CHRISTINA A. CASSIDY and GEOFF MULVIHILL
The voters did not face any common problems on election day. This has not stopped former President Donald Trump and other Republicans from misrepresenting minor issues at polling stations to undermine confidence in the results.
Two years after conspiracy theorists spread the lies about President Joe Biden stealing Trump’s victory, they are now spreading smaller lies about the 2022 mid-term election.
Trump and GOP allies are distorting the truth about election hiccups, which experts say are good, including voting machine failures in Arizona’s largest county and errors in the electoral books used to enter voters in Michigan’s largest city.
“While I believe yesterday’s elections went smoothly, no one should assume that these forces, including the former US president, who are seeking to overthrow the elections, are leaving,” said David Levine, election integrity officer at the Alliance for Securing Democracy and Former Democracies. elections. director in Ada County, Idaho.
In 2020, conspiracies over fraudulent elections were fueled by false reports of suitcases stuffed with counterfeit ballots in Georgia’s vote-counting operations and “voting mules” filling boxes with fake ballots.
Since then, the GOP has sustained its rhetoric and laid the groundwork for challenging this year’s mid-term election in an effort to sow doubts about the Democrats’ victories. More than 100 lawsuits had been filed across the country prior to election day. These cases concerned email voting rules, safety of voting machines, and access for guerrilla poll observers.
But problems did not arise on election day. Federal agency director for cybersecurity and infrastructure, Jen Easterly, said Wednesday that the agency “saw no evidence that any voting system had removed or lost votes, changed votes or had been violated in any way in any race in the country.”
Jennifer Morrell, a former Colorado and Utah local election official who now also advises federal and state officials on election security and administration, said election officials were able to resolve issues quickly, showing that the safeguards to ensure accurate voting work .
After Trump lost Arizona to Biden to Biden just over 10,000 votes, he and his supporters have made a series of allegations of electoral irregularities that have fallen apart under scrutiny.
Two years later, the state remains crucial. Democrats held a tight lead in the US governorate and senate races on Wednesday.
Trump and some of his supporters have tried to exacerbate problems with scanning ballots in about 25% of the polling stations in Maricopa County, where Phoenix and most of the state’s population live.
“The most disturbing thing is how these isolated incidents are used to spread misinformation and lies around elections in order to undermine people’s trust and belief in the elections,” said Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections at the Common Cause impartiality group.
The codes on the ballot papers that were printed too lightly to be read by electronic tabs caused confusion. The affected voters had a choice: to leave the ballot papers in a locked box at their polling station on Wednesday so that they could be counted at the central office, or to take them to another polling station on Tuesday.
Trump raised the issue in a message on his social network. He said the problem that appeared to be similar to the voting issue in Mercer County, New Jersey, was an effort by the Democrats to “steal the election.”
“You don’t give a damn about this in every national election,” said Lawrence Norden, senior director of the election and government program at the Brennan Center for Justice. “The fact that we are talking about them the next day shows that an organized effort has been made to arm these kinds of things.”
A Republican official overseeing the elections in Maricopa County apologized for the inconvenience and promised that every legal vote would be counted no matter what method voters choose.
But Kari Lake, the Republican governorate candidate, told her supporters that they should only leave the ballot paper for later counting when they couldn’t wait – and that they shouldn’t take it to another polling station.
In his late night speech to supporters, Lake focused solely on electoral issues.
“The system we have now is not working,” she said. “We humans deserve to know the winner and the loser on election night, and we will bring these kinds of elections back to Arizona. I can assure you of that.
As false information about voting has increased over the past few years, election officials have received d*ath threats, some states ruled by the People’s Republic have restricted voting by mail, and public confidence in US voting systems has declined. Efforts to discredit electronic voting tabs have sparked calls for the technology to be abandoned.
In Milwaukee, a small group of observers at the city’s central vote counting station questioned a local election official on Tuesday when she and her staff used flash memory to export the results from the voting tabs.
Choice skeptics also focused on the Detroit glitch. Some e-booklets for signing on voters displayed an error message stating that the numbers on the ballot papers have already been assigned to the out-of-office ballot paper. Survey staff could use paper survey books when the electronic ones had problems.
“It was identified and resolved fairly quickly,” and voters who were wrongly labeled were given ballots, said Jake Rollow, spokesman for the Michigan Secretary of State.
Detroit is a booming democratic stronghold, so turnout can be critical to election results. Democrat Gretchen Whitmer was re-elected governor on Tuesday. Democrats also won the Attorney General and Secretary of State races, defeating Republicans who questioned the results of the 2020 election.
The GOP candidates for governor and prosecutor general resigned. Trump continued to call on his supporters to protest in Detroit. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat who won re-election, said she was comforted that Trump’s call was ignored.
“The former president called on people to protest and no one did,” Benson said, adding that she was relieved to see concessions from some candidates across the state who repeated Trump’s lies about the 2020 election.
“This is a sign of successful elections for me – that we managed to hold elections that were transparent, efficient and safe, so that even people who might be dissatisfied with the results continued to accept them.”
Mulvihill reported from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Associated Press authors Anita Snow of Phoenix, Harm Venhuizen of Milwaukee, and Ed White of Detroit contributed to this article. Venhuizen is a member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nationwide non-profit program that places journalists in local newsrooms to cover hidden topics.
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