Here's the full list of fake Trump electors

The 84 people who signed bogus documents claiming that Donald Trump won the 2020 election include dozens of local Republican Party leaders, four current candidates for public office, six current office holders and at least five previous state and federal office holders.

Groups from Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin all allegedly met in December 2020 and sent lists of so-called alternate electors to the National Archives after the 2020 election. The scheme is reportedly under investigation by the FBI and the Department of Justice, which have issued subpoenas to several of the people involved.

The plot is also a focus of the U.S. House select committee hearings on the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol and GOP attempts to overturn the results of the election.

During a recent committee hearing, Rep. Adam Schiff explained how Trump and his campaign were directly involved in the scheme to replace Joe Biden’s legitimate electors. They convinced people to sign onto documents that would be used if Trump were successful in litigation, but then continued the scheme anyway, even as the campaign continuously lost in court and top advisers and lawyers backed away from involvement.

Schiff also displayed text messages revealing how Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin likely played a part in the scheme. The texts showed how Johnson’s chief of staff attempted to coordinate the handoff of the slate of fake electors to former Vice President Mike Pence. Johnson initially denied any involvement, but then admitted he was on an email chain regarding the scheme.

Despite renewed attention in Washington on the fake electors, the vast majority of people involved in the scheme have so far escaped scrutiny.

In January, States Newsroom published a full list of the fake electors. Since that time, as the investigation has intensified, the people involved have appeared on the ballot in primaries, been subpoenaed, and have left their positions or started new ones.

The slate of fake electors now includes at least three current candidates for office, including Burt Jones, who won the Republican primary for lieutenant governor in Georgia and will appear on the ballot in November, and Jim Lamon, a candidate for U.S. Senate from Arizona.

The slate also includes four people who have lost elections since signing their names as fake electors. Lou Barletta and Charlie Gerow both ran in the Republican primary for Pennsylvania governor but lost the election in May. Kelly Ruh was an alderperson for De Pere, Wisconsin, until recently but lost reelection in April. Robert Spindell Jr., a member of the Wisconsin Election Commission, lost his internal commission election to chair the group.

The group also includes seven current officeholders:

  • Jake Hoffman, an Arizona state representative.
  • Burt Jones, a Georgia state senator.
  • Stanley Grot, the Shelby Township clerk in Michigan.
  • Amy Facchinello, a member of the school board in Grand Blanc, Michigan.
  • Robert Spindell Jr., a member of the Wisconsin Election Commission.
  • Josephine Ferro, the Monroe County Register of Wills in Pennsylvania.
  • Sam DeMarco III, an Allegheny County at-large council member in Pennsylvania.

In addition to the chair, former chair or co-chair of the state Republican Party in all seven states, the group includes people for whom political controversy and investigations are nothing new:

  • Michael Ward of Arizona has been accused of spitting in the eye of a former campaign volunteer for his wife, Kelli Ward.
  • Tom Carroll of Pennsylvania was accused by a Black colleague of leaving a stuffed monkey on her desk in a racist act, while he was serving as an assistant district attorney.
  • Gloria Kay Godwin of Georgia has been accused of stalking after allegedly attempting to interfere in a citizen effort to obtain signatures for a recall election petition.

In January, the Congressional Select Committee on January 6th announced it had subpoenaed 14 of the counterfeit electors who it believes have information about how they met and who was behind the scheme, according to committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss. Each of the 14 served as “chair” or “secretary” on the state slates of fake electors.

In March 2021, liberal watchdog group American Oversight made public the fake elector documents, which it received in response to a public records request.

Attorneys general from the states involved in the scheme have investigated whether to bring charges against the Trump backers who participated, but no charges have been filed to date.

Here is a comprehensive list of all the bogus electors from the seven states, including the people who were slated to sign the documents but were replaced with alternates:

(A * indicates a person who was listed as chairperson or secretary of their state group and who was subpoenaed by the House Jan. 6 committee.)

ARIZONA (11)

Nancy Cottle*: Cottle is the first vice president of programs for the Arizona Federation of Republican Women. She has been active in Arizona politics for the past decade and holds various other positions on the Maricopa County Republican Committee and the AZGOP executive committee. She was issued a subpoena by the Department of Justice in June, according to the Washington Post.

Loraine B. Pellegrino*: Pellegrino has served as president of Ahwatukee Republican Women. She was issued a subpoena by the Department of Justice in June, according to the Washington Post.

Tyler Bowyer: Bowyer is the chief operating officer of Turning Point USA, a Phoenix-based nonprofit organization that advocates for conservative values in schools. He has previously worked for the Republican National Committee and the Maricopa County Republican Party.

Jake Hoffman: Hoffman is an Arizona state representative for the 12th District. Hoffman also runs a conservative digital marketing company, Rally Forge, that was banned from Facebook and suspended from Twitter for engaging in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” on behalf of Turning Point Action, an affiliate of Turning Point USA. The company was enlisting and paying teens to share comments with right-wing opinions, including that mail-in ballots would lead to fraud and that coronavirus numbers were intentionally inflated. Experts told the Washington Post in 2020 that the effort was “among the most ambitious domestic influence campaigns uncovered this election cycle.”

Anthony Kern: From January 2015 until January 2021, Kern was an Arizona state representative for the 20th District. He is currently running for election to the Arizona state Senate to represent the 27th District. Kern, whose campaign has been endorsed by Trump, participated in the Jan. 6 riots in D.C. and has lied about breaching the U.S. Capitol building

Jim Lamon: Lamon is running for election to the U.S. Senate to represent Arizona. He is a veteran and was previously CEO of DEPCOM Power, a solar energy contractor, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Robert Montgomery: In 2020, Montgomery served as the chairman of the Cochise County Republican Committee.

Samuel I. Moorhead: Moorhead serves as the second vice chair of the Gila County Arizona Republican Party.

Greg Safsten: Safsten was until recently the executive director of the Republican Party of Arizona. He previously worked for U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs and former Rep. Matt Salmon, both of Arizona, in their U.S. House offices, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Dr. Kelli Ward: Ward is an osteopathic physician who has served as the chair of the Arizona Republican Party since 2019. Following the 2020 election, Ward aided Trump’s efforts to invalidate the election results and filed a number of lawsuits to nullify Arizona’s results. In 2016, she challenged the late U.S. Sen. John McCain in the Republican primary but lost with 39 percent of the vote. She previously served in the Arizona state Senate. She was issued a subpoena by the Department of Justice along with her husband in June, according to Politico.

Dr. Michael Ward: Ward met his wife, Kelli Ward, while he was serving in the Arizona Air National Guard. In 2019, he was accused of spitting in the eye of a former volunteer of his wife’s when she was a candidate for Senate because the volunteer went on to support her former political foe, Martha McSally. Michael Ward denied touching, pushing, threatening or spitting on the volunteer in an email to police, according to the Arizona Republic. He was issued a subpoena by the Department of Justice along with his wife in June, according to Politico.

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GEORGIA (16)

Joseph Brannan: Brannan is treasurer of the Georgia Republican Party, a media executive, and a leader in the Muscogee County party.

James “Ken” Carroll: Carroll is assistant secretary for the Georgia Republican Party.

Vikki Townsend Consiglio: Consiglio is assistant treasurer for the Georgia Republican Party and is on the board of governors for the Georgia Republican Foundation.

Carolyn Hall Fisher: Fisher was until recently the first vice chairman for the Georgia Republican Party.

Burt Jones: Jones has been a member of the Georgia state Senate since 2013, representing the 25th District. He is the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor and is endorsed by Trump.

Gloria Kay Godwin: Godwin is a local Republican Party leader in Blackshear and the co-founder of the grassroots group Georgia Conservatives in Action, according to her LinkedIn profile. In September 2020, she was accused of stalking after allegedly attempting to interfere in a citizen effort to obtain signatures for a recall election petition for Godwin’s grandson, District Five City Council member Shawn Godwin. She told the Blackshear Times that she was unaware of the complaint.

David G. Hanna: Hanna was CEO and co-founder of Atlanticus Holdings Corporation, an Atlanta-based financial holding company, until he left the post in March 2021.

Mark W. Hennessy: Hennessy is the CEO of several car dealerships around the Atlanta area.

