In red California, recall backers fuel unfounded claims of ‘rigged’ voting, bait workers | Diana Marcum and Priscilla Vega/Los Angeles Times

The Central Valley has long been a stronghold for red California. And on Tuesday, there were loud voices of support for the recall while some election workers had to deal with taunts over unfounded conservative claims of election fraud. The neighborhood of Fig Garden Loop in Fresno is known for big houses and yards full of fruit trees. Old money. Old farmers and ranchers. The polling place was at a business called Elite Venues. After her shift, election supervisor Rebekah Doughty said her lip hurt from biting it so hard, as almost half the voters who came in were spoiling for a fight. “They walked in just baiting: ‘How many dead people are voting here?’” “They questioned the pens. They said the machines didn’t read our type of pens.” “They pointed to the Dominion machines and said they were the center of the fraud.”

Full Article: California recall backers fuel claims of ‘rigged’ voting – Los Angeles Times

Pennsylvania Governor says he’s rescinding nomination of top election official over dispute with Senate GOP’s audit | Jan Murphy/PennLive

Gov. Tom Wolf said he has decided against subjecting his Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Veronica Degraffenreid to a Senate confirmation process and, in a rare move, is recalling her nomination. Instead, the governor indicated he will have her serve in that role in an acting capacity. This decision comes amidst a growing dispute between the governor and Senate Republicans over the caucus’ move to launch an audit of the conduct of the 2020 presidential election. President Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in Pennsylvania on his way to winning the White House, but some Republican lawmakers have continued to call for a review of the election. Wolf said based on the Senate Republican majority’s pursuit of an investigation into baseless claims of fraud that skewed the results in Biden’s favor, “it is clear that Veronica Degraffenreid will not receive a fair hearing from this Senate on her merits.”

Full Article: Wolf pulls election nominee, slams Senate GOP over handling

National: Senate Democrats Forge Agreement On New Voting Legislation | Claudia Grisales and Juana Summers/NPR

Senate Democrats have reached a deal on revised voting rights legislation, but a major roadblock remains in the evenly divided chamber with Republicans ready to halt the bill’s progress. The package is the latest attempt by Democrats to counteract Republican-led measures at the state level to restrict voting access and alter election administration. The new legislation, unveiled Tuesday morning by Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar and several co-sponsors, builds off a framework proposed by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who had opposed an earlier, sweeping measure from his party. Along with Manchin, the new bill’s co-sponsors are Democratic Sens. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, Jon Tester of Montana, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Alex Padilla of California, along with Maine independent Sen. Angus King. Republicans have been united in opposition to what they call a federal takeover of state election policy. With an evenly divided Senate, a GOP filibuster stands in Democrats’ way, and their effort would fall short of the 60 votes needed to move the measure forward.

Source: Senate Democrats Forge Agreement On New Voting Legislation : NPR

National: Senate Democrats near agreement on new voting rights legislation | Leigh Ann Caldwell and Teaganne Finn/NBC

Senate Democrats are close to an agreement on updated voting rights legislation that can get the support of all 50 Democratic-voting senators, three Democratic aides familiar with negotiations said. The For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act were introduced in Congress in 2019 and 2021, respectively. Since their introductions, both have been voted on along party lines. The member-level discussions are complete, a source said, but staff members are going through the text to fix technical issues. No further details have been shared. The legislation would require the votes of 60 senators, including 10 Republicans, and it’s unlikely that Democrats will get enough Republican supporters. The bill is part of congressional Democrats’ broader campaign to strengthen voting laws at the federal level to fight restrictive voting laws passed in Republican-led states, such as Texas and Georgia.

Full Article: Senate Democrats near agreement on new voting rights legislation

National: Trump’s efforts to subvert the 2020 presidential election could put future fair elections in jeopardy | Rob Kuznia, Bob Ortega and Casey Tolan/CNN

When the election office led by Lisa Deeley first came under attack from then-President Donald Trump last year, it was more than a month before Election Day. Deeley, the chair of Philadelphia’s three-member election commission and a Democrat, watched from home as Trump falsely claimed during the first 2020 presidential debate that poll watchers had already been turned away at early voting centers in Philadelphia. “Bad things happen in Philadelphia,” Trump said. Deeley’s cell phone immediately lit up with calls and text messages. “A lot of my family, my friends, got a little chuckle out of it, but I knew it wasn’t at all something to laugh about,” she told CNN. “It was just the beginning.” Trump’s efforts to subvert the election began well before Election Day, and have only gained momentum since, with Republicans passing laws to restrict voting or make it easier for partisans to interfere in more than a dozen states, including key battlegrounds. Most recently, in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott signed an election bill into law last week over the fierce objection of the state’s Democrats, who, in hopes of derailing similar restrictions proposed earlier this summer, had fled the state two times en masse.

