A Republican candidate for governor in Virginia this week pledged to step up poll observation and compile “NFL screening reports” on local election officials, diving headlong into the conspiracy theories genre and efforts to undermine the election confidence that drove former President Donald Trump. campaign losing last year.
Pete Snyder, a businessman who launched his gubernatorial campaign in January, suggested at a local GOP event that he wanted to place observers at all polling stations across the state and have details of the political affiliations of the Virginia election clerks. He argued that it was necessary to eliminate potential voter fraud.
Appeals to Republican voters and polling site monitoring campaigns are similar to those launched by Trump last year, when he began peddling unsubstantiated allegations of widespread electoral fraud to undermine confidence in the electoral system months before the 2020 election. Democrats and voting rights groups have warned that attempts by the Trump campaign to mobilize an “army of poll watchers” looking for fraud where it does not exist. exist that might intimidate voters and election workers on polling sites.
“We have to make sure we have people inside, outside, watching,” Snyder said at a Facebook Live event hosted by the Fairfax County Republican Committee on Sunday night. “We’re going to make sure … that every constituency has an attorney, and that people know who to call immediately when they find out something wrong is going on, and that we report what’s going on and we make sure that I m ‘go. for NFL style scout reports on every registrar in Virginia. Because as a candidate, I want to know if they are Republicans or Democrats.
This kind of operation, Snyder suggested, was the only way to ensure a fair conduct of the elections.
Snyder’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether he believed widespread fraud took place during the 2020 election or whether he believed it would during the races. of Virginia in 2021. There is no evidence that rampant fraud occurred last year, or in any recent US election.
American Bridge, a liberal super PAC and opposition research firm, recorded a video of Snyder’s comments:
Snyder also announced on the call that Ken Cuccinelli, former attorney general of Virginia and gubernatorial candidate who served in the Trump administration, would oversee “the integrity of the ballots and the operation. of electoral security ”of his campaign.
“I couldn’t have hired or asked someone in America who is better qualified than Ken,” Snyder said.
In November 2012, Cuccinelli agreed with a conservative radio host who suggested that former President Barack Obama won that year’s election because of widespread voter fraud.
Snyder said he believed the willingness to “play by the rules” and expect all voters would also have fostered Conservative apathy when it came to monitoring voting sites. He said he would use a team of lawyers and campaign officials to gather basic electoral information on constituencies that use paper ballots and those that use machines. But his tracing reports would go further, as he wanted to find out how “skinny” election officials describe “their MO” and understand “what their inclinations are.”
Poll observation is typical practice in states where it is permitted, but Trump’s attempts to mobilize his supporters to monitor election sites were a bare effort to foster the belief that widespread fraud would occur during a race that relied more than usual on the absent. and early voting due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump also turned his election security operation over to a Republican official who used to make unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud. The campaign’s poll monitoring practices came under special scrutiny in Pennsylvania, where campaign officials attempted to register voters and election officials at election offices in Philadelphia. Trump’s campaign officials have been urged to leave satellite polling stations where voters could cast absent ballots to avoid violating laws to ban political intimidation of voters, polling officials and election officials .
In response, Trump claimed election officials fired campaign workers because “bad things are happening” during the election in Philadelphia.
As governor, Snyder said he would “make sure Virginia is the nation’s No. 1 in ballot security and election security laws,” a point of discussion that Republicans across the country used to justify a series of legislative proposals that would impose further restrictions on voting. In some states, they lobbied for increased scrutiny and scrutiny of polls.
Snyder is one of six Republicans seeking the party’s gubernatorial nomination, which he will award at a statewide convention in May. Some Virginia Republicans have desperately tried to sidetrack the party from its devotion to conspiracy theories and increasingly radical candidates, in an effort to stop a decline that has seen the Virginia GOP lose back-to-back gubernatorial contests and the control of the state legislature.
But the state of Virginia Del. Kirk Cox is the only one of the six candidates to have made it clear that President Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election, according to the Washington Post, and Snyder’s willingness to peddle the same election-related conspiracies Trump was promoting suggests that the fever isn’t about to crash into a state that many analysts expect Democrats to win again in November.
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