New analysis sounds the alarm on election concerns in red states
As midterm elections approach, there are more concerns about how election deniers could win key positions and gain control over election systems in red states.
Following former President Donald Trump's 2020 election loss, an overwhelming number of election deniers who supported his claims of widespread voter fraud have entered key races across the country. If any of them manage to win elections, they could further chip away at America's democracy.
A new analysis is sounding the alarm and raising awareness about the potential problems that could arise. HuffPost's Matt Shuham points to the situations unfolding in Wyoming.
After speaking out against Trump's claims, Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Buchanan (R) condemned MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's echoing of conspiracy theories. At the time, Buchanan claimed that Lindell was “'NOT the purveyor of election integrity truth' but rather a 'peddler of pillows and promises.'”
He also spoke highly of the state's election systems and its officials saying, “No credible candidate for any office in Wyoming can say that Wyoming lacks election integrity."
However, it appears things are different now. "Buchanan left the office last month for a state judgeship, leaving behind an interim secretary," Shuham wrote. "Now, the race to become Wyoming’s top election official is uncontested: State Rep. Chuck Gray (R), a Donald Trump-endorsed election denier who has referred to the 2020 race as “clearly rigged,” is next in line for the job."
Shuham went on to explain how Gray is a prime example of the types of candidates that are part of a disturbing political wave in red states. He also noted how they could potentially impact election outcomes in battleground states.
"Gray is part of a wave of red-state candidates for top election jobs who are bringing Trump’s election lies with them into office," he wrote. "Outside of nationwide media attention and the checks of a bipartisan state government, they may end up with more political leverage to act on Trump’s lies than others in more closely watched states like Michigan and Nevada."
Going a step further, he named key individuals in Indiana and Wiscon who have made similar claims echoing the former president's arguments on widespread voter fraud.
"In Indiana, Republican Secretary of State candidate Diego Morales has denounced the 2020 election as a 'scam' and called for 'every Hoosier vote in-person' with only limited exceptions," he wrote. "In Wisconsin ― which could elect a veto-proof Republican legislative majority this year ― Republican Amy Loudenbeck has campaigned on taking election authorities away from the state’s bipartisan election commission, and gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels has said there were 'certainly illegal ballots' in 2020."
According to Shuham, Gray exhibits characteristics of how those practices could devolve over time.
"In Wyoming, Gray is the clearest example of what those beliefs would mean in practice. As a state legislator, he wanted Wyoming to join Texas’ lawsuit to overturn the 2020 election results; as a candidate, he has held screenings of the repeatedly debunked conspiracy theory film “2000 Mules,” saying it “clearly demonstrated how the woke, big tech left has stolen elections with ballot drop boxes.” He has promised to ban drop boxes as secretary of state, claiming they “open up our elections to ballot harvesting fraud.”
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