Full Article: Trump’s efforts to subvert the 2020 presidential election could put future fair elections in jeopardy – CNNPolitics

National: A dangerous trend among GOP candidates shows the Trump threat is here to stay | Greg Sargent/The Washington Post

So is this really how it’s going to be? Are more and more Republican candidates across our great land going to treat it as a requirement that they cast any and all election losses as dubious or illegitimate by definition? We’re now seeing numerous examples of GOP candidates running for office who are doing something very close to this. Which suggests the legacy of Donald Trump could prove worse for the health of democracy than it first appeared. It isn’t just that Republicans will be expected to pledge fealty to the lost cause of the stolen 2020 election. It’s also that untold numbers of GOP candidates will see it as essential to the practice of Trumpist politics that they vow to actively subvert legitimate election losses by any means necessary. One high-profile GOP candidate now playing this ugly Trumpist game is Larry Elder, who is running in a recall election against California’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom. This week, Elder told reporters that “there might very well be shenanigans” in the vote counting, just like “in the 2020 election,” and vowed that his “voter integrity board” of lawyers will “file lawsuits.” “The 2020 election, in my opinion, was full of shenanigans,” Elder also told Fox News. “My fear is they’re going to try that in this election right here and recall.” It’s common for campaigns to prepare for post-election litigation. But Elder is going much further. He’s hinting at a concerted effort to steal the recall and linking that to the “big lie” that there were widespread problems in 2020. The goal is plainly to tap into the deep well of paranoia and conspiracy-mongering that Trump fed for years — and to undermine in advance faith in any outcome but a win.

Full Article: Opinion | A dangerous trend among GOP candidates shows the Trump threat is here to stay – The Washington Post

National: Lawmakers seek to protect election workers | Linda So and Jason Szep/Reuters

Democratic Congress members called for tougher legislation to address death threats against U.S. election administrators following a Reuters report that exposed a lack of arrests in response to a wave of intimidation targeting the workers since November’s presidential election. In a report published on Wednesday, Reuters identified more than 100 threats of death or violence made to election workers and officials, part of an unprecedented campaign of intimidation inspired by former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen. The response from U.S. law enforcement has so far produced only four known arrests and no convictions. “This is a real problem, and it needs attention,” said Representative John Sarbanes, a Maryland Democrat. “If they are under attack, our democracy is very much under attack.” In late June, Sarbanes was among a group of Democratic House members and senators who introduced the Preventing Election Subversion Act, which would make it a federal crime to intimidate, threaten, coerce, or harass an election worker. It would also seek to limit “arbitrary and unfounded removals of local election officials.” At about the same time, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a task force to investigate threats against election workers.


Full Article: U.S. lawmakers seek to protect election workers after Reuters investigation | Reuters

Arizona Supreme Court allows release of Senate audit records | Bob Christie/Associated Press

The Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an effort by the state Senate to keep secret records of its ongoing review of the 2020 election in Maricopa County that are in the possession of the contractors conducting the recount. The high court without comment rejected the appeal filed after an appeals court and trial court both ruled the documents are public records that must be released. The court also dissolved a stay on the appeals court ruling it put in place on Aug. 24 so it could review the record and decide whether to accept the appeal. The Arizona Court of Appeals had ruled that the documents sought by the watchdog group American Oversight detailing how the recount and audit are being conducted are public and must be turned over. Republicans who control the Senate have tried for months to keep secret how their contractors are conducting the recount. They argued that because the records are maintained by Senate contractors, they were not subject to public records law and that legislative immunity applies. But the appeals court in its Aug. 19 ruling rejected that argument. The court said the main contractor, Florida company Cyber Ninjas, was subject to the records law because it was performing a core government function that the Senate farmed out.

Full Article: Arizona Supreme Court allows release of Senate audit records

California: False Election Claims in Recall Reveal a New G.O.P. Normal | Nick Corasaniti/The New York Times

The results of the California recall election won’t be known until Tuesday night. But some Republicans are already predicting victory for the Democrat, Gov. Gavin Newsom, for a reason that should sound familiar. Soon after the recall race was announced in early July, the embers of 2020 election denialism ignited into new false claims on right-wing news sites and social media channels. This vote, too, would supposedly be “stolen,” with malfeasance ranging from deceptively designed ballots to nefariousness by corrupt postal workers. As a wave of recent polling indicated that Mr. Newsom was likely to brush off his Republican challengers, the baseless allegations accelerated. Larry Elder, a leading Republican candidate, said he was “concerned” about election fraud. The Fox News commentators Tomi Lahren and Tucker Carlson suggested that wrongdoing was the only way Mr. Newsom could win. And former President Donald J. Trump predicted that it would be “a rigged election.” This swift embrace of false allegations of cheating in the California recall reflects a growing instinct on the right to argue that any lost election, or any ongoing race that might result in defeat, must be marred by fraud. The relentless falsehoods spread by Mr. Trump and his allies about the 2020 election have only fueled such fears.

