2020 Election Conspiracists Could Soon Oversee Voting in Battleground States

Photo credit: Reuters

Two far-right politicians who want to upend the way votes are cast and counted are tied or leading in races to become the top election administrators in their states. 

Republicans Jim Marchant of Nevada and Mark Finchem of Arizona are known for promoting wild and disproven conspiracy theories about how the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. 

Finchem and Marchant are among the strongest of 13 secretary-of-state candidates who falsely claim the 2020 election was rigged.

If any of these far-right politicians win in November, it could allow them as secretaries of state to restrict voting access or seek to block certification of results in these two critical battlegrounds for presidential elections.

Marchant and Finchem want to curtail or abolish early voting, mail-in voting and ballot drop-boxes. 

Both have complained, without any evidence whatsoever, that these voting methods breed fraud. 

Both politicians advocate banning electronic voting machines and returning to hand-counted paper ballots to secure elections. 

Election experts and officials of both major parties have said such changes would actually make elections more prone to fraud and error, while making it harder for citizens to vote.

Finchem and Marchant are some of the most adamant that the election was rigged among the 13 secretary-of-state candidates who believe this conspiracy theory. 

Two, in the Republican strongholds of Wyoming and Alabama, are expected to win easily. Four others are running competitive campaigns in Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana and New Mexico. The remainder are long shots.

The movement to seize control of election administration is part of a broader phenomenon that makes November’s midterm elections unique in U.S. history. 

Election deniers are campaigning in every state. Out of 552 Republican nominees for Congress, governor, secretary of state and attorney general, 262 — nearly half — have rejected or questioned the 2020 result.

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