Former President Donald Trump took to social media on Tuesday to question the legitimacy of the midterm elections in the critical state of Pennsylvania. “Here we go again!” he wrote “Rigged election!”
Trump’s alleged evidence? An article from a right-wing news site that showed no manipulation. Rather, the article unjustifiably raised suspicion about absentee voting data that the article did not clearly explain.
In 2020, Trump and his allies went to great lengths to discredit the results of the presidential election in advance, spending months laying the groundwork for false post-election claims that the election was stolen. Now, in the weeks leading up to Election Day 2022, some Republicans have deployed similar (and equally dishonest) rhetoric.
Trump isn’t the only Republican trying to raise suspicions about incumbents in central Pennsylvania, a state that could decide which party controls the U.S. Senate.
After Pennsylvania elections chief Leigh Chapman told NBC News last week that it would take “days” to complete the vote count, Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, who has repeatedly promoted false conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, he said On a right-wing show controlled by the liberal organization Media Matters for America: “That’s an attempt at a solution.”
It is not. It only takes time for the votes to be counted, especially, Chapman said, because the Republican-controlled state legislature has refused to pass a related bill that would have required counties to begin processing mail-in ballots earlier than Election Day morning.
But other prominent Republicans piled on. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas tweeted a link to an article about Chapman’s comments add: “Why is it only the blue Democratic cities that take “days” to count the votes? The rest of the country gets it on election night.”
Even though big cities that tend to be Democratic should count more votes than small, rural counties that tend to be Republican, Cruz’s claim is false.
All kinds of counties across the country – as PolitiFact noted, including some Republican counties in Cruz’s home state of Texas – do not finish counting votes on election night. In fact, it is impossible for many regions to make final counts on election night.
Even some of the most Republican states in the country count (or, in some cases, accurately) no votes. members of the military and foreign nationals) which arrive in the days after Election Day, as long as they have the Election Day postmark. And some states, including some led by Republicans, give voters days after Election Day to fix problems with their signatures or provide proof of identity they didn’t have on Election Day.
American election officials do not declare winners or official vote totals on election night. In contrast, the media make unofficial projections based on incomplete data.
The health challenges of the Democratic candidate in the Pennsylvania Senate race, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, have also been used to cast doubt on the outcome.
After Trump was defeated by Joe Biden in 2020, some right-wing personalities insisted that the election must have been stolen because Biden was such a poor candidate. Last week on Fox, as Media Matters noted, prime-time host Tucker Carlson made a similar argument about the Pennsylvania Senate race — suggesting that people shouldn’t accept a Fetterman victory because it would be “obviously absurd” for a candidate who has struggled with the public. . speech and hearing treatment in May was a stroke to legitimately prevail.
But there would be nothing suspicious about Fetterman beating Biden in 2020 in a state won by more than 80,000 votes. Fetterman has led in many (though not all) polls, and the polls have repeatedly found him to be the pick of Pennsylvania voters. continue to look up to him much more they see more than his Republican opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz.
The city of Detroit, like other Democratic-dominated cities with large black populations, has been the target of false 2020 conspiracy theories by Trump and others. And now the Republican candidate for Michigan’s chief electoral officer in 2022 is already calling into question the validity of tens of thousands of ballots in Detroit.
Less than two weeks before Election Day, Kristina Karamo, the 2020 election denialist and Republican candidate for Michigan secretary of state, filed a lawsuit asking Detroit to “stop” the use of absentee ballots unless they are obtained in person. in the secretariat and stating that only votes obtained through personal petitions can be “validly voted” in these elections. That request would mean throwing out thousands of ballots already legally cast by Detroit residents, whose state constitution gives residents the right to request absentee ballots by mail.
Karamo’s attorney blunted the request during closing arguments Friday, The Detroit News reported. And other prominent Republicans have done it so far they kept their distance from the case
However, the case sets the table for Karamo, who is behind in the polls, to baselessly dismiss the legitimacy of a bankruptcy.
Other Republican candidates have suggested that Democrats may cheat in some way on Election Day or during the vote count.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin told reporters this week that “we’ll see what happens” when accepting the results of his election race, The Washington Post reported: “I mean, something’s going to happen in the election. Day? Do the Democrats have something up their sleeve? ».
The Daily Beast reports that Blake Masters, the Republican Senate candidate in a tight race in Arizona, told a story at an October event about how he couldn’t prove it’s not true if he beat Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly by 30,000 votes. , nameless people won’t just find “40,000” for Kelly. He told a similar story at an event in June.
There is no basis to suggest that fraudulent votes could be added to any state’s tally. But Masters’ comments, like Karamo’s lawsuit, have the effect of many of the stories leading up to Trump’s Election Day in 2020: that mainstream Republican voters are distrustful of any outcome that doesn’t go their way.