Full Article: False Election Claims in California Reveal a New G.O.P. Normal – The New York Times

California: Larry Elder prepares for recall loss with lawyers, voter fraud website | Lara Korte/The Sacramento Bee

With less than a week to go until the California recall election, some Republicans are falsely claiming that votes are rigged in favor of Democrats and suggesting, without evidence, that Gov. Gavin Newsom can only win with fraudulent votes. The claims are unsubstantiated, and echo similar false messages promoted by Republicans last year following the election of President Joe Biden. Larry Elder, the top-polling Republican candidate seeking to replace Newsom, is already preparing to challenge the recall results if Newsom survives. Elder told reporters in Los Angeles on Wednesday that he believes “there might very well be shenanigans” in the recall election, but that he expects to win anyway because “so many Californians are angry about what’s going on,” according to CNN. Elder said his campaign nevertheless is ready to file lawsuits and encouraged people to report any issues.

Full Article: Republicans lob accusations of voter fraud ahead of CA recall | The Sacramento Bee

Editorial: California has a secure voting system — but more transparency wouldn’t hurt. Here’s why | Kim Alexander and Mike Alvarez/The Sacramento Bee

There is a growing chorus claiming that California’s recall election is not secure. Some claims come from people providing no evidence to back them up and no substantiation of fraud. Some come from people who question aspects of California’s election administration practices that they don’t understand (like the use of accessibility holes by some counties in ballot return envelopes to help guide low-vision voters to the signature box). Some are fueled by a dramatic incident where 300 ballots were found in a man’s car in Southern California, leading some to allege it was evidence that people are trying to steal the election (while this case is still under investigation, it appears likely the ballots were collateral damage in a case of attempted mail theft to rob people of checks, not ballots). Compared to other states, California makes it easy for people to vote. But making voting simple for eligible citizens is, in fact, a complex task for state and county election officials. Every county does things a little differently, from how they lay out their ballots and what their ballot return envelopes look like, to what kind of in-person voting options are available, whether it’s at neighborhood polling places or county-wide vote centers.

Full Article: Continued transparency needed on CA’s election voting system | The Sacramento Bee

Colorado Secretary of State outlines disturbing online threats against her office | Sloan Dickey/The Denver Channel

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold is no stranger to threats online. She says since the election in 2020, threats have been a constant. Fueled by lies alleging stolen elections and widespread voter fraud, the attacks against Griswold and her staff have not only sustained, she says they have increased. “Department of Homeland Security has alerted us about physical threats. The FBI has alerted us,” Griswold said. She said there is still no office dedicated to vetting the authenticity of the threats. “It’s falling on Secretary of States offices to comb through literally thousands of threats,” Griswold said. The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office shared some of those threats with Denver7. The comments were posted to Griswold’s personal and public social media accounts and sent in direct messages. The messages make direct and gruesome threats against her life.

Full Article: Griswold shares violent threats against her office

Florida: With 2022 on the horizon, election officials brace for death threats | Dara Kam/News Ervice of Florida

After last year’s emotionally charged elections and in anticipation of what some predict will be a tsunami of threats to elections officials, a bipartisan group of high-powered lawyers are joining forces and enlisting others to offer free legal advice to elections administrators. And they’ve tapped Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley to serve on the advisory board for the newly created Election Official Legal Defense Network. The nonprofit is co-chaired by Ben Ginsberg, a veteran Republican attorney who represented President George W. Bush’s campaign during the 2000 recount, and Bob Bauer, a longtime Democratic attorney who served as White House counsel under former President Barack Obama. The group was founded in collaboration with the Center for Election Innovation & Research and its executive director, David Becker. “It’s almost sad and unfortunate that we have to be talking about this. You know, odd-numbered years are usually pretty low-key elections. It’s like last November just continues, sort of like Groundhog Day,” Corley told reporters Wednesday during a Zoom call to announce the group. Corley said he was hit with death threats, and dozens of racial slurs were lobbed at his workers following last year’s presidential election, despite Florida’s smooth election. A group of protesters showed up at the home where Corley previously lived with his ex-wife and son, who were still residing at the house, he said. He received death threats on social media. The Pasco supervisor said he had to enlist the aid of local and federal law enforcement.

