WASHINGTON — Republicans participating in Tuesday’s California gubernatorial recall elections are already making the case that the election was stolen. This is a tactic becoming more common in conservative circles.
Republican Larry Elder appealed Monday to his supporters for help reporting fraud. The online form claimed that it had “detected fraudulent results” in the California recall election, “resulting in Governor Gavin Newsom’s reinstatement as governor.”
Only problem was that the election had not yet taken place on Monday, even though Elder’s campaign website said it was. The results have not been announced. Elder was still running to succeed Newsom.
The site states that statistical analyses were used to detect fraud in elections in third-world countries (such as Russia and Venezuela) and have revealed fraud in California. This has led to Governor Gavin Newsom’s reinstatement as governor. Benford’s Law was the primary analytical tool and it can easily be reproduced.
On Monday afternoon, the site was updated with a disclaimer stating that it was “Paid for By Larry Elder Ballot Measure Committe Recall Newsom Committee,” which received major funding from Elder’s gubernatorial campaign.
Recent polls indicate that Newsom will likely survive Tuesday’s recall vote to remove him. Following the blueprint of former President Donald Trump, Elder and other Republicans are already imagining a loss due to false allegations of voter fraud.
Lee Drutman, a New America senior fellow who studies democracy, said that “this is becoming the standard GOP playbook.” This is democracy 101. “This is democracy 101. If elections are not accepted and decisive, you don’t have democracy. The alternative is violence or authoritarianism.
California has not been found to have evidence of voter fraud.
Elder’s website invites voters to submit affidavits describing evidence of voter fraud. This is targeted at those who will support Elder after Election Day. The Sacramento Bee first reported it.
In August, the site was anonymously registered. Elder’s campaign didn’t respond to questions about the site being added to his campaign website or whether they made the page. The disclaimer that his campaign had funded the site was added hours later.
California has had a long history with voting by mail. However, California decided to send each registered voter in the state a poll for the first time in this election. This has created bogus rumors about ballots and the designs.
Elder refused repeatedly to answer NBC News’ Monday interview whether he would accept Tuesday’s results.
He repeated the phrase “Let’s all collaborate to determine if tomorrow’s election is fair,” several times when pressed.
Conservatives have been concerned for years about voter fraud. Trump’s lies about 2020 election became the focus of the GOP. Other candidates seem to be trying to take advantage of the conservative base’s belief in a massive conspiracy between Democrats, media, and election officials to win elections — even in races not close to the GOP or where Republican officials are involved.
According to a recent NBC News survey, 60 percent of Republicans who live in blue states don’t believe their state can conduct fair elections. A new CNN poll found that 59 percent of Republicans believe Trump won the 2020 election, even though he lost.
Jason Cabel Roe (a Republican strategist who worked in California) said that “No one should be shocked by the vote fraud allegations, that is the Holy Grail in the GOP Right Now.” He was the Michigan GOP’s executive director until he was fired for saying that Trump had “blown it” and the 2020 election was not stolen.
It’s not just Republicans. Eric Adams, the winner of the New York Democratic primary for the mayor, attempted to set the stage during his campaign to claim voter fraud.
California’s registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans almost 2-1. Elder has only 25% support. It would be not surprising that a Democratic governor is able to survive a removal attempt.
According to a University of California Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll, most California Republicans believe Newsom will be recalled.
So, Republicans opinion leaders have already begun to prepare for the worst in this first major statewide election since 2020. They are setting a precedent that others could follow.
Trump stated Monday that “Does anyone really believe the California Recall Election wasn’t rigged?”
Elder stated last week in Santa Barbara, “They’re going cheat, we know this.”
Elder, the controversial talk-radio host, is leading 46 candidates to succeed Newsom. He advises his supporters to use his website to report any suspicious activity.
Elder’s campaign homepage, under the title “stop Fraud”, links to StopCAFraud.com. It asks for donations and invites supporters to sign a petition asking for a special session to address the “twisted results” of the 2021 Recall election.
This site appears to assume the outcome of the race. It claims fraud has already been detected and Newsom won the election — even though Tuesday is Election Day.
This page suggests that voters might turn to the “ammo” box if they don’t trust their ballot box.
They say there are four boxes for liberty in America. “The soapbox, the vote box, the jury and the ammo boxes,” the website states, promising to bring legal cases. Will we now have the fight for the California jury box in the hope that Pandora’s final box remains closed?
Elder, an Ivy League-educated lawyer, initially denied Trump’s false voter fraud claims. But, conservatives reacted and reversed their position.
Elder stated that he believed Joe Biden won the election “fairly and squarely”, to the Sacramento Bee editorial board on August.
Elder repeatedly stated that the 2020 election was full of “shenanigans” since then and warned, “They’re going to attempt that in this election right now,” as he stated on Fox News Sunday earlier in the month.
These claims are unsupported by evidence and have been repeated by conservative commentators, such as Fox News’ Tomi Lehren, who stated on Fox News’ conservative cable network that voter fraud is the only thing that can save Gavin Newsom.
Trump and Elder have not presented any evidence of fraud, while election officials in California claim that there is none.