National: Which Republicans are most likely to think the election was stolen? Those who dislike Democrats and don’t mind white nationalists. | Jan Zilinsky, Jonathan Nagler and Joshua Tucker/The Washington Post

After an election loss, the defeated party usually looks for narratives to make sense of what happened. Unusually for the United States, in this election, the losing candidate decided to claim, falsely, that he wasn’t truly defeated at all. Existing research shows that partisans often adopt their leaders’ views. We recently fielded a study finding that indeed this was the case, although the magnitude of this effect is still startling: Over 70 percent of Republicans said they agreed with President Trump’s contention that he received more votes than Joe Biden. Nor was this belief limited to those with lower levels of education: A majority of Republicans with college degrees in our sample said they believed that the election results were fraudulent. But the Republicans most likely to make false claims about electoral fraud were those who were the most disdainful of Democrats and who sympathize with white nationalists. From Dec. 16-29, we polled more than 2,600 registered voters (including 962 Republicans and Republican leaners), asking whether they were confident that their votes were counted fairly and accurately. The survey was administered by YouGov, and we weighted all our calculations to make them nationally representative. We asked voters whether they thought that “millions of fraudulent mail and absentee ballots were cast” and whether “voting machines were manipulated to add tens of thousands of votes for Joe Biden.” Finally, we asked for respondents’ reactions to the statement that “thousands of votes were recorded for dead people.” For each of these false statements, more than 50 percent of Republican respondents said it was “very accurate”; over 75 percent of Republican voters said each one was “very accurate” or “somewhat accurate.” Only about 3 percent of Democrats assessed these conspiratorial statements as “very accurate.”

Full Article: Most Republicans say the election was stolen — especially the ones who hate Democrats and don’t mind White nationalists – The Washington Post

Editorial: When the Threat of Political Violence Is Real | Joanne B. Freeman/The New York Times

Scarcely had the violence ebbed on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 when the Republican calls for healing began. Representative Debbie Lesko of Arizona made an anti-impeachment cease-and-desist plea on Jan. 12 that was typical of many. Addressing Democrats, she warned that impeachment would “further divide our country, further the unrest and possibly incite more violence.” Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina concurred, declaring on Fox News that calls for impeachment would “incite more violence” and “divide the country.” Although couched in calls for unity, these warnings are remarkably one-sided. There is no talk of reconciliation or compromise. No acceptance of responsibility. Lots of blame casting. And little willingness to calm and inform their base. Even now, some Republicans refuse to admit that Joe Biden won the election, and the Senate vote on an impeachment trial on Jan. 26 suggests that most Republicans want no investigation and will place no blame. They want reconciliation without apologies, concessions without sacrifice, power without accountability. And many of them are using threats of violence to encourage Democrats and the disloyal to fall in line. If you impeach the president there will be violence, they charge. Masked in democratic platitudes like “unity” and “healing,” the inherent menace in such pleas is utterly deniable. But they are threats nonetheless.

Full Article: Opinion | When the Threat of Political Violence Is Real – The New York Times

National: Republicans considering more than 100 bills to restrict voting rights | Sam Levine/The Guardian

After an election filled with misinformation and lies about fraud, Republicans have doubled down with a surge of bills to further restrict voting access in recent months, according to a new analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice. There are currently 106 pending bills across 28 states that would restrict access to voting, according to the data. That’s a sharp increase from nearly a year ago, when there were 35 restrictive bills pending across 15 states. The restrictions come on the heels of an election in which there was record turnout and Democrat and Republican election officials alike said there was no evidence of widespread wrongdoing or fraud. There were recounts, audits and lawsuits across many states to back up those assurances. Federal and state officials called the election “the most secure in American history”. Myrna Pérez, director of the voting rights and elections program at the Brennan Center, said the surge in anti-voting legislation was “countersensical” given that there were Republican and Democratic wins in key races across the country. “The volume of anti-voter legislation is certainly revealing that a nerve was struck,” she told me. “There are certainly people who are sensitive to the idea of more progress … It ultimately comes down to an anxiety over the browning of America and people in power are afraid of losing their position.”

