Tag: voter fraud
Texas Attorney General Pursued Bogus Cases Against Election Workers

Texas Attorney General Pursued Bogus Cases Against Election Workers

In the GOP-led crusade to promote groundless allegations of fraud in the 2020 election, an effort that has largely scrutinized voters,Texas attorney general Ken Paxton — election denier and afterthought to the rally that preceded January 6 — has been working an angle more extreme than his counterparts.

The top law enforcement official -- who once sneaked out of his home and fled on a truck driven by his wife to escape a subpoena -- has bared his animus against a pillar of American democracy: election workers.

An investigation by ProPublica, published Wednesday, found that Paxton, a Trump super-fan who played a key role in the ex-president’s failed 2020 coup, opened at least 390 cases into alleged electoral misconduct between January 2020 and September 2022 but secured only five election-related convictions.

Ten of those probes delved into baseless allegations of election crimes and misconduct by poll workers, many of whom, the Washington Post reported, are considering leaving their posts after a relentless barrage of right-wing harassment that has hindered their jobs and jeopardized their safety.

One of Paxton’s election-worker probes, ProPublica noted, was spurred by a Bexar County GOP chair, Cynthia Brehm, who refused to certify the results of her re-election bid after a landslide defeat to her challenge, citing an “active investigation” by Paxton’s office into the “severely compromised” results.

The publication also noted that allegations of obstructing a poll watcher were all Paxton’s office needed to open most of its election-worker probes. The shocking animosity over unfounded claims led to mass resignations by unhappy poll workers, who unwittingly undertook fending off conspiracy theories and tolerating threats of physical harm as part of the job.

Texas is one of few states that impose criminal penalties for obstructing a poll watcher, partisan volunteers monitoring election sites, including impeding the individual from moving about the polling place as they please — an “offense” that’s punishable by up to one year behind bars.

Paxton’s election-worker probe also encompassed Democratic-leaning cities, investigating election officials, some of whom are elderly citizens, with as little as complaints made by voters to go on.

According to ProPublica, Paxton had attempted to prosecute local election official Dana DeBeauvoir, who spent nearly 40 years in service of her county government., for asking a maskless poll watcher who was photographing ballots and recording polling place proceedings, both of which violated the rules, to leave the polling site.

The watcher flew into a rage, “screaming and banging on the window of the room where votes were being counted” before the police arrived and removed her from the scene, DeBeauvoir told ProPublica.

To DeBeauvoir’s shock, a county official informed her weeks later that Paxton’s office had opened a criminal investigation into her conduct. “I never felt more alone,” DeBeauvoir told the paper. “Everything that was being said was completely untrue. And I could not defend myself.”

In an unusual move, however, Paxton brought DeBeauvoir’s case before a grand jury in a conservative county, not in Travis County, where the incident took place, the publication noted. However, that grand jury declined to indict DeBeauvoir.

A representative for Paxton did not respond to requests for comment on the case.

Although Paxton’s last-ditch attempt to grasp unilateral authority to pursue criminal charges for perceived election fraud was rejected by Texas’ highest criminal court last month, the conservative provocateur has spared no effort and expense to push the Big Lie.

Despite the slew of legal issues Paxton is facing, including an FBI investigation into his alleged aiding of one of his top donors, voters will have their say in Paxton’s tenure before the courts do, as the controversial conservative is up for reelection in the midterms.

Paxton’s office didn’t respond to ProPublica’s request for comments, but his crusade against confidence in the country’s elections is still ongoing.

Trump-Backed Arizona Republican Boasted About Committing Vote Fraud

Trump-Backed Arizona Republican Boasted About Committing Vote Fraud

The Trump-backed GOP candidate for Arizona attorney general has in the past disseminated anti-Semitic tropes, called for cutting U.S. funding to Isreal, and seemingly admitted to voter fraud, the Phoenix New Times reported Tuesday.

Abraham Hamadeh, a 31-year-old first-timer in the political sphere, emerged victorious in Arizona’s crowded GOP primary after his advocacy for the Big Lie — that widespread voter fraud derailed former President Trump’s “victory” in the 2020 election — won him Trump’s “complete and total” endorsement.

Hamadeh embraced many of Trump’s baseless allegations about the 2020 election and said, were it up to him, he would not have certified Arizona's 2020 general election results. Hamadeh vowed during his campaign that he would use the attorney general's office to “prosecute crimes of the rigged 2020 election.”

“Abe Hamadeh knows what happened in the 2020 election, and will enforce voting laws so that our elections are free and fair again,” Trump said in his endorsement.

According to the Phoenix New Times, in a slate of posts starting in October 2008, Hamadeh, then a 17-year-old aspiring WWE wrestler, allegedly admitted that he illegally voted and altered his mother’s vote on her absentee ballot for then-Senator Barack Obama for President.

“Obama is getting all of this crap simply cause hes black, he has an Arab name, hes the only senator who is black in the Senate, he is successful, and he is a Harvard Law graduate, they're scared they might have a smart man in the white house,” Hamadeh wrote.

