How Sarah Palin is using Trump’s Big Lie playbook

How Sarah Palin is using Trump’s Big Lie playbook
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In 2022, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has been conducting her first political campaign since 2008, when she was GOP presidential nominee John McCain’s running mate. Palin, endorsed by former President Donald Trump — someone McCain expressed vehement contempt for — is running for a U.S. House of Representatives seat in Alaska. And like other Republican candidates of 2022, she is, according to Mother Jones, resorting to Trump’s Big Lie playbook.

Trump continues to falsely claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him — a claim that has been repeatedly debunked. Palin, Mother Jones’ Emily Hofstaedter reports in an article published on August 9, borrowed from Trump’s Big Lie narrative when she appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference’s CPAC Texas gathering in Dallas on Thursday, August 4. The event featuring Palin was billed as “She’s Back! An Interview With Sarah Palin.”

Hofstaedter explains, “Interview host and CPAC Vice-Chair Charlie Gerow introduced her as ‘one of the leaders in the conservative movement’ before they embarked on a 20-minute conversation that included plenty of misinformation about the integrity of American elections. Palin and Gerow hit many of the cherished Republican talking points that attempt to undermine faith in the electoral process, including Dominion voting machines, mail-in ballots, and ranked-choice voting.”

READ MORE: 'Two deranged people': Steve Schmidt slams Trump's growing alliance with Sarah Palin

Palin was highly critical of ranked-choice voting at CPAC Texas, telling the crowd, “It’s bizarre, it’s convoluted, it’s confusing, and it results in voter suppression. It results in a lack of voter enthusiasm because it’s so weird…. It doesn’t matter if you win by getting the most votes. It matters if you have more second or third place votes depending on how the voters are ranking you.”

But Hofstaedter stresses that Palin’s claims about ranked-choice voting are untrue, pointing out that Maine has been using it since 2016 without any problem.

Amy Fried, a political science professor at the University of Maine, told Mother Jones, “There isn’t a higher rate of incomplete or spoiled ballots in ranked-choice races compared to ballots in elections using plurality voting. Nor is turnout lower.”

Similarly, New York University law professor Rick Pildes told Mother Jones, “There’s no evidence voters have been confused or don’t understand how to rank candidates one, two, three.”

READ MORE: Federal judge shoots down Sarah Palin’s request for new defamation trial against the NY Times: 'Motion denied'

Hofstaedter points out that Palin also criticized Domination Voting Systems’ equipment at CPAC Texas.

“After the 2020 elections, Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani claimed, without any evidence, that Dominion voting software was switching votes for Trump to (Joe) Biden,” Hofstaedter notes. “Repeatedly, this assertion has been proven false.”

READ MORE: How 'relic of the past' Sarah Palin helped shape the 'outrageous' GOP politics of today: journalist

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