NEW YORK (Reuters) – A supporter of former President Donald Trump’s false allegations of voter fraud lost her bid to monitor the Michigan vote, but it was unclear Wednesday whether two other evaders will succeed in similar bids in Arizona and Nevada would .
Democratic Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson withheld a challenge from Republican Kristina Karamo, who could have used the position to influence the outcome of the 2024 presidential election in a key swing state.
Edison Research had not yet predicted whether ballot candidates would succeed in Arizona and Nevada, also states that play key roles in deciding the US presidential election.
Democratic President Joe Biden narrowly won Michigan, Arizona and Nevada in 2020, and Trump and his allies have falsely claimed the results were fake.
Constituency groups and constitutional scholars fear that any secretary of state who believes Trump’s allegations of cheating could try to dispute or ignore the popular vote in the 2024 presidential election, refuse to confirm the result, or even claim the losing candidate did actually won his state.
Karamo rose to prominence in 2020 when she claimed that as an election observer, she observed fraud at Detroit’s absentee count. No evidence has ever surfaced to support these claims.
In 30 of the country’s 50 states, refusers were candidates for at least one state election-supervision position — governor, secretary of state, or attorney general, according to nonprofit advocacy group States United Action.
On Wednesday, States Action United said that 13 draft dodgers in 9 states had won a statewide role in election administration, while 24 draft dodgers in 17 states had lost races.
The group said that three draft dodgers won and eight lost in the Secretary of State election, while Arizona and Nevada are still tied.
The Michigan, Arizona, and Nevada races are especially important because they are key battleground states.
Mark Finchem, the Republican nominee for Secretary of State in Arizona, said he would not have certified Biden’s 2020 victory in the state. He also supported an audit of Arizona’s election results and backed a bill that would give the state legislature the power to overturn election results.
The Secretary of State in Nevada cannot certify results, but can set and enforce election rules. Republican nominee and former Houseman Jim Marchant declined to certify Biden’s 2020 win in the state.
Trump’s false fraud allegations in 2020 have been dismissed by numerous court rulings, his own Justice Department, and even state-level Republican-led investigations.
Trump is considering launching an attempt this month to win the White House again in 2024, according to several Trump advisers.
Ahead of Tuesday’s election, Biden accused Trump of inspiring voter-waiver candidates and warned voters, “Democracy is on the ballot for all of us.”
Richard Gowan, UN director of the International Crisis Group think tank, said before Tuesday’s election that if election deniers score some big victories, it would undermine Biden’s key US foreign policy issue of promoting democracy.
“If US democracy looks like it’s alive again, I think you’re going to see even good friends of the US moving away from Washington on democracy issues,” he said.
Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Additional reporting by Tim Reid; Edited by Ross Colvin, Chizu Nomiyama, Claudia Parsons and Daniel Wallis
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