Trump endorsed Big Lie election denier “Krazy Kari” Lake gets the attention of the Washington Post. Kari Lake wants to upend how Arizonans vote, how their votes are counted:
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Kari Lake is already telling her supporters not to trust the results of Tuesday’s primary contests in Arizona. Unless, of course, she wins.
Then she’ll say “the election was perfect.” This is just a version of “heads I win, tails you lose.”
“We will not stand for another stolen election,” she said to a cheering crowd at a recent campaign event in north Phoenix without providing any credible evidence of wrongdoing. “We’re already detecting some fraud. I know none of you are shocked … We’re already detecting fraud and believe me, we’ve got cyber folks working with us, we’ve got lots of attorneys. And I’m hoping that we have the sheriffs that will do something about it. We’ll keep you posted.”
This is a reference to this recent New York Times report, 2020 Election Deniers Seek Out Powerful Allies: County Sheriffs:
An influential network of
conservative right-wing activists fixated on the idea that former President Donald J. Trump won the 2020 election is working to recruit county sheriffs to investigate elections based on the false notion that voter fraud is widespread.
The push, which two right-wing sheriffs’ groups have already endorsed, seeks to lend law enforcement credibility to the false claims and has alarmed voting rights advocates. They warn that it could cause chaos in future elections and further weaken trust in an American voting system already battered by attacks from Mr. Trump and his allies.
One of the
conservative far-right sheriffs’ groups, Protect America Now, lists about 70 members, [appears to be an offshoot of another group, Richard Mack’s] Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association [an anti-government extremist group whose primary purpose is to recruit sheriffs into the anti-government “patriot” movement. BTW, Sheriffs are not even mentioned in the U.S. Constitution], does not list its membership but says it conducted trainings on various issues for about 300 of the nation’s roughly 3,000 sheriffs in recent years. It is unclear how many sheriffs will ultimately wade into election matters. Many aligned with the far-right groups are from small, rural counties.
“This is all part and parcel of returning to a world where we’re using the criminal law in a way to make voting harder,” said Sophia Lin Lakin, the interim co-director of the Voting Rights Project at the A.C.L.U. “All the things that used to feel more fringy no longer feel so fringy, as we’re starting to see this very much collective effort.”
The people behind the "2,000 Mules" movie had trouble getting investigative agencies to take their claims seriously. Rather than questioning their conclusions, they finally found cops with the power and desire to investigate — right-wing sheriffs. /1https://t.co/cixk1FSVON
— Tim Steller (@senyorreporter) July 31, 2022
Lake’s latest statements have resonated with supporters of former president Donald Trump and audiences primed to meet disappointing election results with skepticism, the culmination of years of erosion of trust in government institutions.
If Lake wins on Tuesday and goes on to take the governorship in this purple state, she has pledged to try to enact election-related policies that could fundamentally upend the way people vote and how their votes are counted. Her stances and comments alarm many current and former election officials and other, more conventional Republicans.
Lake, a former longtime local TV anchor [at FOX], has repeatedly said she does not recognize Joe Biden as the nation’s legitimate president. Had she been governor in 2020, Lake has said she would not have fulfilled her legal duty to certify Arizona’s election results, a maneuver that could have disenfranchised the votes of hundreds of thousands of Arizonans who cast their ballots for Biden and plunged the state deeper into the realm of election denialism.
Lake’s most dramatic election-related proposals would eliminate machines that tabulate votes, like electronic equipment from Dominion Voting Systems used by Maricopa County, where more than half of Arizona residents live, and replace them with people to hand count millions of ballots.
It took the Arizona Senate’s GQP sham “Fraudit” by an inexperienced QAnon conspiracy theorist – Cyber Ninjas – months to recount just the ballots from just one county, and they still got it wrong! Humans make more errors than machine counting, it’s just a proven fact. Arizona’s Fraudit has been trashed by every legitimate election expert in the country.