Mark Amick: Amick is on the board of governors for the Georgia Republican Foundation. In 2019, Amick unsuccessfully ran for city council in Milton. In 2020, he served as a poll watcher in Milton County and testified in a hearing after the election that he saw more than 9,000 votes wrongly go to Joe Biden during the first Georgia recount.

John Downey: Downey was a House district chair for the Cobb County Republican Party.

Cathleen Alston Latham: Latham is a teacher with the Georgia Virtual School, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Daryl Moody: Moody is a GOP donor who is currently the chairman of the Georgia Republican Foundation.

Brad Carver: A lawyer focused on energy, utilities, environmental and local government law, Carver is a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association. Carver represents clients before the Georgia Public Service Commission in the Georgia General Assembly. Federal agents delivered a subpoena to his home in June, according to the Washington Post.

David Shafer*: Shafer is chairman of the state GOP and a Georgia state senator from 2003 to 2019 who was state Senate president pro tempore for many of those years. In 2018, he ran for lieutenant governor and lost in the primary. He was also accused that year of sexual harassment by a lobbyist, but was cleared by the Senate ethics committee. Federal agents delivered a subpoena to his home in June, according to the Washington Post.

Shawn Still*: Still is the GOP nominee for Georgia state Senate to represent District 48. He is the president of Olympic Pool Plastering & Shotcrete and has served as chairman of the Georgia Republican Party Finance Committee and on the executive committee for the Georgia GOP.

C.B. Yadav: A small business owner in Camden County, Yadav is a member of the Georgians First Commission under the governor’s office. He was an early supporter of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s gubernatorial campaign and worked as part of his campaign’s “grassroots army.”

Slated to sign but replaced:

John A. Isakson: Isakson is the chief financial officer for Preferred Apartment Communities. His father, Johnny Isakson, served as a U.S. senator from Georgia from 2005 to 2019 and represented Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House from 1999 to 2005.

Patrick Gartland: Gartland has served as the Cobb County Republican Party’s representative on the board of election.

CJ Pearson: A conservative activist, political adviser and commentator on cable news, Pearson has served as the executive director of Young Georgians in Government and executive director of Teens for Trump. He recently served as the campaign manager for Vernon Jones, who lost his Republican primary runoff in June in a bid to win a congressional seat.

Susan Holmes: A member of the Georgia House of Representatives from the 129th District, Holmes has also served as mayor of Monticello for 12 years.

MICHIGAN (16)

Kathy Berden*: Berden is a national committeewoman of the Republican Party of Michigan who has worked for the GOP at the local, state and national level. Berden and her husband own an organic farm.

Rose Rook: A retired real estate agent, Rook was previously a Democrat and got involved with the Republican Party in 2016. She is the former Van Buren County GOP chair and served on the executive committee of the county party and as president of the Van Buren County Republican Women’s Club.

Mayra Rodriguez*: Rodriguez is the Grosse Pointe Farms chair for the 14th District Republican Committee.

Hank Choate: Choate is a dairy farmer who sits on the board of directors for the Michigan Milk Producers Association. In 2017, he met with Trump to discuss agricultural issues. He said he became involved in Republican politics in 2010 and went on to serve as chair of the Jackson County Republican Party for four years and served as chair of the party’s 7th District.

Meshawn Maddock: Maddock is the Michigan Republican Party co-chair and serves on the national advisory board of Women for Trump. She is co-owner of A1 Bail Bonds, a bail bondsman company, along with her spouse, GOP state Rep. Matt Maddock.

Mari-Ann Henry: Henry is treasurer of the Greater Oakland Republican Club, according to her LinkedIn profile.

John Haggard: Haggard is the owner of Haggard’s Plumbing and Heating and a veteran of the Vietnam War.

Clifford Frost: A real estate agent, Frost is a member of the Michigan Republican Party State Committee and board member for the Macomb County GOP. In 2018, Frost ran in the primary to represent the 28th District in the Michigan House but lost the race.

Kent Vanderwood: Vanderwood is vice president at the Timothy Group, which advances Christian organizations, and serves as committee chair for the Second District Republican Committee of Michigan.

Stanley Grot: Grot is the Shelby Township clerk and recently ran for the Michigan House but withdrew before the primary. He previously served on the Sterling Heights City Council and as a Macomb County commissioner. He also chairs the 10th District Republican Party. In 2018, he ran for secretary of state but abruptly dropped out of the race, which became the center of an alleged payoff scandal that resulted in Michigan Party Chair Ron Weiser paying a $200,000 state fine for violating campaign finance law.

Marian Sheridan: Sheridan is the director of the Lakes Area Tea Party and co-founder of the Michigan Conservative Coalition, a right-wing group founded by the Maddocks. She serves on the executive board of the Oakland County Republican Party and as grassroots vice chair for the Michigan Republican Party. In February 2021, she asked Republicans to photograph addresses used on some voter registrations, claiming there were “thousands of voters in Wayne County who were not registered at legal addresses.” In 2020, she trained hundreds of poll challengers and joined as plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking to uphold the state’s 8 p.m. Election Day deadline for returning absentee ballots.

Timothy King: King sits on the executive committee of the Washtenaw County Republican Party and on the 12th District Republican Committee. In 2020, he unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Washtenaw County Commission.

James Renner: Renner was a precinct delegate in 2020 for Watertown Township.

Michele Lundgren: A photographer from Detroit, Lundgren was elected in 2020 to serve as the Republican delegate for her precinct to the county convention.

Amy Facchinello: Facchinello serves on the school board in Grand Blanc and has been the subject of protests over her QAnon social media posts. Facchinello has refused to resign. She has also been a precinct delegate and served on the executive board of the Genesee County Republican Party.

Ken Thompson: Biographical information for Thompson could not be obtained.

Slated to sign but replaced:

Terri Lynn Land: Land served as Michigan secretary of state as a Republican from 2003 through 2010. In 2014, she lost the U.S. Senate race to Democrat Gary Peters. She also serves on the Wayne State University Board of Governors.

Gerald Wall: Wall has served as the chair of the Roscommon County Republican Party for more than 20 years. An army veteran, Wall worked for General Motors but is now retired, according to his LinkedIn profile.

NEW MEXICO (5)

Jewll Powdrell*: Powdrell is a retired businessman and was managing director at ABQ Sales & Marketing Group, according to his LinkedIn profile. He told the Albuquerque Journal that he has “no regrets, whatsoever” about putting his name on the false elector document. Powdrell, a Black man, said he denounces the Black Lives Matter movement and criticizes politicians who lump Black people into one group.

Deborah W. Maestas*: Maestas is the former chair of the Republican Party of New Mexico. Previously, she served as deputy campaign manager on Allen Weh’s unsuccessful 2014 U.S. Senate campaign and as president of CSI Aviation.

Lupe Garcia: Garcia is a business owner in Albuquerque.

Rosie Tripp: Tripp has served as the national committeewoman for the Republican Party of New Mexico, a former Socorro County commissioner and a former city councilor in Socorro.

Anissa Ford-Tinnin: Ford-Tinnin is the former executive director of the state Republican Party.

Slated to sign but replaced:

Harvey Yates: Yates is the national committeeman for the Republican Party of New Mexico. He served as chair of the party from 2009 to 2010.

NEVADA (6)

Michael J. McDonald*: The chair of the Nevada Republican Party, McDonald is a former member of the Las Vegas City Council.

James DeGraffenreid*: DeGraffenreid has served as vice chairman of the Nevada Republican Party and is president of an insurance company.

Durward James Hindle III: Hindle is vice chair of the Nevada Republican Committee and is a managing partner at Cascade Survey Research, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Jesse Law: Law was recently elected chairman of the Clark County Republican Party and was a staffer on the Trump campaign.

Shawn Meehan: Meehan serves on the board of the Douglas County Republican Party and is founder of the Guard the Constitution Project, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Eileen Rice: Rice serves on the board of the Douglas County Republican Party.

PENNSYLVANIA (20)

Bill Bachenberg*: Bachenberg is the owner of Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays and an NRA board member. He and his wife operate Camp Freedom, a nonprofit that offers shooting experiences for veterans and first responders with disabilities and their families.

Lou Barletta: Barletta recently ran for governor of Pennsylvania. He previously served as a member of the U.S. House, representing Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District from 2011 to 2019, and as mayor of Hazleton from 2000 to 2010.

