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Money flowing to election deniers causes scramble in secretary-of-state races

The election skeptics of their state are the Republican nominees for secretary-of-state. They have outraised their Democratic counterparts in two races deemed competitive by political handicappers, in Arizona and Indiana.

According to Issue One research, Republican nominees for secretary of state in the United States have raised over $12 million this election cycle. Some of these donors include deep-pocketed GOP donors.

Issue One CEO Nick Penniman said, “This is absolutely an alarm” about the

financial support given to some Republicans who raised doubts regarding the 2020 election results. “For a long period, political bet-makers dismissed some of these extreme candidates, and assumed they couldn’t win, or that they weren’t viable.”

He said, “But I think that they have proven they are viable because have been able to tap into funds that are willing to support”

Officials from iVote, a liberal outside group, stated that they would invest $5 million to support the Democratic nominee, ex-Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes. This spending is not reported previously.

In the wake of Donald Trump’s defeat, the once-low-key secretary of states races has been the focus of more attention than ever. This was after Trump tried to force public officials to ignore the will of voters. These people will be key in overseeing and certifying 2024’s election results. This could include a rematch between Trump and President Joe Biden.

It was found that at least 11 states, out of 27 with secretary-of-state contests, had a Republican nominee for chief election officer. This is a person who has challenged, rejected, or attempted to overturn the 2020 election results.

Issue One’s researchers looked at nearly four dozen races this past year, which featured candidates who questioned 2020 results. They also explored more deeply those who secured the nomination for their party.

The report highlights Arizona’s race for the Republican state representative Mark Finchem, who has raised over $1.2 million to be the top election official in his bid. This is far more than Fontes’s nearly $700,000.

Trump endorsed Finchem in 2021. He has called for decertification in three Arizona counties of the 2020 election. However, there is no evidence of widespread fraud. Legal experts also say that there is no way to overturn the election results. A bill that would have given state legislators the power to reject election results was also sponsored by Finchem.

iVote and the Arizona Democratic Party are teaming up to make an unprecedented $5 million investment in Arizona’s race to support Fontes.

Kurz stated in a statement that Kurz had said, “With a candidate with a history of rejecting results from critical swing states, who wins the seat in 2022? Will determine whether or not we have a constitutional crisis in 2024.”

Funders examined

Issue One’s report focused on who funded the candidates who challenged the legitimacy and legitimacy of the 2020 elections. Trump’s Save America leadership PAC, Patrick Byrne (ex-CEO of Overstock.com) is a prominent donor to the 2020 election challenges. Lewis Topper, a Florida-based fast-food entrepreneur, is another contributor.

Byrne was a leader in the fight to question the legitimacy of the presidential election. The America Project, a group Byrne helped to found, was responsible for funding a widely ridiculed review of ballots in Maricopa County in Arizona that only confirmed Biden’s victory. The America Project is also a donor to Conservatives for Election Integrity. This committee is overseen by Jim Marchant (the Republican nominee for Nevada secretary-of-state). Marchant has stated that he would not have certified Biden’s victory in Arizona and has led a campaign encouraging counties to use hand-counting ballots instead of voting machines.

The Issue One report and state records showed that Byrne contributed individually to Marchant; Kristina Karmo, the GOP nominee to Michigan secretary of State, and Tina Peters (the Mesa County clerk and recorder who lost the GOP nomination to Colorado Secretary of State this year).

Peters was indicted by a county grand jury earlier this year after an investigation into election violations conducted by local authorities. She pleaded not guilty last month to misdemeanor and felony charges.

Byrne, in a text message exchange, stated that he didn’t recall any donations to these candidates. However, he described an election system as “riddled by security failures” and promised to support citizen efforts to “stimulate” citizen involvement with election integrity.

He also mentioned One More Mission, which aims to recruit veterans and first responders who will then be trained to work as poll workers.

Issue One’s analysis found that Topper was a major Republican donor who contributed to five campaigns of secretary of state candidates it looked at Finchem Peters Karamo Marchant, Finchem, and Karamo. (Hice was among the congressional Republicans that objected to the 2020 election results of January 6, 2021.

Topper declined to comment about his political contributions.

Democratic activity

Penniman, Issue One, said that the ability to influence these races with money is unheard of.

These are races that used to typically cost less than $100,000. He said that they were the most uninteresting things on the ballot. They are now front and center.

The group also examined other important contests, including Michigan and Minnesota where Democrats are up for reelection. In both cases, incumbents outraised Republican opponents. Outside Democratic groups are still collecting record amounts, while urging donors to give more during the final stretch of Election Day.

This cycle’s budget for the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State is $25 million more than the $1.5 million it received in 2018. In 2018, the organization had no full-time, paid staff.

Rogers stated that the group is focused on Nevada, Michigan, and Georgia. She also said that the organization will underwrite advertisements with the state party in support of Fontes. She also said that the group monitors races in Colorado, Washington, and New Mexico.

Rogers stated that 2020 was a significant seismic shift in democracy and secretaries are at the forefront of this effort. She said that many donors are increasing their support at previous levels. “We still need more, because this is a new situation.”

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