As Arizona Partisan Election Review Ends, Republicans Try Imitation Tactics In Other States


As Republicans in the Arizona Senate prepare to release the results of a long-delayed and problematic Maricopa County 2020 election review on Friday, calls for a 2020 election review persist on Friday. other key battlegrounds.

Calls to review the 2020 election are even coming to places where former President Donald Trump prevailed last November, as Republicans respond to pressure from Trump and his supporters to investigate discredited fraud allegations and seek to erode the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s victory.

In Florida – a state that Trump won – state representative Anthony Sabatini this month introduced a bill that calls for a third-party review “of every constituency in every county with a population of 250,000 or more.” .

All but one of the dozen Florida counties President Joe Biden transported last November have populations over 250,000.

Sabatini, a Republican congressional candidate who has closely aligned with Trump’s policies, told CNN he started with large communities as an initial test, but was open to criticism in all counties.

He described the reviews as something that should become standard post-election procedures “just to make sure elections work the way people say they work.”

“Whether it’s 10 minutes or 10 months or 10 years after the election really has nothing to do with the principle of the case,” Sabatini added. “You want to double-check to increase the certainty of the election results to make sure there were no mistakes, that there was no fraud.”

Efforts to challenge the election in these battlefield states will not change the outcome of the 2020 presidential race, which has long been certified. But election observers say the ubiquitous calls for reviews are an unprecedented effort to politicize the election administration and undermine confidence in the results.

“This is a continuation of the big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen, said Michael King, deputy director of law and policy at nonprofit voting group Secure Democracy.

“Part of this calls into question the legitimacy of our elections, at large,” he said. “And a lot of elected supporters are using it to energize their base and potentially raise funds.”

Potential corner problem

Some Republicans are trying to make exams a corner issue in the next primaries.

In Texas, Don Huffines, a conservative Republican challenging Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, is appeal to the governor to add election review legislation to the agenda of a special legislative session that began this week. Trump won Texas by more than five percentage points.
A Texas audit bill, introduced by state GOP representative Steve Toth, would require third-party “forensic audits” of the 2020 election results in major Texas counties. And like the audit in Arizona, private donations could help pay for it.
Another Toth bill would allow candidates and party leaders to trigger reviews of election results. A similar measure was passed by the Texas Senate in an earlier special session, but it was not considered in the House until the session expired.
Trump on Thursday released a public letter to Abbott, urging the governor to add a scrutiny of the ballot to the agenda.

Governor Abbott, we need a ‘2020 election forensic audit’ added to the call ‘for the special session, Trump wrote. “We are quickly running out of time, and it needs to be done this week.”

Abbott’s office did not respond to requests for an interview from CNN, but later Thursday the Texas Secretary of State’s office announced a full “forensic audit” of the 2020 general election in four of its counties.

“Under current Texas laws, the Secretary of State has the authority to conduct a full and comprehensive forensic audit of any election and has already started the process in the two largest Democratic counties and the two largest counties. Texas Republicans: Dallas, Harris, Tarrant, and Collin — for the 2020 election. We anticipate that the Legislature will provide funds for this purpose, ”said an office press release.

In Wisconsin, meanwhile, former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, who is leading a Republicans-ordered inquiry into the 2020 election, posted a YouTube video this week defending an investigation that prompted criticism from both the left and the right.

Gableman said the investigation was not intended to challenge the results of last year’s election in the state, which Biden won by less than 21,000 votes. But he said the investigation could include “a rigorous and comprehensive audit if the facts uncovered warrant such a course of action.”

He also warned that election clerks in counties and municipalities that did not cooperate could face subpoenas to “compel responses.”

His video, the first explanation for his investigation since Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos appointed Gableman as special advisor in late July, appeared to respond to right-wing critics who have expressed their displeasure with both. vis the survey and Vos.

Protesters including Trump ally and former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke recently rallied in the state capital of Wisconsin to demand an Arizona-style exam in their state.

Legal battles

In another presidential battleground, Republicans in the Pennsylvania Senate recently voted to subpoena the Pennsylvania State Department for a range of information on all registered voters, including their names, addresses, dates of birth. , driver’s license numbers and partial social security numbers.

Republican lawmakers say the partisan review of the 2020 election will help determine whether new election laws are deserved. Biden won Pennsylvania by over 80,000 votes.

Pennsylvania’s top Senate Democrats filed a lawsuit, claiming the subpoenas amounted to an “unauthorized audit of election matters” and violated the privacy of state voters. And this week, they asked a court for an injunction to block Republicans’ movements.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, on Thursday announced a lawsuit that will attempt to stop Republican subpoenas.

This story was updated with further developments on Thursday.


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