Tom Carroll: Carroll was recently elected a Northampton County Republican Committee member. He ran for district attorney in Northampton County in 2019 and refused to concede the race, citing “overwhelming irregularities” in how the election was administered. He previously served as assistant district attorney for the county but resigned after a Black colleague reported that he put a stuffed monkey with a shirt reading “Loudmouth” on her keyboard.

Ted Christian: Christian was the Pennsylvania state director for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. He runs the Philadelphia office for lobbying firm Duane Morris Government Strategies.

Chuck Coccodrilli: Coccodrilli was a board member with the Pennsylvania Great Frontier PAC and an advocate and board member at Camp Freedom. He died in October 2021 after an illness.

Bernadette Comfort: Comfort is the vice chairwoman for the Pennsylvania Republican Party. She works for Novak Strategic Advisors and has worked with the party to increase the number of women in decision-making positions. She was also a top aide to former Pennsylvania first lady Michele Ridge in the 1990s.

Sam DeMarco III: DeMarco is the chairman of the Allegheny County Republican Party and an at-large member of the Allegheny County Council. He recently considered running for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 17th District but opted out at the last minute. The FBI interviewed him at his home in June and served him a subpoena about his role in the scheme.

Marcela Diaz-Myers: Diaz-Myers is the chairwoman of PA GOP Hispanic Advisory Council.

Christie DiEsposti: DiEsposti is an account representative at Pure Water Technology, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Josephine Ferro: Ferro was elected Monroe County Register of Wills in 2015 and is the former president of the Pennsylvania Federation of Republican Women.

Charlie Gerow: Gerow recently ran for governor of Pennsylvania but lost in the primary. He is a GOP political strategist, the vice chair of the American Conservative Union, and the CEO of Quantum Communications, a Harrisburg-based public relations firm. Last July, he cooperated with a police investigation after he was involved in a fatal crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which he says he did not cause.

Kevin Harley: Harley works with Gerow as managing director of Quantum Communications and has served as a spokesperson for Gerow. He has also worked as press secretary for former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett.

Leah Hoopes: Hoopes is a small business owner and Republican committeewoman for Bethel Township in Delaware County who served as a poll watcher in 2020. She was named as a defendant in a Delaware County voting machine supervisor’s lawsuit alleging that Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that election officials tampered with the election made the supervisor the subject of physical threats.

Ash Khare: An immigrant from India and retired engineer, Khare is active in the Pennsylvania Republican Party and describes himself as a political junkie.

Andre McCoy: McCoy is a director of government affairs with more than 30 years of military service and civilian experience, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Lisa Patton*: Patton was the director of events in Pennsylvania for Trump’s campaign. She was the owner of Twin Ponds Family Recreation Center in Harrisburg, according to her LinkedIn.

Pat Poprik: Poprik is the chair of the Bucks County Republican Committee.

Andy Reilly: Reilly is a national committeeman for the Republican Party of Pennsylvania and former secretary for the party. Reilly was previously elected twice to serve as a member of the Delaware County Council. He’s also managing partner at the law firm Swartz Campbell LLC.

Suk Smith: Smith is owner of Patriot Arms Inc., a firearms training center, and Dragons Way School of Kenpo Inc., a martial arts school in Carlisle.

Calvin Tucker: Tucker is deputy chairman and director of engagement and advancement for the Pennsylvania Republican Party. In 2016, he served as a media surrogate and African American adviser to Trump’s campaign.

Slated to sign but replaced:

Robert Asher: Asher has held several positions in the Pennsylvania Republican Party and has held various local elected offices. While chairman of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania, he was convicted in 1987 of conspiracy and bribery, among other charges, for accepting bribes in exchange for awarding a state contract. He resigned from the position and served one year in federal prison.

Lawrence Tabas: Tabas is chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, longtime general counsel to the party and a well-known Philadelphia elections attorney. Before the 2020 election, Tabas told the Atlantic that he had spoken with the Trump reelection campaign about the possibility that Republican-controlled legislatures could directly appoint electors, but he claimed the comments were taken out of context.

Thomas Marino: Marino was a member of the U.S. House from 2011 until 2019, when he abruptly resigned two weeks into his term. He has also served as U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. In 2017, Trump nominated him to be the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, but he withdrew from consideration after reports that he had crafted a bill that protected pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors and made it harder for the federal government to tackle the opioid crisis.

Lance Stange: Stange works for Novak Strategic Advisors and has served as chairman of the northeast caucus of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania.

Carolyn Welsh: Welsh was the sheriff of Chester County for two decades until 2019 and was one of Trump’s earliest boosters in Pennsylvania, often speaking at his rallies. In March, she entered a no-contest plea to misdemeanor theft charges for allegedly allowing employees to improperly collect comp time, paid for by tax dollars, for volunteering at fundraisers for the office’s K-9 unit. A judge ordered her to pay restitution and a fine.

Christine Toretti: Toretti is the national committeewoman for the Pennsylvania Republican Party and is the former chairman and CEO of S. W. Jack Drilling Co., an oil and gas company involved in fracking.

Robert Gleason: Gleason was formerly the chair of the Pennsylvania Republican Party. He is a businessman who was appointed by Trump in 2018 to the board of visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy.

WISCONSIN (10)

Andrew Hitt*: The chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin from 2019 until 2021, Hitt is a partner at consulting and lobbying firm Michael Best Strategies.

Kelly Ruh*: Ruh was an alderperson for De Pere but lost her bid for reelection in April. She has also been chairwoman of the 8th Congressional District Republican Party and a controller for Bay Industries in Green Bay.

Carol Brunner: Brunner is the vice chairwoman of Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District Republican Party.

Edward Scott Grabins: Chairman of the Dane County Republican Party, Grabins is a technology professional, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Bill Feehan: A business manager based in La Crosse, Feehan was a 2012 candidate for District 32 of the Wisconsin state Senate.

Robert F. Spindell Jr.: Spindell has been a commissioner on the Wisconsin Election Commission since 2019 and recently ran to chair the commission and lost. After Biden won the election, Spindell appeared at a “stop the steal” rally at the state Capitol.

Kathy Kiernan: Kiernan is the 5th Congressional District chairman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

Darryl Carlson: Currently executive director of conservative organization No Better Friend Corp., Carlson ran an unsuccessful campaign in 2014 for the Wisconsin State Assembly. He is a veteran and has also represented the 3rd aldermanic district in Sheboygan.

Pam Travis: Travis has served as treasurer of the Wisconsin Federation of Republican Women and is currently the 7th Congressional District vice chairman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

Mary Buestrin: A former national committeewoman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, Buestrin says she has done volunteer work supporting Republican candidates for more than 50 years.

Slated to appear but replaced:

Tom Schreibel: Schreibel is a partner at consulting and lobbying firm Michael Best Strategies and a national committeeman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

Georgia Recorder is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Georgia Recorder maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor John McCosh for questions: info@georgiarecorder.com. Follow Georgia Recorder on Facebook and Twitter.

Hundreds of state legislators have joined far-right Facebook groups, according to new report

More than one in five state lawmakers across the country have joined at least one far-right Facebook group, according to a new report.

Together the lawmakers sponsored 963 bills during the most recent legislative sessions, said the group that wrote the report, which describes the far-right efforts as anti-human rights.

The Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, a think tank that defends democracy and human rights, identified 875 lawmakers who have joined at least one of 789 Facebook groups, including white nationalist groups, groups tied to QAnon, groups that spout conspiracy theories about COVID-19, and others that promote former president Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” that voter fraud cost him the 2020 election.

The institute’s report, titled Breaching the Mainstream, lists all of the legislators identified as being part of far-right Facebook groups and detailed their legislative impact.

“We knew we had a problem on our hands, but we hadn’t been able to quantify the depths of it,” said Devin Burghart, president and executive director of the institute. “This was a first attempt on our part to wrap our heads around it, and it was pretty striking in terms of the various pipelines that have opened up to pump disinformation and far-right ideas into legislatures.”

The legislators who have joined far-right groups made up 21.74% of all Republican legislators and 0.09% of all Democratic state legislators in the 2021 and 2022 legislative sessions, according to the report.

More than 75% of the legislators in far-right Facebook groups identify as male, while 24.45% identify as female. Nationally, 31.2% of all legislative seats are currently held by women.

