Will MAGA Election Deniers Upend Midterms?

Roz Brown | Public News Service
One in five election officials who withstood the 2020 pres­sure campaign said they plan to leave before the 2024 elec­tion, according to a recent Bren­nan Center survey. Photo Credit: PeteLinforth / Pixabay

The midterm election on Nov. 8 will be a referendum on President Joe Biden and Democrats, but also a preview of what could happen at polling places two years from now.

In 2020, election officials didn’t worry about violent incursions into voting tabulation centers, or mass protests turning deadly. But it was before the “big lie,” the debunked theory that election fraud caused Donald Trump’s loss to Biden, took hold.

David Becker, executive director and founder of the Center for Election Innovation and Research and the Election Official Legal Defense Network, said it is not a good sign the Texas GOP’s new platform claims Biden did not win legally.

“Certainly Texas is one of those states where lies about the election have taken hold,” Becker observed. “A state which had record turnout and saw record victories for Republicans, and still, lies about the election have taken hold.”

Becker argued by insisting Biden didn’t win, Republicans are prolonging baseless claims, and creating the possibility of unexpected and perhaps dangerous repercussions in this year’s midterms and the 2024 elections.

Government officials at the local level are responsible for certifying election results, and Becker believes some who still hold to Trump’s assertions could refuse to do so. And while he has confidence the courts would eventually resolve issues, he noted it is not their job.

“That’s a tremendous burden on the courts,” Becker contended. “There might be an amount of time where we’re not sure what is going to happen. And that amount of time is going to be a ripe environment for chaos, confusion and the potential for political violence.”

Becker also believes continued claims of fraud are further dividing Lone Star State residents.

“Texans are starting to point at each other as if they’re the enemy, just because they might live in a different county or in a different urban versus rural environment, for instance, or might look different,” Becker observed. “That is a major concern, because at its core, what election denial is about, it’s about crippling democracy.”

Although he did not reveal his intentions, Donald Trump said Thursday he has already decided about whether to run again in 2024.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.