In a state that pioneered early voting, she would also try to terminate voting by mail, a popular method used by most voters who opt for convenience over standing in Election Day lines. Instead, she is calling for “one day voting,” where all voters must cast their ballots in their individual precincts.
Arizona’s largest cities use “voting centers” because of the prohibitive expense and difficulty of finding locations and poll workers for precinct voting. And if you take the 80%+ of Arizona voters who vote early by mail and make them vote on election day, you will have lines longer than you have ever witnessed before. This is a form of voter suppresssion because it discourages people from standing in line for many hours to vote, and others simply do not have the time available to stand in line on a Tuesday when they have other commitments, e.g., family, school, work, etc.
Lake also wants to require voter identification on all ballots, presumably both mail-ballots and in-person ballots. Republicans broadly support the idea of strengthening voter ID laws for early voters. State law already requires voters to show identification when voting in person – [which her “one day voting” plan wouldalrady cover.]
She also supports the auditing of election results – again which is already required by law. [She is talking about the Cyber Nijas “Fraud” version.]
This woman is not the brightest individual. She frequently tells people that she wants to do things that are already law, laws that she probably even reported on when she was reading from the teleprompter at Fox during her TV news career.
Aside from the political and legal challenges her proposals would likely face, experts say they would be difficult to implement without making voting more difficult [this is the whole idea!]
Lisa Marra, the president of Election Officials of Arizona, which represents election directors across the state, said getting rid of tabulation equipment would be “nonsensical.”
From a staffing standpoint, “if we went back to precinct-based voting, even trying to find qualified poll workers is a problem, and locations, and equipment, we’d just be moving backwards,” said Marra, a lifelong Republican. Helen Purcell, the former Maricopa County recorder who oversaw elections for 28 years and built the early voting system, said Lake’s proposals would limit the ability to vote.
“You’ll have people that don’t get to show everybody what they feel about their government,” Purcell, a Republican, said. “If not everybody is able to vote, how does that government represent you? Isn’t that what our whole system is built on, is representation?”
Lake’s hypothetical statements about refusing to certify the election results in 2020 might help her with some voters, but in the end, the state’s results would have been made official by a court and would not have affected the state’s outcome, said Paul Bender, professor of law and dean emeritus for the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.
“If she refused to do that, there would be a lawsuit against her requiring her to do it, she has absolutely no discretion — it’s the duty of the executive,” Bender said.
“If she refused to do it, they’d just go to a federal district judge in Arizona and the judge would issue an injunction against her. … The judge would find some way of sending it himself, courts can do that sort of thing.”
Gov. Doug Ducey (R) has long defended Arizona’s vote-by-mail system as “secure,” most notably on Aug. 5, 2020, while sitting next to Trump in the Oval Office before the 2020 election.
Ducey, who chairs the Republican Governors Association and is term-limited, has privately expressed concerns about the potential consequences of Lake’s attacks on the way elections are conducted, an aide confirmed to The Washington Post.
He said during a recent appearance on CNN she was “misleading voters with no evidence” by describing the 2020 election as stolen.
* * *
Lake [is] setting the stage for a protracted publicity fight — or a legal one.
At a campaign event earlier this month, she appeared alongside state Rep. Mark Finchem (R), another election denier who is running for secretary of state. He vowed to demand a “100 percent hand count if there is the slightest hint” of improprieties. “I will urge the next governor to do the same,” he said.
“Absolutely,” Lake said. “You know, President Trump hasn’t put a concession speech out. … He did not concede, and I think it was really smart.”
Donald Trump is a pathetic sore loser, coup plotter, and treasonous traitor insurrectionist. And “Krazy Kari” Lake is promising to be his partner in crime for his next attempted coup d’état. She is promising to be a co-conspirator and accessory to his crime.
She apparenlty believes, as Trump does, that if she openly proclaims her intent to commit crimes in public, that it can’t be a crime. They are both fools who don’t realize that it is a statement against interest, which is almost as good as a confession.