The report found 27 Michigan lawmakers participated in far-right groups.

While the legislators in far-right groups come from all 50 states, some states are represented more than others. The representation is highest in New Hampshire (62), followed by Pennsylvania (40), Minnesota (39), Missouri (36), Arizona (34), Montana (34), Maine (34), Georgia (32), Washington (30) and Maryland (27), according to the report.

The state lawmakers are also spread out in all regions of the country. Currently, 221 of them represent districts in the Midwest, 191 in the Northeast, 264 in the South and 200 in the West.

“It’s a nationwide phenomenon,” Burghart said. “Far too often, people think of this activity as being relegated to the deep South or the Pacific Northwest, but there are legislators in all 50 states who have joined these different far-right Facebook groups.”

Many of the legislators identified have been at the forefront of pushing anti-democracy and anti-human rights bills, according to the report.

The lawmakers identified have supported far-right legislation including “Don’t say gay” proposals and bills targeting the teaching of critical race theory in schools. They’ve proposed bills attacking women’s reproductive rights, immigrants and the LGBTQIA community, the report noted.

“There was a very high level of support and sponsorship of bills coming from this cluster of legislators that we’d identified,” Burghart said.


Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: info@michiganadvance.com. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.

Voting snafus in Texas primary show what may be on the way for other states

HOUSTON — Standing outside a polling location in the historically Black neighborhood of Kashmere Gardens on Election Day, lieutenant governor candidate Carla Brailey predicted that Texas’ performance in 2022’s first primary would gain national attention — no matter the outcome.

Texas is already a model for other Republican-controlled states for its new law that makes it much tougher to vote for many elderly, low-income and non-white citizens, said Brailey, who went on to lose in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

“I call it a pilot study of what’s to come in terms of moving this nation backwards,” she said. “This is not forward movement, what we’re seeing in Texas. Not at all, and it’s heartbreaking.”

Across Texas on Tuesday, voters suffered from longer than expected lines due to poll worker shortages and technical difficulties with voting machines, advocates who monitored Election Day polling reported.

While there weren’t multiple-hour lines like voters experienced in 2020, voters and voting advocates still expressed concerns that the problems are just a taste of what Texas will see in the general election in November due to the restrictive voting law passed by Texas’ Republican-controlled legislature last year.

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According to Gabrielle Velasco, the national coordinator for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law’s Election Protection program, a shortage of poll workers on Tuesday delayed polling place openings and reduced availability in Dallas and Tarrant counties. Broken or malfunctioning polling machines hampered voting in Harris and Hays counties.

In Houston, Velasco said voters reported late polling place openings, malfunctioning voting machines, and very long lines. Election Protection is also continuing to hear from Houston voters who sent in absentee ballots that were rejected due to a data mismatch under the state’s new election law.

“Texas was already the hardest state to vote in before Republicans passed these laws that made it even harder,” Anthony Gutierrez, executive director of Common Cause Texas, said in a statement. “What we’re seeing today is a small preview of what we can expect to see at a far wider scale in November unless the federal government finally takes real action to intervene.”

It’s also a preview of what other states can expect as they hold their primary elections. According to an analysis from the Brennan Center for Justice, Texas is just one of 19 states that have enacted laws since the 2020 election that make it harder for people to cast ballots.

READ: Religious studies professor spells out the dangers of Christian nationalism's 'unholy trinity'

In May, 12 states will hold their primary contests, including Georgia, which passed a similarly restrictive voting law in 2021.

“If I were living in another state, one of the states that passed a similarly sprawling election rewrite, I would be looking at [Texas] and think, ‘This chaos and confusion and disenfranchisement is coming my way in just a few months,’” said James Slattery, a senior staff attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project.

Struggles with ID requirement

Part of Texas’ new law was a strict ID requirement for mail ballots that required voters to put their driver’s license number or partial Social Security number on the envelope of their mail ballot application and their ballot. Many voters struggled to match this number to the number the state has on file with their voter registration.

The law caused thousands of ballots to be rejected across the state, including roughly 30 percent of mail ballots in Harris County, the state’s most populous, as of just a few days before the election.

Joe Breda, an election judge and business owner from Humble, Texas, said he fears that lawmakers in other states will draw the wrong conclusion from the mess.

“I worry that the takeaway they get is going to be that it worked,” he said. “That it actually restricted voting the way they wanted to restrict it.”

Other states are considering similar requirements.

Republican lawmakers in Florida want to pass a law requiring voters to put an ID number on their mail-in ballots. The ID number, which could be a driver’s license number, Social Security number, or state ID number, would have to match whatever the voter has on file with the election supervisor’s office.

Election officials testified in Florida that older voters who registered decades ago don’t have any ID number on file, so the new law would be incredibly confusing and lead to rejected ballots.

Republican lawmakers in Iowa are also advancing a bill that would require voters to put their driver’s license number or voter ID number on the inner envelope for their absentee ballot in addition to on the ballot request form.

If the voter forgets to put the ID number on the “affidavit” envelope, they will be given an opportunity to correct the issue, but Democrats argue the absentee voting period is too short and voters will miss the window.

They also contend the so-called security measure isn’t necessary and will just confuse and disenfranchise voters.

How voters see it

Jose Rivera, a voter at the West Gray Multi-Services Center in Houston, said Texas is just one of many states where GOP lawmakers are concerned about the population growing less white and more diverse, which has driven lawmakers’ efforts to restrict voting.

Nosa Edebor, a yoga teacher voting in Kashmere Gardens, agreed. “It’s a reflection of the political climate right now, and I think a lot of conservatives are seeing how power shifts to young people and a lot of minorities,” said Edebor.

Instead of replicating Texas’ confusing and restrictive laws, voters said they hope other states will decide to not make the same mistakes.

“I would hope that the states look at the lack of voting that we have in Texas, because we’re a non-voting state,” Breda said. “A significant portion of the population of Texas that can vote doesn’t vote, and it doesn’t vote because it’s either excluded or it’s just hard. I would hope that states look at that and say we can do better.”

The takeaway from this primary could go either way, Brailey said.

“Texas is big,” she said. “It can have an impact on big goodness and big badness. It’s big and people watch it.”

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Ohio Capital Journal is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Ohio Capital Journal maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor David DeWitt for questions: info@ohiocapitaljournal.com. Follow Ohio Capital Journal on Facebook and Twitter.

State judges across the U.S. face growing GOP pushback against rulings in election cases

In mid-December, Texas’ highest criminal court revoked the state attorney general’s ability to use his office to prosecute election-related cases without the request of a district or county attorney.

In an 8-1 opinion, the all-Republican court weakened Attorney General Ken Paxton’s power to independently go after perpetrators of voter fraud, a problem he says is rampant but is actually exceedingly rare.

The decision angered Paxton, who took to Twitter to say the ruling “could be devastating for future elections in Texas.”

But he didn’t stop there. In addition to filing a motion for a rehearing, he embarked on a campaign across conservative media calling on his voters to pressure the judges to reverse their ruling.

His crusade is the latest example of how Republican officials are trying to discredit state court judges who rule against them or issue rulings they disagree with in election-related cases.

Officials in other states, including Tennessee and Pennsylvania, are also using the tactic to undermine the judiciary and to sow doubt among voters about whether judges can be independent arbiters of fact when it comes to decisions about the administration of elections.

“Things like this are what people think about when they say our democracy is on fire right now,” said Anthony Gutierrez, executive director of Common Cause Texas.

“It really illustrates how Texas courts are not independent at the moment,” he added. “The fact they think this is going to work really highlights how bad this problem is, and it does seem like this could work because these judges are susceptible to pressure.”

‘Call them out by name’

In Texas, “contact the Court of Criminal Appeals,” Paxton told viewers of MyPillow CEO and Donald Trump supporter Mike Lindell’s conservative broadcast platform Lindell TV, according to the Austin American Statesman.

“Call them out by name. I mean, you can look them up. There’s eight of them that voted the wrong way. Call them, send mail, send email.”

Paxton similarly urged listeners to harass the judges in an appearance on former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast. Paxton claimed the court ruling is part of a conspiracy by Democrats to allow massive voter fraud, enabled by Democratic district attorneys, to win elections across the state.