Full Article: Republicans considering more than 100 bills to restrict voting rights | US news | The Guardian

National: Dominion to Sue Trump? Voting Machine Company Drafts Letter for Ex-US President | Bhaswati Guha Majumder/Business Insider

Dominion Voting System has reportedly drafted a letter for the former US President Donald Trump in case it pursues a lawsuit against him over election fraud defamation, said the company’s spokesperson Michael Steel. As reported, Steel said people who have been pushing conspiracy theories about the company have “attacked a great American company” and undermined the confidence of the countrymen in the democratic system. According to Steel, Dominion would send letters to a “number of figures, right-wing media outlets” and others. He added that the company was making decisions on “a case-by-case basis, building as we go”. Steel was previously the chief press secretary of Republican John Boehner, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives. While talking about Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Steel told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, that he went to every microphone available, every podium, every podcast, every cable news shows to spread lies about alleged election fraud but not in a court of law. “That is because lying in a court of law has consequences. That is why we want to get them into a courtroom where there are consequences for lies and let the American people see the truth and our court system find justice,” he said. After the result of the 2020 Presidential election came out, Trump and his close aides went on a massive campaign promoting false claims of election fraud involving Dominion voting machines. Along with Giuliani, another American attorney, Sidney Powell, who was also part of Trump’s failed legal team to challenge President Joe Biden’s victory, have been named in separate lawsuits for $1.3 billion. Steel said the company felt “very good” about the prospects of winning the lawsuits. “I mean, we’re looking at serious charges,” he added.

Full Article: Dominion to Sue Trump? Voting Machine Company Drafts Letter for Ex-US President

National: Twitter Troll Tricked 4,900 Democrats in Vote-by-Phone Scheme, U.S. Says | Nicole Hong/The New York Times

A man who was known as a far-right Twitter troll was arrested on Wednesday and charged with spreading disinformation online that tricked Democratic voters in 2016 into trying to cast their ballots by phone instead of going to the polls. Federal prosecutors accused Douglass Mackey, 31, of coordinating with co-conspirators to spread memes on Twitter falsely claiming that Hillary Clinton’s supporters could vote by sending a text message to a specific phone number. The co-conspirators were not named in the complaint, but one of them was Anthime Gionet, a far-right media personality known as “Baked Alaska,” who was arrested after participating in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to a person briefed on the investigation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. As a result of the misinformation campaign, prosecutors said, at least 4,900 unique phone numbers texted the number in a futile effort to cast votes for Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Mackey was arrested on Wednesday morning in West Palm Beach, Fla., in what appeared to be the first criminal case in the country involving voter suppression through the spread of disinformation on Twitter.

Full Article: Twitter Troll Tricked 4,900 Democrats in Vote-by-Phone Scheme, U.S. Says – The New York Times

National: Over 150 US Election Apps Found to be Potentially Fraudulent | Jack Turner/

A new study has found that some of the apps that voters have used for election information may be potentially misleading, and even pose a security risk. Android users were found to be the most at risk, with 95% of the offending apps on that platform. Some of the apps were found to originate from countries with looser privacy regulations than the US. Of the 182 election apps scrutinised by cybersecurity firm RiskIQ, it was discovered that 152 were fraudulent or malicious. This means that although these apps claimed to be authorized by the government or state, they were nothing of the sort. The report found that 87 of these fraudulent apps were based in the US, but many were found to be from countries with different standards of privacy regulation, such as China and Panama. While it’s relatively easy to raise complaints against the US-based apps, those from outside the US are likely to prove much more difficult to take action against and remove. The RiskIQ findings also reinforce the message that you should only download apps from the official store for your device. Only 1.2% of the fraudulent apps found originated from the main online stores such as Google Play or the Apple App store. The vast majority came from other sources, such as smaller app stores with poorer security measures. Android users were found to be the most at risk from fraudulent election apps, with the platform attracting 95% of the fraudulent apps. The end result of downloading one of these apps is that the user could be fed misinformation, potentially from foreign agents looking to disrupt democracy, or could even have their device compromised and their data stolen.

