Monday, September 13, 2021


Nick Corasaniti of The New York Times notices that Republicans aren't even waiting for the votes to be counted (or even for all the votes to be cast) to start shouting "Fraud!" in California.
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.

Voter fraud.

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.
Yes, but as I've pointed out many times, Republicans always think there's voter fraud in California. Trump said so in late November 2016.

Paul Ryan implied that there was voter fraud in California in the 2018 midterms, as Ed Kilgore noted at the time:
Some Republicans were so busy on the evening of November 6 spinning a poor midterm showing into a vindication of their party and president that they apparently missed the fact that the election wasn’t quite over. And later on, they professed mystification at the final results. I say “professed” because it’s hard to believe Speaker Paul Ryan is as stupid as he sounds here:
The California election system “just defies logic to me,” Ryan said during a Washington Post event.

“We were only down 26 seats the night of the election and three weeks later, we lost basically every California race....

“In Wisconsin, we knew the next day. Scott Walker, my friend, I was sad to see him lose, but we accepted the results on Wednesday,” Ryan said. In California, “their system is bizarre; I still don’t completely understand it. There are a lot of races there we should have won.”
The slow count from California should not have come as a surprise: It happened in the June 5 primary as well, and in the 2016 primary and general election. And it was mainly the product of a 2015 change in state election laws allowing ballots postmarked by Election Day and received within three days to count. Since the share of Californians voting by mail has been going up regularly in recent elections, we’re talking about a lot of votes.
But even before that, Republicans were warning of the potential for voter fraud committed by ... well, you can guess. Here's an Investor's Business Daily editorial from 2015:
Just months after handing out California driver's licenses to illegals, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a law to automatically register every driver to vote. Supposedly, it's to raise turnout. More likely, it's inviting fraud....

Foreigners have complained for years about wanting to vote in U.S. elections and in California. And now they may get their wish....
California doesn't automatically provide voter registration for the undocumented when it issues them driver's licenses, but the myth persists. And so we get commentary like this 2019 opinion piece:
In reality, California officials know full well how many non-citizens voted in June and November of 2018, and the ballpark figure of one million is probably low. California officials also know how many ineligible non-citizens voted in November 2016.
Gavin Newsom is likely to survive the recall by double digits, for the simple reason that Democrats routinely win the state by double digits. And yet there will probably be more cries of "Fraud!" in California than in Virginia, where Democrat Terry McAuliffe will win (if he does win) by a much smaller margin.

Is that because Republicans don't want to play the fraud card in Virginia, fearing that talk of rigged elections might discourage their own voters in what could be a winnable race, while they believe they have nothing to lose in California? Or are they more inclined to allege fraud in California simply because they see it as the epicenter of undocumented immigration in America (as well as the state that embodies everything else they hate about liberalism)? Whatever the reason, they think Democratic dominance in California is fake, and the next time they control at least one house of Congress, they'll probably make a serious effort to prove that Trump won the state twice, and that millions of fake votes are cast there in every election.

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