In a follow-up post, he admitted, “No, I cannot vote. I just submitted my mother’s absentee ballot, she votes who I vote for, she voted for Ron Paul, and I’m saddened that I had to vote for Barack Obama, but it was the right thing I had to do.”

“Under Arizona law, it's a felony for a person to knowingly mark a ballot "with the intent to fix an election for that person's own benefit or for that of another person" or to possess anyone’s early ballot other than your own. It's also illegal for anyone younger than 18 to cast a ballot,” the New Times noted in its report

Hamadeh also proposed radical, eugenics-like ideas for election reform: that only educated Americans who passed an intelligence test be allowed to vote, “not people who just go to a DMV and sign up to vote,” per the New Times.

“Based on Barack Obama's intelligence I casted my vote for him yesterday through absentee,” Hamadeh wrote, seemingly admitting to underage voting.

Besides calling John McCain a “radical fascist,” Hamadeh peddled anti-Semitic talking points in 2007 and advocated for the United States to stop funding Israel a year later.

"If you think Jews arent big in america (2%) how come 56% of them are CEO'S ... Jews are influential and for the most part rich," Hamadeh wrote in a post. "its good we're targetting Arabs now, next will target Jews."

Hamadeh’s campaign did not deny the substance of the New Times’ allegations but said that Hamadeh made the comments at issue in his youth, “well before their minds were even fully developed,” so it should not be an issue in 2022.

“Abe Hamadeh is the youngest statewide candidate in the country, and one of the first to be scrutinized on his digital footprint dating back to a time when he was 16 years old, the same time he thought he would grow up to become a wrestler in the WWE," said Erica Knight, a spokesperson for Hamadeh’s campaign told the New Times.

“We are entering a new era of political opposition where candidates who have lived through their adolescent years on the internet are being judged and criticized based on comments they made well before their minds were even fully developed. It is now our responsibility to be careful where we draw the line," Knight added.

When HuffPost asked the Hamadeh campaign to clarify whether its candidate actually altered his mother’s vote, the campaign deflected by referring the paper to the candidate’s Wednesday tweet.

Hamadeh’s challenger, Kris Mayes, the Democratic candidate for Arizona attorney general, slammed him for his hypocrisy, anti-Semitic views, and radical utterances.

“It’s shocking that the Republican candidate for attorney general in Arizona admitted to engaging in voter fraud, and it’s equally offensive that he made so many anti-Semitic and sexist remarks,” Mayes said on Wednesday in an interview with HuffPost. “It’s just inexcusable and disqualifying.”

Mark Meadows Was Registered To Vote In Three States At Once, Officials Say

Mark Meadows Was Registered To Vote In Three States At Once, Officials Say

Mark Meadows, former White House Chief of Staff for the Trump administration and purveyor of election fraud conspiracies, is facing increased scrutiny and fresh allegations of voter fraud after the Washington Post reported Friday that he was registered to vote in three states at the same time.

Meadows was registered to vote in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia at the same time for three weeks, election records obtained by the Post show. However, Meadows was purged from North Carolina’s voter roles last week by the State Board of Elections in an investigation by North Carolina’s attorney general and the State Bureau of Investigations into whether he had committed voter fraud.

The investigation kicked into gear after a New Yorker report that Meadows had registered to vote with the address of a mobile home he didn’t own and never lived in. The previous owner of the Scaly Mountain mobile home was shocked to learn that Meadows had listed that address because his wife had spent only two nights there, despite renting the place for a few months, the New Yorker added.

According to the Post, Meadows is still a registered voter in both South Carolina and Virginia. A representative for South Carolina Elections, Chris Whitmire, told the AP that Meadows and his wife, Debbie Meadows, registered to vote in March 2022, two weeks after the New Yorker published its report.

“[March 2022] is when [Meadows] became active,” Whitmire added in his response to the AP, implying that Meadows had yet to vote in South Carolina.

Meadows was a congressman from January 2013 until March 2020, after which he took up the post of then-President’s Trump fourth and final chief of staff. After Trump lost the 2020 presidential elections, Meadows joined a far-right institute that purported to promote “election integrity” and pushed lies of election fraud.

In an August 2020 interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Meadows whined about the inaccuracy in states’ voter rolls, saying, “I don’t want my vote or anyone else’s to be disenfranchised. … Do you realize how inaccurate the voter rolls are, with people just moving around? … Anytime you move, you’ll change your driver’s license, but you don’t call up and say, ‘Hey, by the way, I’m re-registering.’”

Apparently, Meadows didn’t tell Virginia he was re-registering when he signed up to vote in the Virginia gubernatorial elections the following year, a race Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin ended up winning.

Voter role inaccuracies evidently didn’t matter to Meadows anymore when he registered to vote in South Carolina last month, despite already being a registered voter in Virginia and North Carolina at the time.

In July 2021, Meadows splashed nearly $1.6 million on a three-story waterfront home in South Carolina, per the Post. While using the abandoned motor home in North Carolina as an address for his voter records, Meadows sold for $370,000 a Sapphire home where his mother lived and from which she voted for many years.

A representative for Mark Meadows refused to comment, and requests for comment left at the retirement community where his mother now resides went unanswered.