“I think this has been planned,” Paxton said. “They have been working on this for probably a decade to get DAs in place and then to get the right people on the criminal court of appeals.”

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov Dan Patrick also joined Paxton’s media blitz.

On Tuesday, Michael Shirk, a retired Austin lawyer, filed a complaint with the state bar arguing that Paxton should be disbarred for inciting members of the public to pressure the judges, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Texas rules for attorney conduct impose strict limits on how much contact attorneys can have with judges outside of court.

Paxton’s effort seems to mimic Trump, who was notorious for insulting and attacking judges who ruled against him or in ways he didn’t like.

Trump called on the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to resign and tweeted insults about judges who blocked his executive orders.

Laws limiting judicial power

The attacks against judges aren’t just coming in the form of harassment. Republican lawmakers have pushed legislation to limit the power of judges when it comes to election-related matters.

According to a December report from the Brennan Center for Justice, “legislators in 35 states considered at least 153 bills between January 1 and December 10 [2021] that would have limited state courts’ power or independence or made them more partisan. Of those bills, at least 19 have become law across 14 states.”

The new laws limit how judges can affect elections or try to keep judges from getting involved in voting-related cases.

In Georgia, the voter suppression package signed into law by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp made it more difficult for judges to expand polling place hours on Election Day when unforeseen circumstances like power outages or delayed starts to voting occur.

“These attacks on state court judges in relation to election-related cases are part of the larger power grab we’ve been seeing seeking to undermine or manipulate future elections,” said Patrick Berry, an attorney who works on democracy and justice issues for the Brennan Center for Justice.

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In Tennessee, GOP lawmakers are also using harassment as a tactic to keep courts out of their way when it comes to elections.

A judge in Nashville issued a ruling before the August 2020 primary substantially expanding who could vote absentee because of the coronavirus pandemic. In response, Republicans in the state General Assembly launched a resolution in February 2021 to remove the judge, Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle, from the bench.

Lyle is a highly regarded judge who was appointed to the bench in 1996.

“Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle violated the boundaries between the legislative and judiciary when she attempted to disregard state law and implement her own rules, personal opinions and policies that were in direct contradiction of existing state law,” Republican state Rep. Tim Rudd, who introduced the resolution, told the Tennessee Lookout last year.

Lawyers across Tennessee stepped up to defend Lyle and Democrats fought the resolution, causing it to ultimately fail.

“Seeking to remove a sitting judge from office because the judge ruled a state statute was unconstitutional is unconstitutional in and of itself,” Rep. John Ray Clemmons, a Democrat from Nashville, said at a news conference at the time the resolution was announced.

But Republican lawmakers still moved forward with other efforts to dilute the power of judges. They introduced a bill to limit the types of cases that judges can hear concerning elections and that strips power away from judges.

The attempt to remove Lyle also had a chilling effect on other judges across the state, said Renee Parker Sekander, executive director of the nonpartisan group Organize Tennessee.

“It’s really scary to think the courts are supposed to have your back, and they’re supposed to be nonpartisan and independent, but our state leadership and our elected officials can then retaliate against a judge for ruling,” she said.

“If judges are afraid of ruling and protecting Tennesseans because they’re afraid that they’re going to have to fight to protect their jobs, we’re scared that people will no longer rule in our favor.”

Pennsylvania impeachment push

After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down the state’s congressional district map in 2018, Republican lawmakers in the state tried to impeach all the justices who were in the majority on the decision.

The effort failed, but in October 2020, a Republican lawmaker introduced another resolution to remove a justice from the state Supreme Court, citing a number of decisions including the redistricting one and another related to the 2020 election.

Berry said the efforts are troubling because historically, the impeachment of judges has been for serious ethical or criminal misconduct.

“These efforts are essentially telling judges to fall in line or risk getting kicked off the bench, and that’s really dangerous because courts can’t serve their function as a check on abuses of power unless they’re able to issue decisions in high-profile cases without regard to political pressure,” he said.

Georgia Recorder is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Georgia Recorder maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor John McCosh for questions: info@georgiarecorder.com. Follow Georgia Recorder on Facebook and Twitter.

GOP lawmakers target ballot drop boxes in fight over voting rights

Ballot drop boxes are so secure they’ve survived getting hit by an SUV and rolled by a school bus — yet much of the battle over voting rights has centered on the big metal boxes.

In the November 2020 general election, nearly 40 states had ballot drop boxes available and more voters used drop boxes than in any election in U.S. history, according to a report from the Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project.

But in the lead up to the election and the years since, the big metal boxes have become the focus of controversy in state legislatures from Georgia to Texas to Nebraska and in courts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. In many states, Republican lawmakers want to limit or end voters’ choice to return their ballots to drop boxes, citing the potential for tampering or fraud — though there’s no proof that’s happened.

Larry Olson, the vice president of Laserfab, a Washington state-based metal fabrication company that has manufactured drop boxes since 2010, recognizes the irony of all the attention on metal boxes in 2022.

Olson has traveled to election conferences across the country with county and state election officials. “I always find it funny,” he said. “I’m surrounded by all these people with voting on iPads and all these different ballot tabulations and I’m just sitting there trying to sell a big metal box. It’s the lowest of the lowest tech you can have.”

Olson, whose company has roughly 800 drop boxes in use scattered across the country, said there’s little validity to lawmakers’ security concerns.

“It’s difficult to say you can 100 percent stop anybody from doing anything, but we have found through history that this is a very secure way to vote,” he said. “I do think a certain portion of that argument is very, shall we say, political in nature.”

Bolted to the ground

The metal box fabrication companies involved in making drop boxes know that security has to be a priority if counties are going to use their product. The boxes are designed in close collaboration with election officials, Olson said.

“Every design feature we talked about with the early counties came back to a concern about the integrity of the process,” Olson said. “Everything we considered, that was the overriding question.”

Olson explained some of the steps that Laserfab has taken to ensure that ballots can’t be tampered with or damaged:

  • The top of its drop boxes isn’t flat, so water and rain won’t pool toward the access door and get ballots wet.
  • The boxes are equipped with flanges above the slots that make it difficult for somebody to pour water into the box.
  • The slots and access door are designed so they have to be locked shut and can’t be shut by themselves, making it impossible for a worker to forget to lock them.

Ballot drop boxes are generally bolted to the ground, weigh roughly 1,000 pounds, and are designed to withstand any kind of weather, from torrential downpours to snow and wind.

In October 2020, a suspected arsonist lit a piece of paper on fire and put it into one of Laserfab’s drop boxes, damaging an estimated 100 ballots (there isn’t enough air inside the box for a fire to do much damage). When the fire department arrived at the scene in Los Angeles County, firefighters had to use a saw to open the box.

“It’s nearly impossible to get a crowbar or anything in there and open up the access door, so they had to saw the door to get it open,” Olson said.

A similar incident occurred in Boston a week later, but after the fire was put out, the drop box remained open for ballots.

Most boxes are also placed somewhere with video surveillance or monitored by a security guard, and typically they only allow one or two ballots to be inserted at a time.

“It’s little design features like that that make it very difficult — I hate to say it’s impossible to tamper with anything, but folks like us who do this, we take every step to minimize the possibility,” Olson said.

Still, former President Donald Trump made the boxes a target of attack. Prior to the 2020 election, he tweeted that “the Democrats are using Mail Drop Boxes, which are a voter security disaster.”

In a statement shared on Twitter last month, he maintained that claim. “Drop boxes are only good for Democrats and cheating, not good for Republicans,” he said.

Other Republicans are following his lead.

“Drop boxes were introduced as an emergency measure during the pandemic, but many counties did not follow the security guidelines in place, such as the requirement for camera surveillance on every drop box,” Georgia state Sen. Butch Miller, who is running for lieutenant governor, said in a statement when he introduced legislation to ban drop boxes.

“Moving forward, we can return to a pre-pandemic normal of voting in person,” he added. “Removing drop boxes will help rebuild the trust that has been lost.”

Amber McReynolds, a national election administration expert and former election official from Denver, said that drop boxes benefit people of all political persuasions and they only became controversial because Trump and his allies didn’t understand them.

“It literally is just a secure way for people to submit their ballots in person,” she said. “Frankly, I ran elections for 13 years and drop boxes provide better security than even the post boxes.”