Full Article: Over 150 US Election Apps Found to be Potentially Fraudulent

Editorial: Republicans react to 2020 defeats by trying to make it harder to vote | Joshua A. Douglas/CNN

Republicans are using their lies about massive voter fraud in the 2020 election — which had zero evidentiary support — to propose even stricter voting laws for future elections. They must be stopped. According to the federal government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and election officials of both parties, the 2020 election was the most secure and well-run election ever. There was record turnout and zero evidence of massive voter fraud. States made it easier to vote while also ensuring that valuable integrity measures were in place. So, the logical next step would be to continue what worked well and even expand upon those successes. But instead, Republican legislators in numerous states are advancing new laws to cut back on voter access. Arizona Republicans have proposed measures to limit mail-in voting after President Joe Biden won the state’s Electoral College votes and Mark Kelly won the Senate race — both Democrats. One idea is to eliminate the state’s popular permanent early voting list of individuals who automatically receive a ballot, while another would require mail-in voters to have a notary sign their ballot envelopes. These measures come in the wake of the Arizona Republican Party, through its Twitter feed, spreading anti-democracy lies about the sanctity of the 2020 election. Across the country, Georgia Republicans, reeling from losses in the presidential election and both US Senate races, have proposed the elimination of no-excuse absentee voting and ballot drop boxes, while adding a requirement that absentee voters provide a copy of a photo ID. A local Republican election official in Georgia said the quiet part out loud: She supports new voting restrictions so Republicans would “at least have a shot at winning.” Pennsylvania Republicans, meanwhile, are seeking to repeal the 2019 law that adopted no-excuse mail-in voting — which they had overwhelmingly supported. They are also holding fourteen election-related hearings to explore the 2020 process, despite the fact that they sustained their control of the state legislature and won a statewide race for treasurer. Pennsylvania’s Senate Republicans further showed their true anti-democracy disposition by removing the state’s Democratic Lieutenant Governor from presiding over the chamber and then initially refusing to seat a Democrat who had narrowly won his race, acquiescing only after a federal court rejected the Republican challengers’ lawsuit.

Full Article: Republicans react to 2020 defeats by trying to make it harder to vote (Opinion) – CNN

Arizona GOP lawmaker introduces bill to give Legislature power to toss out election results | NBC

The Republican chair of Arizona’s state House Ways and Means Committee introduced a bill Wednesday that would give the Legislature authority to override the secretary of state’s certification of its electoral votes. GOP Rep. Shawnna Bolick introduced the bill, which rewrites parts of the state’s election law, such as sections on election observers and securing and auditing ballots, among other measures. One section grants the Legislature, which is currently under GOP control, the ability to revoke the secretary of state’s certification at any time before the presidential inauguration. “Notwithstanding Subsection A of this section, the legislature retains its legislative authority regarding the office of presidential elector and by majority vote at any time before the presidential inauguration may revoke the secretary of state’s issuance or certification of a presidential elector’s certificate of election,” according to the bill. “The legislature may take action pursuant to this subsection without regard to whether the legislature is in regular or special session or has held committee or other hearings on the matter.” A request for comment from Arizona’s secretary of state was not immediately returned. The move comes as the Arizona GOP has faced an intraparty fight after former President Donald Trump fueled baseless claims about the election after the state went to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election — the first time in 24 years a Democrat has won the state.

Full Article: Arizona GOP lawmaker introduces bill to give Legislature power t – | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Arizona: Maricopa County to audit machines used in November election | Bob Christie/Associated Press

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors plans to vote to hire two firms to audit election equipment and software used in the November election that has been the focus of unsubstantiated claims of fraud from Republicans who question President Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona. Board Chairman Jack Sellers defended the accuracy of the vote count in the state’s most populous county but said Tuesday the board wants to do the audit to try to show doubters that the election was free and fair. “While I am confident in our staff and our equipment, not all our residents are,” Sellers said in a statement. “This is a problem.” Sellers said some people may never be satisfied, but it is better to err on the side of transparency to show the public that the election results were untainted. The board plans to vote to conduct the audit at its Wednesday meeting. The five-member board dominated by Republicans has previously said it wanted to do a full forensic audit once lawsuits filed by backers of former President Donald Trump concluded. Federal and state courts in Arizona rejected eight lawsuits challenging the election results. The GOP-controlled state Senate is seeking to do its own audit and issued subpoenas to the county in mid-December seeking access to copies of ballots, software used in vote tabulation machines and the machines themselves, among other items. The board fought that request in court, saying the Senate sought private voter information and access to ballots and secure voting machines but is currently negotiating with attorneys for the Senate to try to resolve the impasse.

