Conspiracy-addled Republicans are already refusing to certify midterm votes
Dominion voting machines, stolen elections, nebulous paranoia ... is this starting to sound familiar?
If, as the old adage claims, the past is truly prologue, then Donald Trump’s brazen attempt to steal the 2020 presidential election by (among other things) sowing discord and stoking distrust in the electoral process is already paying dividends for Republicans ahead of the November midterms.
As the Associated Press reported Wednesday, the GOP-led commission in rural Otero County, New Mexico, is unanimously refusing to certify last week’s primary election results, claiming that the state’s use of Dominion voting machines may have tainted the ballot counting — much in the same way Trump supporters said was happening in the 2020 race. Those claims have been roundly and repeatedly been disproven as blatant lies, prompting several lawsuits on the part of the widely used voting machine company against many of the conspiracy theory’s loudest proponents.
“I have huge concerns with these voting machines,” County Commissioner Vickie Marquardt told AP. “When I certify stuff that I don’t know is right, I feel like I’m being dishonest because in my heart I don’t know if it is right.”
In response to Otero County’s obstinate refusal to certify the June 7 primary results, New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D) has requested the state’s Supreme Court force the three-person commission to do their duty ahead of a June 17 deadline.
“New Mexico’s 2022 primary election was conducted with the highest standards of election administration by dedicated county clerks and civil servants across our state,” Oliver said in a statement. “The post-election canvassing process is a key component of how we maintain our high levels of election integrity in New Mexico and the Otero County Commission is flaunting that process by appeasing unfounded conspiracy theories and potentially nullifying the votes of every Otero County voter who participated in the primary.”
Noting that the commission didn’t actually provide any evidence for its decision to reject the Dominion machines, Oliver’s office also said it was in the process of making a criminal referral to the New Mexico Attorney General’s office against the Otero officials for their “willful failure or refusal to perform their duties under the Election Code.” She also acknowledged that the commission’s actions were not an isolated incident, but part of a “part of a disturbing trend across the nation motivated by conspiracy theories about the 2020 election” — a not-so-subtle nod to the fact that Trump’s ongoing electoral lies continue to sow chaos ahead of the upcoming midterms.
Speaking with AP, Marquardt laughed off the possibility of legal action against her, saying, “And so then what? They’re going to send us to the pokey?”
It’s entirely possible she’ll regret ever having asked.