“We’ve run the data on this,” she added. “People like the idea of voting at home, spending their time researching issues, but they still like the idea of submitting it in person, so the drop boxes give them the best of both worlds.”

First states

Drop boxes first became commonplace in the Western states that were the first to move to all-mail elections — Washington, Colorado, and Oregon.

“They were our first big customers and it kind of exploded from there,” Olson said.

Over the last two decades, their use has expanded, first in states with all-mail elections like Republican-controlled Utah and then in other blue and red states across the country.

“Counties have added additional drop boxes almost every year since 2014,” Justin Lee, Utah’s former director of elections, told Politifact in 2020. “We haven’t had any security problems, and we have no indication that drop boxes favor one party over another party.”

During the 2016 general election, nearly 1 in 6 U.S. voters cast their ballot using a drop box. In Colorado, nearly 75 percent of all voters used a drop box.

That number increased in 2020, as more voters chose to vote by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic and U.S. Postal Service slowdowns, which made voters and election officials concerned about whether the mail could be trusted to deliver a ballot before strict deadlines.

Murray Morgan, president and CEO of Kingsley, a California-based manufacturer of metal drop boxes, said his company had been making library book returns for decades but got into the ballot drop box business in 2020 when the demand became clear.

“We thought, ‘Hey, there’s a market there if we deliver the right product,’” he said. “We changed the depository opening of our units, we beefed them up for security. We’ve done numerous things to address the concerns of states regarding the safety of the ballot returns.”

Morgan said his company had roughly 400 dispersed across the country for the 2020 election, but expects to be able to produce thousands for future elections.

New push for regulation

Before the 2020 election, only eight states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington state — had laws explicitly concerning drop boxes.

But the new political attention on the method of voting has brought a push from state lawmakers to regulate or limit their use.

A new bill introduced in Utah, where drop boxes have been popular for almost a decade, would require 24-hour video surveillance at ballot drop boxes.

In Georgia, the use of drop boxes declined from 2020 to 2021 after the state took steps to limit their use, including a cap at one box per 100,000 active registered voters or one for each early voting location (whichever is smaller).

Voters were also restricted to using the boxes when early voting sites were open. The change was felt most dramatically in the most populous counties, including those in the Atlanta metro area.

Georgia state Sen. Butch Miller has also proposed legislation to ban the use of drop boxes altogether.

Like Georgia, Florida limited the use of drop boxes with a bill last year that only allows election supervisors to place drop boxes in their counties during early voting hours. The boxes also must be placed at a permanent, staffed voting site. Supervisors who try to offer more drop boxes during additional times are subject to $25,000 fines.

In Wisconsin, a judge last month banned the use of drop boxes, but then an appeals court reinstated them for the February primary. The state Supreme Court said it would take up the case but left the appeals court ruling in effect in the meantime.

McReynolds said she believes the political contention over drop boxes is a symptom of the larger politicization of the democratic process.

“I really think it was politicized because people felt that it hurt them, or one person felt it hurt him,” McReynolds said. “If it wasn’t drop boxes, or it wasn’t vote-by-mail, it would have been early voting, or it would have been automatic voter registration. It almost seems like regardless, one of them would have been called out simply for making it easier for people to vote.”


Ohio Capital Journal is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Ohio Capital Journal maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor David DeWitt for questions: info@ohiocapitaljournal.com. Follow Ohio Capital Journal on Facebook and Twitter.

Trump's fake electors: Here is the full list of 84 people who signed bogus documents

The 84 people who signed bogus documents claiming that Donald Trump won the 2020 election include dozens of local Republican Party leaders, seven current candidates for public office, eight current office holders and at least five previous state and federal office holders.

Groups from Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin all allegedly sent lists of so-called alternate electors to the National Archives after the 2020 election. The slate of fake electors includes Lou Barletta and Charlie Gerow, both candidates for governor in Pennsylvania; Burt Jones, a candidate for lieutenant governor in Georgia; James Lamon, a candidate for U.S. Senate from Arizona; and candidates for state legislative seats.

The group also includes eight current officeholders:

  • Jake Hoffman, an Arizona state representative.
  • Burt Jones, a Georgia state senator.
  • Stanley Grot, the Shelby Township clerk in Michigan.
  • Amy Facchinello, a member of the school board in Grand Blanc, Michigan.
  • Robert Spindell Jr., a member of the Wisconsin Election Commission.
  • Sam DeMarco III, an at-large member of the Allegheny County Council in Pennsylvania, and a member of the county board of elections.
  • Josephine Ferro, the Monroe County Register of Wills in Pennsylvania.
  • Kelly Ruh, an alderperson for De Pere, Wisconsin.

In addition to the chair or co-chair of the state Republican Party in all seven states, the group includes people for whom political controversy and investigations are nothing new:

  • Michael Ward of Arizona has been accused of spitting in the eye of a former campaign volunteer for his wife, Kelli Ward.
  • Tom Carroll of Pennsylvania was accused by a Black colleague of leaving a stuffed monkey on her desk in a racist act, while he was serving as an assistant district attorney.
  • Gloria Kay Godwin of Georgia has been accused of stalking after allegedly attempting to interfere in a citizen effort to obtain signatures for a recall election petition.

The Justice Department has announced that it is investigating the attempt by the false electors to subvert the election.

Jan. 6 committee subpoenas bogus pro-Trump electors from Pa., 6 more states

On Friday, the Congressional Select Committee on January 6th also announced it has subpoenaed 14 of the counterfeit electors who it believes have information about how they met and who was behind the scheme, according to committee Chairperson Bennie G. Thompson, (D-Miss.). Each of the 14 served as “chair” or “secretary” on the state slates of fake electors.

According to recent reports, Trump’s then-attorney Rudy Giuliani led the scheme by submitting the slates of “alternate electors” to the National Archives. In March 2021, D.C.-based watchdog group American Oversight made public the documents, which it received in response to a public records request.

Attorneys general from the seven states involved in the scheme are investigating whether to bring charges against the Trump backers who participated. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has said there is “absolutely” enough evidence to charge the false electors with election fraud.

Here is a comprehensive list of all the bogus electors from the seven states, including the people who were slated to sign the documents but were replaced with alternates:

(A * indicates a person who was listed as chairperson or secretary of their state group and who was subpoenaed by the House Jan. 6 committee.)

ARIZONA (11)

Nancy Cottle*: Cottle is the first vice president of programs for the Arizona Federation of Republican Women. She has been active in Arizona politics for the past decade and holds various other positions on the Maricopa County Republican Committee and the AZGOP executive committee.

Loraine B. Pellegrino*: Pellegrino has served as president of Ahwatukee Republican Women.

Tyler Bowyer: Bowyer is the chief operating officer of Turning Point USA, a Phoenix-based nonprofit organization that advocates for conservative values in schools. He has previously worked for the Republican National Committee and the Maricopa County Republican Party.

Jake Hoffman: Hoffman is an Arizona state representative for the 12th District. Hoffman also runs a conservative digital marketing company, Rally Forge, that was banned from Facebook and suspended from Twitter for engaging in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” on behalf of Turning Point Action, an affiliate of Turning Point USA. The company was enlisting and paying teens to share comments with right-wing opinions, including that mail-in ballots would lead to fraud and that coronavirus numbers were intentionally inflated. Experts told the Washington Post in 2020 that the effort was “among the most ambitious domestic influence campaigns uncovered this election cycle.”

Anthony T. Kern: From January 2015 until January 2021, Kern was an Arizona state representative for the 20th District. He is currently running for election to the Arizona state Senate to represent the 20th District. Kern participated in the January 6 riots in D.C. and has lied about breaching the U.S. Capitol building.

Report: Justice Dept. to investigate Republicans who sent fake Trump electors to Congress

James Lamon: Lamon is running for election to the U.S. Senate to represent Arizona. He is a veteran and was previously CEO of DEPCOM Power, a solar energy contractor, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Robert Montgomery: In 2020, Montgomery served as the chairman of the Cochise County Republican Committee.

Samuel I. Moorhead: Moorhead serves as the second vice chair of the Gila County Arizona Republican Party.

