “are not quite accurate.”
Williams was a member of Trump’s legal team that attempted to reverse election results in Wisconsin. Last month, he ousted a 14-year-old member of the Virginia House of Delegates after campaigning over concerns of widespread election fraud. Now he is likely to win the Republican seat safely this fall.
“I have seen enough discrepancies, at least in Wisconsin, that would reverse the Wisconsin election,” Williams said, pointing to a range of problems, such as those regarding lax enforcement of laws that govern voting by mail. and clerks help meet certain voters. their ballots.
“There are issues like what I’m saying and then there are issues like Kraken,” Williams said.
He was attempting to distinguish between his concerns about fraud and larger right-wing conspiracy theories, including far-right lawyer Sidney Powell’s unsubstantiated promises to “release the kraken”, a reference to the mythical creature. was. (Powell followed a flood of post-election lawsuits, which he said would prove widespread voter fraud, which ultimately failed.)
But experts disagree, saying Williams and other Republicans are making big promises and ultimately smuggling in the same lies about electoral fraud.
“It may be more palatable and maybe that’s the way they’ve learned to sell themselves, but it’s really coming from that place,” said Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections for the good governance group Common Reason. .
loyal to trump
The crop of Republican candidates pushing election lies is in many ways a response to a base that remains loyal to Trump and is bought into his lies.
“Max’s rival is a guy named Anthony Gonzalez, which is bad news. He’s a grand RINO who is not respected in DC, who voted for unconstitutional, illegal impeachment,” Trump said at the rally.
Some Republicans who rubbished their voter fraud lies with Trump — including Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp — have attempted to ease intra-party political pressure by enacting new laws that would make voting some methods difficult. The push for strict new voting laws dominated legislatures in Republican-controlled states this year, with states like Georgia, Florida and Iowa enacting new laws and a special session scheduled to begin in Texas, where the GOP The leaders are expected to impose similar restrictions.
In a post first discovered by CNN’s Kfile, Vance repeatedly lashed out at Trump during the 2016 campaign – calling the billionaire businessman “reprehensible” and that “in 4 years, I hope people remember that this We were among those who sympathized with Trump voters who fought him most aggressively.” Vance also tweeted that he voted for Evan McMullin in the 2016 election.
But on Fox News Monday, Vance was backing down on his criticism of Trump.
“Like a lot of people, I criticized Trump back in 2016,” Vance said. “And I tell people not to judge me based on what I said in 2016, because I’m very open that I said those important things and I regret them, and I don’t care about being wrong about that guy.” I think he was a good president, I think he took a lot of good decisions for the people and I think he took a lot of criticism.”
Still, even some of Trump’s aides – who are keen to claim voter fraud turned the outcome of the 2020 election – say insisting on rigging the elections is a political risk.
“The big issue I have now is that basically, people are not willing to trust the system,” Williams said. “And I’m like, ‘Look, we need to vote for you.’ “