Fox 2 Detroit headline: Michigan Officials Fear Conspiracy Theorists Will Fill Election Worker Shortage
LANSING — As Michigan Republicans continue to push false claims about the 2020 election, new reporting from Fox 2 Detroit highlights the dangerous combination of several vacancies as local election officials have weathered “newfound partisan rancor around the jobs” and a cabal of conspiracy theorists eager to “launch campaigns to become top election officials in several swing states” including Michigan.
Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum broke down the extremist strategy to prop up the Big Lie that our elections aren’t safe for years to come: “These conspiracy theorists are in it for the long haul. They’re in it to completely crumble our republic, and they’re looking at these election administrator positions. They’re playing the long game.”
That long game impacting future elections doesn’t mean Republicans in Michigan have abandoned their #1 priority. Earlier this month, The Detroit News shed light on how extremism within the MIGOP continues to grow in influence – and rank and file Republicans and 2022 candidates alike are focused on one thing only — trying to overturn state results of the 2020 general election.
At a rally headlined by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and Mellisa Carone, who infamously “lev[ied] a bevy of claims against Dominion Voting Systems” last year at an unhinged MI statehouse hearing alongside Rudy Giuliani and is now running for office, Michigan Republicans demanded a “forensic audit” of state ballots. Attendants signed affidavits demanding a sham audit – even though “the most comprehensive election audit” in Michigan history was conducted months ago and uncovered “no widespread voter fraud.” According to right-wing group Michigan Conservative Coalition, “over 7,000” will be delivered to Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey tomorrow in Lansing.
Carone echoed where Republicans want party leadership to focus their efforts: “Call the Michigan GOP. Call Ron Weiser. Call Meshawn Maddock. Ask them what they think, what’s going on, why aren’t they pushing a forensic audit. Stop talking about Gretchen Whitmer and push a forensic audit.”
“From party leadership to rank and file Republicans, the MIGOP has spent the better half of last year and most of this one pursuing an agenda that emboldens extremist militias as they marched into the statehouse, props up the Big Lie, and supports the violent January 6th insurrection,” said Rodericka Applewhaite, MDP spokesperson. “It’s no wonder conspiracy theories ranging from 2020 to vaccines have become the foundation of the MIGOP. Michiganders can plainly see that Republicans across the state are simply too distracted by extremist pursuits undermining the democratic process and public safety to deliver on the results families need to get back to work and revitalize our economy.”