Voters in the six major battlegrounds where Donald Trump tried to reverse his defeat in 2020 rejected election-denying candidates seeking to control their states’ election systems this year, a resounding signal that Americans have grown weary of the former president’s unfounded claims of widespread fraud.
Candidates for secretary of state in Michigan, Arizona and Nevada who had echoed Trump’s false accusations lost their contests on Tuesday, with the latter race called Saturday night. A fourth candidate never made it out of his May primary in Georgia. In Pennsylvania, one of the nation’s most prominent election deniers lost his bid for governor, a job that would have given him the power to appoint the secretary of state. And in Wisconsin, an election-denying contender’s loss in the governor’s race effectively blocked a move to put election administration under partisan control.
Trump-allied Republicans mounted a concerted push this year to win a range of state and federal offices, including the once obscure office of secretary of state, which in many instances is a state’s top election official.
Some pledged to “decertify” the 2020 results, although election law experts said that is not possible. Others promised to decommission electronic voting machines, require hand-counting of ballots or block all mail voting. Their platforms were rooted in Trump’s disproven claims that the 2020 race was rigged, and their bids for public office raised grave concerns about whether the popular will could be subverted, and free and fair elections undermined, in 2024 and beyond. [Continue reading…]