Full Article: With 2022 on the horizon, Florida election officials brace for death threats

North Dakota IT probe to include state election system | Govt-and-politics | Mike McCleary/Bismarck Tribune

North Dakota’s election system will be included in a large-scale probe of the state’s information technology, a move the state auditor says is not an election audit of 2020 results. State Auditor Josh Gallion’s office is in contract negotiations for the statewide IT security assessment that will look at cybersecurity vulnerability including software, hardware and physical infrastructure. Gallion expects the work to begin around January and to conclude by October 2022. Contractors during the last assessment excluded the election system due to the November 2020 general election occurring at the time, he said. The probe is covered by a $450,000 budget item approved by the 2021 Legislature. Gallion said the IT assessments go back 10-12 years. He did acknowledge a “dialogue going on out there” from “certain groups” in favor of auditing the 2020 presidential election results in the wake of Republican Donald Trump’s reelection loss, such as in Arizona, which Democrat Joe Biden narrowly won. Trump took North Dakota with 65% of the vote.  The second-term Republican auditor said “this will not do that. We will not be auditing those results.”

Full Article: North Dakota IT probe to include state election system | Govt-and-politics |

Pennsylvania GOP lawmakers to subpoena personal information on every voter in controversial 2020 election review | Danielle OhlSpotlight PA

Republican lawmakers in the Capitol are pushing to collect personal information on every registered Pennsylvania voter, as well as a trove of communications between state and county election officials, as part of a controversial inquiry into the 2020 presidential election. The GOP lawmakers have crafted a sweeping subpoena, shared with Spotlight PA late Tuesday, in which they are requesting all communications between state elections officials and elections officials in every county, as well as the name, address, and partial social security number of every voter registered as of last November. The subpoena, which is up for a vote before a Senate committee on Wednesday morning, is likely to face pushback from Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration, as well as Democrats in the legislature who have characterized the GOP’s efforts as baseless partisan attacks meant to undermine President Biden’s win over Donald Trump. But Republicans who control the state Senate say they believe the sweeping review is necessary because of the state’s evolving guidance last year to counties on how to handle mail-in and other ballots, and to ensure that there were no irregularities in last year’s election — even though GOP legislative leaders have acknowledged that they have no evidence of fraud. “We saw an extraordinary number of changes and guidance and clarifications and modifications of that guidance leading up to the election,” said Jason Thompson, a spokesperson for Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R., Centre). “Certain aspects of that guidance we felt were partisan.”


Full Article: Pa. GOP lawmakers to subpoena personal information on every voter in controversial 2020 election review · Spotlight PA

Pennsylvania: ‘One enormous conspiracy theory’: Federal judge orders attorneys who pushed election fraud lie to pay sanctions | Julia Agos/WITF

A federal judge is determining the cost of sanctions for two attorneys ​whose lawsuit contained baseless claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed the motion in May ​to recover legal fees from Gary Fielder and Ernest Walker. Shapiro says the two lawyers attacked how Pennsylvania’s election was conducted and attempted to undermine faith in the results. “While any reasonable attorney would have been aware from the start that this entire case was unjustifiable, plaintiffs’ attorneys were specifically made aware of the spuriousness of their case soon after they filed it,” Shapiro wrote in the filing brief.  In the class action suit ​filed in Colorado, United States Magistrate Judge N. Reid Neureiter found the lawyers acted in bad faith and tried to mislead the court with unfounded claims of fraud. The class-action suit asked for $1,000 for each of the 160 million voters.

Full Article: ‘One enormous conspiracy theory’: Federal judge orders attorneys who pushed election fraud lie to pay sanctions to Pa. and other defendants. | WITF

Wisconsin: Election probe email raises security concerns | Scott Bauer/Associated Press

An email signed by the leader of a Republican-ordered investigation into the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin sent to county clerks on Monday raised security concerns about its authenticity and what measures would be taken to protect sensitive information requested. The message signed by former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, who is leading the probe, asked clerks to retain all records related to the election and notify him if any had been destroyed. It comes after Gableman initially asked the Wisconsin Election Commission for the data. But elections are run locally and all of the ballots, voting machines and other data are maintained by county and municipal officials. The email, which was signed by Gableman but came from a address from someone named John Delta, raised security concerns in the state’s two largest counties. “I cannot confirm the authenticity of its origin,” wrote Dane County senior systems administrator Brian Wimann to County Clerk Scott McDonell. “I would strongly recommend against replying to it with any information. If these actions are in an official capacity, I would expect it to come from an email account with an official email address.” Wimann also said that the county had received no verification of any operational security practices from the special counsel. “I would not recommend any disclosure of sensitive information until official channels of communication have been established and verified,” Wimann wrote to McDonell.

Full Article: Election probe email raises security concerns in Wisconsin