Full Article: Arizona county to audit machines used in November election

Georgia Republican State Senator Proposes Law That Would Add Photo ID For Absentee Ballots | Christopher Alston/WABE

A new bill introduced in the Georgia Senate, if passed, would require voters to submit a copy of an approved form of photo identification when applying for and submitting an absentee ballot. The bill filed by freshman state Sen. Jason Anavitarte, a Republican from Dallas, is the first measure introduced this session that would increase restrictions on absentee voting. Top Republican lawmakers have said they want to tighten security on the absentee process after Democrats’ record-breaking use of the method led to Republicans suffering major losses in November and January. If the law is passed, Georgians would have to scan and make a copy of their driver’s license, passport or another form of government-issued ID when they submit their ballot application, and again when they return the ballot itself. The new law would replace the current signature-verification process, which received heavy criticism from former President Donald Trump and his supporters following the presidential election. Trump insisted the process was fraudulent despite repeated assurances from Georgia’s election officials that absentee voting is secure. Multiple legislative hearings and federal court cases found no credible instances of voting irregularities that would call into question the results of the election.

Full Article: Republican State Senator Proposes Law That Would Add Photo ID For Ga. Absentee Ballots | 90.1 FM WABE

Louisiana renews search for vendor to replace voting system | Melinda DeSlatte/Associated Press

Louisiana has resumed efforts to replace thousands of decades-old voting machines, with the state’s elections chief issuing a new solicitation for bidders Wednesday amid a political climate where such contracts are getting intensified scrutiny. Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin already was going to face strong interest in his search for a contractor to update Louisiana’s voting system because allegations of improper bid handling derailed a previous effort to replace the machines in 2018. But the Republican elected official’s vendor search is expected to draw heightened monitoring because of the national debate over the presidential election and baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud by former President Donald Trump and his supporters. Ardoin understands the timing isn’t optimal, but he said the bid solicitation has safeguards he hopes will reassure people. Louisiana’s “voting equipment has been around for almost 30 years now, and I just don’t know how much longer they can last without us having major issues. It’s time to do this,” Ardoin said in an interview with The Associated Press. “The timing may not be perfect, but it certainly gives the Louisiana people the assurance that I’m looking at it from the perspective of a secure, safe and transparent process and election system.” Louisiana’s current voting machine contractor, Dominion Voting Systems, has specifically been targeted by conservatives who claimed without evidence that its machines were easily manipulated and somehow to blame for Trump’s loss in other states. Trump won Louisiana’s electoral votes. Dominion has sued Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, for spreading the unsubstantiated claims.

Source: Louisiana renews search for vendor to replace voting system

Michigan Attorney General Nessel files for sanctions against attorneys in election lawsuit | Clara Hendrickson/Detroit Free Press

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a motion Thursday for sanctions against the attorneys who brought a lawsuit that relied on conspiracy theories and misinformation in a failed attempt to overturn the state’s election in favor of then-President Donald Trump. The so-called “Kraken” lawsuit was filed by three Michigan attorneys and ex-Trump attorney Sidney Powell on behalf of presidential electors nominated by the Michigan Republican Party. U.S. District Judge Linda Parker denied the request to overturn the election after Michigan voters handed the state to now-President Joe Biden by more than 154,000 votes. In her opinion, Parker argued that the lawsuit appeared to be an effort to undermine faith in the democratic process. Explaining the request for sanctions, Nessel said, “These lawyers must be held accountable for betraying the trust placed in them as members of the bar.” She said the lawsuit played a role in fomenting the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump extremists. “By pursuing this suit that had no basis in either fact or law, they have only fueled the fire of distrust in our democracy that led to the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.”  The motion for sanctions filed by Nessel in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan argues that Michigan attorneys Greg Rohl, Scott Hagerstrom and Stefanie Junttila along with Powell, who is a licensed attorney in the state of Texas, pursued the lawsuit in violation of their oaths as attorneys, court rules and rules of professional conduct. Nessels’ motion for sanctions follows another filed by the city of Detroit. 