Greg Safsten: Safsten is the executive director of the Republican Party of Arizona. He previously worked for Rep. Andy Biggs and Rep. Matt Salmon, both of Arizona, in their U.S. House offices, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Dr. Kelli Ward: Ward is an osteopathic physician who has served as the chair of the Arizona Republican Party since 2019. Following the 2020 election, Ward aided Trump’s efforts to invalidate the election results and filed a number of lawsuits to nullify Arizona’s results. In 2016, she challenged the late U.S. Sen. John McCain in the Republican primary but lost with 39 percent of the vote. She previously served in the Arizona state Senate.

Dr. Michael Ward: Ward met his wife, Kelli Ward, while he was serving in the Arizona Air National Guard. In 2019, he was accused of spitting in the eye of a former volunteer of his wife’s when she was a candidate for Senate because the volunteer went on to support her former political foe, Martha McSally. Michael Ward denied touching, pushing, threatening or spitting on the volunteer in an email to police, according to AZ Central.

GEORGIA (16)

Joseph Brannan: Brannan is treasurer of the Georgia Republican Party, a media executive, and a leader in the Muscogee County party.

James “Ken” Carroll: Carroll is assistant secretary for the Georgia Republican Party.

Vikki Townsend Consiglio: Consiglio is assistant treasurer for the Georgia Republican Party and is on the board of governors for the Georgia Republican Foundation.

Carolyn Hall Fisher: Fisher is first vice chairman for the Georgia Republican Party.

State Sen. Burt Jones: Jones has been a member of the Georgia state Senate since 2013, representing the 25th District. He is running for lieutenant governor and is endorsed by Trump.

Gloria Kay Godwin: Godwin is a local Republican Party leader in Blackshear and the co-founder of grassroots group Georgia Conservatives in Action, according to her LinkedIn profile. In September 2020, she was accused of stalking after allegedly attempting to interfere in a citizen effort to obtain signatures for a recall election petition for Godwin’s grandson, District Five City Council member Shawn Godwin. She told the Blackshear Times that she was unaware of the complaint.

David G. Hanna: Hanna was CEO and co-founder of Atlanticus Holdings Corporation, an Atlanta-based financial holding company, until he left the post in March 2021.

Mark W. Hennessy: Hennessy is the CEO of several car dealerships around the Atlanta area.

Mark Amick: Amick is on the board of governors for the Georgia Republican Foundation. In 2019, Amick unsuccessfully ran for city council in Milton. In 2020, he served as a poll watcher in Fulton County and testified in a hearing after the election that he saw more than 9,000 votes wrongly go to Joe Biden during the first Georgia recount.

John Downey: Downey is a House district chair for the Cobb County Republican Party.

Cathleen Alston Latham: Latham is an economics teacher with the Georgia Virtual School, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Daryl Moody: Moody is a GOP donor who is currently the chairman of the Georgia Republican Foundation.

Brad Carver: A lawyer focused on energy, utilities, environmental and local government law, Carver is a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association. Carver represents clients before the Georgia Public Service Commission in the Georgia General Assembly.

David Shafer*: Shafer is chairman of the state GOP and a Georgia state senator from 2003 to 2019 who was state Senate president pro tempore for many of those years. In 2018, he ran for lieutenant governor and lost in the primary. He was also accused that year of sexual harassment by a lobbyist, but was cleared by the Senate ethics committee.

Shawn Still*: Still is a board member of the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Georgia and is finance chair of the Georgia GOP.

C.B. Yadav: A small business owner in Camden County, Yadav is a member of the Georgians First Commission under the governor’s office. He was an early supporter of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s gubernatorial campaign and worked as part of his campaign’s “grassroots army.”

Slated to sign but replaced:

John A. Isakson: Isakson is the chief financial officer for Preferred Apartment Communities. His father, Johnny Isakson, served as a U.S. senator from Georgia from 2005 to 2019 and represented Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House from 1999 to 2005.

Patrick Gartland: Gartland has served as the Cobb County Republican Party’s representative on the board of election.

CJ Pearson: A conservative activist, political adviser and commentator on cable news, Pearson has served as the executive director of Young Georgians in Government and executive director of Teens for Trump. He currently serves as the campaign manager for Vernon Jones, who is running in Georgia’s 2022 gubernatorial race.

Susan Holmes: A member of the Georgia House of Representatives from the 129th District, Holmes has also served as mayor of Monticello for 12 years.

MICHIGAN (16)

Kathy Berden*: Berden is a national committeewoman of the Republican Party of Michigan who has worked for the GOP at the local, state, and national level. Berden and her husband own an organic farm.

Rose Rook: A retired realtor, Rook was previously a Democrat and got involved with the Republican Party in 2016. She is the former Van Buren County GOP chair and served on the executive committee of the county party and as president of the Van Buren County Republican Women’s Club.

Mayra Rodriguez*: Rodriguez is the Grosse Pointe Farms chair for the 14th District Republican Committee.

Hank Choate: Choate is a dairy farmer who sits on the board of directors for the Michigan Milk Producers Association. In 2017, he met with Trump to discuss agricultural issues. He said he became involved in Republican politics in 2010 and went on to serve as chair of the Jackson County Republican Party for four years and served as chair of the party’s 7th District.

Meshawn Maddock: Maddock is the Michigan Republican Party co-chair and serves on the national advisory board of Women for Trump. She is co-owner of A1 Bail Bonds, a bail bondsman company, along with her spouse, state Rep. Matt Maddock.

Mari-Ann Henry: Henry is treasurer of the Greater Oakland Republican Club, according to her LinkedIn profile.

John Haggard: Haggard is the owner of Haggard’s Plumbing and Heating and a veteran of the Vietnam War.

Clifford Frost: A real estate agent, Frost is a member of the Michigan Republican Party State Committee and board member for the Macomb County GOP. In 2018, Frost ran in the primary to represent the 28th District in the Michigan House but lost the race.

Kent Vanderwood: Vanderwood is vice president at the Timothy Group, which advances Christian organizations, and serves as committee chair for the Second District Republican Committee of Michigan.

Stanley Grot: Grot is the Shelby Township clerk and is currently running for the Michigan House. He previously served on the Sterling Heights City Council and as a Macomb County commissioner. He also chairs the 10th District Republican Party. In 2018, he ran for secretary of state but abruptly dropped out of the race, which became the center of an alleged payoff scandal that resulted in Michigan Party Chair Ron Weiser paying a $200,000 state fine for violating campaign finance law.

Marian Sheridan: Sheridan is the director of the Lakes Area Tea Party and co-founder of the Michigan Conservative Coalition, a right-wing group founded by the Maddocks. She serves on the executive board of the Oakland County Republican Party and as grassroots vice chair for the Michigan Republican Party. In February 2021, she asked Republicans to photograph addresses used on some voter registrations, claiming there were “thousands of voters in Wayne County who were not registered at legal addresses.” In 2020, she trained hundreds of poll challengers and joined as plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking to uphold the state’s 8 p.m. Election Day deadline for returning absentee ballots.

Timothy King: King sits on the executive committee of the Washtenaw County Republican Party and on the 12th District Republican Committee. In 2020, he unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Washtenaw County Commission.

James Renner: Renner was a precinct delegate in 2020 for Watertown Township

Michele Lundgren: A photographer from Detroit, Lundgren was elected in 2020 to serve as the Republican delegate for her precinct to the county convention.

Amy Facchinello: Facchinello serves on the school board in Grand Blanc and has been the subject of protests over her QAnon social media posts. Facchinello has refused to resign. She has also been a precinct delegate and served on the executive board of the Genesee County Republican Party.

Ken Thompson: Biographical information for Thompson could not be obtained.

Slated to sign but replaced:

Terri Lynn Land: Land served as Michigan secretary of state as a Republican from 2003 through 2010. In 2014, she lost the U.S. Senate race to Democrat Gary Peters. She also serves on the Wayne State University Board of Governors.

Gerald Wall: Wall has served as the chair of the Roscommon County Republican Party for more than 20 years. An army veteran, Wall worked for General Motors but is now retired, according to his LinkedIn profile.

NEW MEXICO (5)

Jewll Powdrell*: Powdrell is a retired businessman and was managing director at ABQ Sales & Marketing Group, according to his LinkedIn profile. He told the Albuquerque Journal that he has “no regrets, whatsoever” about putting his name on the false elector document. Powdrell, a Black man, said he denounces the Black Lives Matter movement and criticizes politicians who lump Black people into one group.

