Former President Donald Trump a Posting on social networks, on Tuesday, to question the legitimacy of midterm elections in the key state of Pennsylvania. “Here we go again!” He wrote. “Scheduled election!”
The evidence Trump claimed? An article on a right-wing news site did not mention any manipulation. Instead, the article raised unsubstantiated doubts about the remote ballot data in the article Not clearly explained.
In 2020, Trump and his allies have been trying to preemptively discredit the results of the presidential election, spending months laying the groundwork for their post-election false claims that the election was rigged. Now, in the weeks leading up to Election Day 2022, some Republicans are using similar — and equally disingenuous — rhetoric.
Sow unfounded doubts about counting in Pennsylvania
Trump isn’t the only Republican trying to fuel unfounded doubts about the midterm elections in Pennsylvania, a state that could decide which party controls the U.S. Senate.
Republican candidate Doug Mastiano, who has repeatedly spread false conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, said in a mediated right-wing plan after Pennsylvania Election Commission Acting Director Lee Chapman told NBC News last week that it could take “days” to complete the vote count. Liberal organization Media Matters for America: “This is an attempt at manipulation.”
No. Counting votes takes time — especially since, as Chapman noted, the Republican-controlled state Legislature has refused to pass a no-strings-attached bill that would have allowed counties to implement mail-in ballots before the morning of Election Day.
But other prominent Republicans soon followed. Texas Senator Ted Cruz tweeted a link to an article about Chapman’s comments. was added: “Why only Democratic cities take ‘days’ to count votes? The rest of the country can do it on election night.
Except for the fact that Democratic-leaning cities get more votes than smaller, Republican-leaning rural counties, Cruz’s claim is completely false.
Almost all districts across the country — including some Republican districts in Cruz, Texas, as PolitiFact noted — won’t finish counting ballots on election night. In fact, for many districts, it is not possible to conduct a final count on election night.
Even some Republican states in the country count absentee ballots (or, in some cases, specific absentee ballots by members of the armed forces and citizens living abroad) after Election Day until after the election. Day postmark. Some states, including Republican-led states, offer voters a few days after Election Day to correct problems with their signatures or provide proof of identification that they did not have on Election Day.
US election officials do not announce winners or official totals on election night.
Preemptively rule out a possible Fetterman victory
The health challenges of Pennsylvania’s Democratic Senate candidate, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, were also used to cast doubt on the potential outcome.
After Trump was defeated by Joe Biden in 2020, some right-wing figures insisted that the election must have been stolen because Biden was a much worse 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 the expectation of a candidate is “plainly ridiculous.” He struggled with public speaking since his stroke could be successful in May.
But in 2020, Fetterman is unlikely to win a state Biden won by more than 80,000 votes. Fetterman leads many (if not all) polls — and polls have repeatedly shown that Pennsylvania voters consistently favor him. than his Republican opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Questions the legitimacy of the vote in Detroit
Detroit, like other Democratic-dominated cities with large black populations, has been the target of false 2020 conspiracy theories by Trump and others. Now the Republican nominee for director of the Michigan Election Commission is already challenging the validity of tens of thousands of Detroit votes in 2022.
Less than two weeks before Election Day, Christina Karamo, the Republican nominee for Michigan’s Secretary of State, filed a lawsuit asking the court to “block” the use of ballots at polling stations in Detroit, challenging the 2020 election results. It states that only votes cast in person, at a registration office, and by personal application shall be considered “valid votes” in this election. Such a request would mean rejecting thousands of ballots already legally cast by Detroit residents — whose constitution gives residents the right to request remote ballots by mail.
Karamo’s attorney softened the request a bit during closing arguments Friday, The Detroit News reported. Other key Republicans have so far kept their distance from the process.
However, this process sets the stage for the loser in the polls to baselessly dismiss the legitimacy of the defeat.
Start with fuzzy smears
Other Republican candidates have vaguely hinted that Democrats could somehow cheat on Election Day or during the vote count.
Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson told reporters this week that he would “see what happens” when accepting the results of his re-election bid, The Washington Post reported: “Well, it will happen.” day? Do the Democrats have a trick?
The Daily Beast reported that Blake Masters, a Republican Senate candidate in Arizona, told an event in October that if he defeated Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly by 30,000 votes, he couldn’t prove that to be true. Kelly won’t get “40,000 votes.” He told a similar story at an event in June.
There is no basis for the notion that tens of thousands of fraudulent votes could be added to any state’s tally. But Masters’ opinion and Karamo’s case have the effect of many stories leading up to Trump’s 2020 election: Mainstream Republican voters are wary of any outcome other than victory.
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