Full Article: Nessel seeks action against attorneys in election lawsuit

Michigan: Expert witness list released in Antrim County voter case | Mardi Link/Traverse City Record-Eagle

An expert witness list filed as part of an ongoing lawsuit accusing Antrim County of voter fraud, includes far-right activists who previously challenged 2020 election results in several states, in coordination with former President Donald Trump’s legal team, court documents show. On the list is Russell Ramsland, of Texas-based Allied Security Operations Group, who signed an error-laden report accusing the county and Dominion Voting Systems of deliberately altering election results. Ramsland, among those conducting a court-ordered forensic examination of the county’s voting equipment, previously made inaccurate claims about election results in Detroit, and mistook voting jurisdictions in Minnesota for Michigan in court filings. The other witnesses include Col. James P. Waldron, Doug Logan, representatives of Atlanta-based software developer and data security firm, Sullivan Strickler, attorney Katherine Friess, C. James Hayes and Todd B. Sanders, documents provided by the state Attorney General’s office shows. Information on which of these witnesses assisted with the in-person exam, was not included in court filings. “What role each one played in the preparation of the report, my understanding is we won’t know until these individuals are deposed,” said attorney Haider Kazim, who is representing Antrim County.

Full Article: Expert witness list released in Antrim County voter case | News |

New York: Decision awaited on contested ballots in Brindisi/Tenney race | Steve Howe/Utica Observer-Dispatch

The final ruling from state Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte in the judicial review of contested ballots in New York’s 22nd Congressional District will come today. DelConte said his order, expected in the afternoon, will require certain affidavit and absentee envelopes to be opened and the ballots inside cast and canvassed. The final canvass will begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 1.  The canvass will take place in the Oswego County Courthouse, and six of the counties in the congressional district will take part. Campaign representatives and election officials will appear for, in order, Oswego, Madison, Cortland, Herkimer, Chenango, Broome and Oneida counties, in half-hour increments. Republican Claudia Tenney and Democrat Anthony Brindisi can have up to three representatives at the canvasses. Tenney leads Brindisi by 29 votes at the latest unofficial tally. Any new challenges to the rulings of the election commissioners on Feb. 1 will be ruled on by DelConte in open court. The court proceedings will be streamed at viewing terminals in the Oswego, Oneida and Onondaga county courthouses. Final oral arguments were presented Jan. 22 after attorneys for both campaigns filed legal briefs Jan. 20. Approximately 1,100 contested ballots will fall under DelConte’s final decision, while more than 1,000 affidavit ballots are being canvassed by the Oneida County Board of Elections after 2,418 unprocessed online voter registration applications, submitted before the state deadline, were discovered.

Full Article: ABrindisi Tenney NY-22: Judge expected to rule on final ballots today

North Carolina: One GOP legal claim failed in 2020 but could change how future elections are run | Jordan Wilkie/Carolina Public Press

Republicans around the country turned to an untested legal theory to challenge changes to state election laws during the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent national election results. The theory, called the independent state legislature doctrine, would vest more authority in state legislatures to set rules for federal elections with fewer checks by other state bodies like courts or board of elections.  North Carolinian Republicans used the theory, based on a strict reading of the U.S. Constitution’s elections clause, to challenge almost every stage of election governance. In the end, these efforts failed to change the results of the election. But they fanned the flames of a constitutional argument that could reshape the way states create rules for federal elections. The elections clause made its appearance in North Carolina’s elections when state House Speaker Tim Moore and state Senate leader Phil Berger sued the State Board of Elections in September. The board had settled a separate lawsuit, pending state court approval, with a Democratic-backed group that would temporarily change some state election laws like allowing a longer window for by-mail ballots to be delivered. Moore and Berger argued in both state and federal courts that the Elections Board couldn’t actually enter into such an agreement, and a state court couldn’t ratify it, in part because neither had the authority to change state laws under the elections clause of the U.S. Constitution. 

