The MAGA movement is out in force in Maricopa County, Arizona, as votes continue to be counted in last week's midterm elections.
Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake's allies are questioning the ballots cast outside same-day voting as fraudulent, echoing Donald Trump's lies after his own election loss, and right-wing demonstrators have gathered outside vote-counting centers to denounce election officials and sheriff's deputies stationed outside as traitors, reported The Bulwark.
"PATRIOTS RISE UP to RALLY tomorrow SATURDAY NOON at the Maricopa County Elections office (510 S. 3rd Ave. Phoenix) to pray for the Light to shine in the darkness and for His truth to be revealed!" posted far-right state Sen. Wendy Rogers last week.
A loose confederation of Boogaloo Bois, Christian nationalists and other protesters answered Rogers' call to action, which she described as a "Jericho March" -- in a clear echo of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
"You may remember the organization named Jericho March and its role in laying the groundwork for the January 6th insurrection," wrote Annika Brockschmidt and Thomas Lecaque for The Bulwark. "As God instructed the Israelites to walk seven times around Jericho and blow the shofar (horn) so that the walls would fall and everyone within the city would be slaughtered in God’s name, so believers have taken up the mantle of spiritual warfare and continued Jericho Marches in Maricopa County. The target that they are currently circling, which holds their enemies, is the center in which votes are being counted."
Lake, Senate candidate Blake Masters and secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem all earned Trump's endorsement by backing his fraud claims, and they have followed the former president's playbook in challenging their losses as illegitimate without any evidence.
"It is very unlikely that Kari Lake’s supporters will try to storm the Maricopa ballot center," wrote Brockschmidt, the author of a book on the religious right, and Lecaque, a history professor at Grand View University. "But their ideology isn’t far from the one that drove people to march around the Capitol in the weeks before January 6th and then to attack it: the belief that not just humans but institutions can be possessed by evil spirits, by demons and powers of darkness (Eph. 6:12)—and that they have to be cleansed, purged, defeated by righteous Christians in the cosmic battle between good and evil."
"It is ultimately a totalizing — totalitarian, even — belief system that allows for no nuance, that only knows friend or mortal foe," the pair added. "And, crucially, while this kind of belief can wane for any number of reasons, it has never been swayed by defeat at the ballot box. Rather, it takes defeats and twists them into stories of heroic martyrdom, of promises of revenge and retribution."
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