Donald Trump is continuing to lie about his election loss, and he's taking steps that could help him overturn another loss in 2024.
The twice-impeached one-term president has endorsed Republicans running for secretary of state who have embraced his baseless fraud claims, and election experts fear those candidates pose a grave threat to democracy if they're elected as their states' chief election official, reported The Guardian.
"It is really troubling that Trump's grip on the base of the Republican party may lead to the election of people who say that they believe the 2020 election was stolen from Trump," said Richard Hasen, an election law expert at the University of California, Irvine. "That's demonstrably false, but it does undermine the integrity of any elections that these people would be involved in running should they be elected."
Ten of the 15 candidates running for secretary of state in key battleground states have said the 2020 election was stolen from Trump or called for further investigation, and the job they're seeking would give them enormous power over election rules and procedures they could use to benefit the ex-president if he runs again.
Trump has endorsed Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), who has expressed support for the Jan. 6 "Stop the Steal" rally, to replace Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state who refused to overturn Joe Biden's win in Georgia, and Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem, who attended the Jan. 6 rally but did not go inside the U.S. Capitol.
The ex-president has also endorsed Kristina Karamo, a Detroit poll watcher who made baseless claims of fraud, to be Michigan's secretary of state.
"Donald Trump has made it his mission to sow doubt in our democracy," said Jena Griswold, Colorado's top election official and the chair of the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State. "His endorsement of secretaries of state who believe and spread the Big Lie is the next step in the effort to tip the scales in future elections. More than ever we need election administrators who will respect the will of voters no matter the outcome of an election -- our democracy is on the ballot in 2022."