Full Article: One GOP legal claim failed in 2020 but could change how future elections are run – Carolina Public Press

Ohio Secretary of State pushes changes after Trump-supporting vendor doesn’t deliver ballots | Rick Rouan/The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is pushing new rules for absentee ballot vendors after a Northeast Ohio company that flew a Trump 2020 flag over its headquarters couldn’t keep up with production of ballots last year. Several counties cut ties with Cleveland-based Midwest Direct last fall when it failed to deliver thousands of absentee ballots on time during a general election that drew historic levels of voting by mail because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The company had contracts with about 16 of Ohio’s 88 counties. Nine of them fired the company. Midwest Direct also received national attention for flying a Trump 2020 campaign flag over its headquarters as the former president criticized voting by mail. The company eventually removed the flag. Now LaRose is proposing that local boards of elections first get approval from his office before contracting for absentee ballot processing and get assurances in writing from vendors that they have the resources to handle the contract. They also have to consider “any action, appearance of impropriety, or political bias that the choice of vendor might impute on the board,” according to a draft of changes to the Ohio Election Official Manual.

Full Article: LaRose pushes changes after Trump-supporting vendor doesn’t deliver ballots

Pennsylvania: Elections officials from Lehigh County, elsewhere tell lawmakers of problems with state’s aging electronic voter registration system | Ford Turner/The Morning Call

The electronic backbone of Pennsylvania’s election system — the software that holds every voter’s registration data and election participation — is being replaced, to the “rejoicing” of elections officials statewide. Lehigh County Election Board Chief Clerk Timothy Benyo used that word Thursday during a hearing as he and others spoke on the pending replacement of the State Uniform Registry of Electors system. The replacement plan started long before the partisan chaos of the presidential election. Snyder County Commissioner Joseph Kantz — with agreement from Benyo — ticked off a laundry list of complaints about the current system, which is nearly 20 years old. They include inadvertent sending of printouts to other counties, misplaced “batches” of voter applications in the system, and system downtime. “Focusing on the future, the Department of State is moving forward with a replacement system and all 67 counties are rejoicing with that announcement,” Benyo said. A company whose name was not given during the hearing has been selected to provide the new system that will host the so-called SURE database. A department spokesperson was not available to answer questions. “We are on a timeline that would actually deliver this before the primary of next year,” Department of State Deputy Secretary Jonathan Marks testified. Marks said counties would help customize the new SURE system over the next 12 months. Lebanon County Director of Elections Michael Anderson said the target implementation date is February 2022.

Full Article: Elections officials from Lehigh County, elsewhere tell lawmakers of problems with Pennsylvania’s aging electronic voter system – The Morning Call

Texas: Harris County to spend $54 million on new voting machines, this time with paper backup | Zach Despart/Houston Chronicle

Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday approved spending $54 million on a fleet of new voting machines, choosing a model that produces a paper backup. The court unanimously selected the Hart InterCivic Verity machine to replace the e-Slate devices in use since 2002, which were also manufactured by the Austin election software company. “This has been thoroughly vetted. I’m very confident in the machines we’re selecting, in that they have everything that we’ve asked for,” said Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria. “They have triple data backups for election integrity and everything we need to keep elections safe.” The Verity model has a digital touch screen and more accessibility options for seniors and residents with disabilities. Longoria said her staff will determine whether debuting the 12,000 new machines is feasible for the May elections. For last year’s November general election, Harris County was the largest jurisdiction in the country to use a voting system that did not produce a paper backup, raising security concerns because elections could not be audited. “I’m so glad we’re getting paper ballots,” County Judge Lina Hidalgo said after voting to approve the new machines. “What a relief.”

Full Article: Harris County to spend $54 million on new voting machines, this time with paper backup