Deborah W. Maestas*: Maestas is chair of the Republican Party of New Mexico. Previously, she served as deputy campaign manager on Allen Weh’s unsuccessful 2014 U.S. Senate campaign and as president of CSI Aviation.

Lupe Garcia: Garcia is a business owner in Albuquerque.

Rosie Tripp: Tripp is the national committeewoman for the Republican Party of New Mexico, a former Socorro County commissioner and a former city councilwoman in Socorro.

Anissa Ford-Tinnin: Ford-Tinnin is the former executive director of the state Republican Party.

Slated to sign but replaced:

Harvey Yates: Yates is the national committeeman for the Republican Party of New Mexico. He served as chair of the party from 2009 to 2010.

NEVADA (6)

Michael J. McDonald*: The chair of the Nevada Republican Party, McDonald is a former member of the Las Vegas City Council.

James DeGraffenreid*: DeGraffenreid has served as vice chairman of the Nevada Republican Party and is president of an insurance company.

Durward James Hindle III: Hindle is vice chair of the Nevada Republican Committee and is a managing partner at Cascade Survey Research, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Jesse Law: Law was recently elected chairman of the Clark County Republican Party and was a staffer on the Trump campaign.

Shawn Meehan: Meehan serves on the board of the Douglas County Republican Party and is founder of the Guard the Constitution Project, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Eileen Rice: Rice serves on the board of the Douglas County Republican Party.

PENNSYLVANIA (20)

Bill Bachenberg*: Bachenberg is the owner of Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays and an NRA board member. He and his wife operate Camp Freedom, a nonprofit that offers shooting experiences for veterans and first responders with disabilities and their families.

Lou Barletta: Barletta is currently running for governor of Pennsylvania. He previously served as a member of the U.S. House, representing Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District from 2011 to 2019, and as mayor of Hazleton from 2000 to 2010.

Tom Carroll: Carroll is currently running for district attorney in Northampton County. He previously served as assistant district attorney for the county but resigned after a Black colleague reported that he put a stuffed monkey with a shirt reading “Loudmouth” on her keyboard.

Ted Christian: Christian was the Pennsylvania state director for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. He runs the Philadelphia office for lobbying firm Duane Morris Government Strategies.

Chuck Coccodrilli: Coccodrilli was a board member with the Pennsylvania Great Frontier PAC and an advocate and board member at Camp Freedom. He died in October 2021 after an illness.

Bernadette Comfort: Comfort is the vice chairwoman for the Pennsylvania Republican Party. She works for Novak Strategic Advisors and has worked with the party to increase the number of women in decision-making positions. She was also a top aide to former Pennsylvania first lady Michele Ridge in the 1990s.

Sam DeMarco III: An at-large representative on the Allegheny County Council, DeMarco is the chairman of the council’s Republican Caucus. He is also the chair of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County.

Marcela Diaz-Myers: Diaz-Myers is the chairwoman of PA GOP Hispanic Advisory Council.

Christie DiEsposti: DiEsposti is an account representative at Pure Water Technology, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Josephine Ferro: Ferro was elected Monroe County Register in 2015 and is the former president of the Pennsylvania Federation of Republican Women.

Charlie Gerow: Gerow is currently running for governor of Pennsylvania. He is a GOP political strategist, the vice chair of the American Conservative Union, and the CEO of Quantum Communications, a Harrisburg-based public relations firm. Last July, he cooperated with a police investigation after he was involved in a fatal crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which he says he did not cause. State Police said Gerow was sideswiped, the Capital-Star previously reported.

Kevin Harley: Harley works with Gerow as managing director of Quantum Communications and has served as a spokesperson for Gerow. He has also worked as press secretary for former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett.

Leah Hoopes: Hoopes is a small business owner and Republican committeewoman for Bethel Township in Delaware County who served as a poll watcher in 2020. She was named as a defendant in a Delaware County voting machine supervisor’s lawsuit alleging that Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that election officials tampered with the election made the supervisor the subject of physical threats.

Ash Khare: An immigrant from India and retired engineer, Khare is active in the Pennsylvania Republican Party and describes himself as a political junkie.

Andre McCoy: McCoy is a director of government affairs with more than 30 years of military service and civilian experience, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Lisa Patton*: Patton was the director of events in Pennsylvania for Trump’s campaign. She was the owner of Twin Ponds Family Recreation Center in Harrisburg, according to her LinkedIn.

Pat Poprik: Poprik is the chair of the Bucks County Republican Committee.

Andy Reilly: Reilly is a national committeeman for the Republican Party of Pennsylvania and former secretary for the party. Reilly was previously elected twice to serve as a member of the Delaware County Council. He’s also managing partner at the law firm Swartz Campbell LLC.

Suk Smith: Smith is owner of Patriot Arms Inc., a firearms training center, and Dragons Way School of Kenpo Inc., a martial arts school in Carlisle.

Calvin Tucker: Tucker is deputy chairman and director of engagement and advancement for the Pennsylvania Republican Party. In 2016, he served as a media surrogate and African American adviser to Trump’s campaign.

Slated to sign but replaced:

Robert Asher: Asher has held several positions in the Pennsylvania Republican Party and has held various local elected offices. While chairman of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania, he was convicted in 1987 of conspiracy and bribery, among other charges, for accepting bribes in exchange for awarding a state contract. He resigned from the position and served one year in federal prison.

Lawrence Tabas: Tabas is chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, longtime general counsel to the party and a well-known Philadelphia elections attorney. Before the 2020 election, Tabas told the Atlantic that he had spoken with the Trump reelection campaign about the possibility that Republican-controlled legislatures could directly appoint electors, but he claimed the comments were taken out of context.

Thomas Marino: Marino was a member of the U.S. House from 2011 until 2019, when he abruptly resigned two weeks into his term. He has also served as U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. In 2017, Trump nominated him to be the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, but he withdrew from consideration after reports that he had crafted a bill that protected pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors and made it harder for the federal government to tackle the opioid crisis.

Lance Stange: Stange works for Novak Strategic Advisors and has served as chairman of the northeast caucus of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania.

Carolyn Welsh: Welsh was the sheriff of Chester County for two decades until 2019 and was one of Trump’s earliest boosters in Pennsylvania, often speaking at his rallies. In March, she entered a no-contest plea to misdemeanor theft charges for allegedly allowing employees to improperly collect comp time, paid for by tax dollars, for volunteering at fundraisers for the office’s K-9 unit. A judge ordered her to pay restitution and a fine.

Christine Toretti: Toretti is the national committeewoman for the Pennsylvania Republican Party and is the former chairman and CEO of S. W. Jack Drilling Co., an oil and gas company involved in fracking.

Robert Gleason: Gleason was formerly the chair of the Pennsylvania Republican Party. He is a businessman who was appointed by Trump in 2018 to the board of visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy.

WISCONSIN (10)

Andrew Hitt*: The chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin from 2019 until 2021, Hitt is a partner at consulting and lobbying firm Michael Best Strategies.

Kelly Ruh*: Ruh is an alderperson for De Pere, chairwoman of the 8th Congressional District Republican Party, and a controller for Bay Industries in Green Bay.

Carol Brunner: Brunner is the vice chairwoman of Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District Republican Party.

Edward Scott Grabins: Chairman of the Dane County Republican Party, Grabins is a technology professional, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Bill Feehan: A business manager based in La Crosse, Feehan was a 2012 candidate for District 32 of the Wisconsin state Senate.

Robert F. Spindell Jr.: Spindell has been a commissioner on the Wisconsin Election Commission since 2019. After Biden won the election, Spindell appeared at a “stop the steal” rally at the state Capitol.

Kathy Kiernan: Kiernan is the 1st Congressional District chairman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

Darryl Carlson: Currently executive director of conservative organization No Better Friend Corp., Carlson ran an unsuccessful campaign in 2014 for the Wisconsin State Assembly. He is a veteran and has also represented the 3rd aldermanic district in Sheboygan.

Pam Travis: Travis is treasurer of the Wisconsin Federation of Republican Women and the 7th Congressional District vice chairman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

Mary Buestrin: A national committeewoman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, Buestrin says she has done volunteer work supporting Republican candidates for more than 50 years.

Slated to appear but replaced:

Tom Schreibel: Schreibel is a partner at consulting and lobbying firm Michael Best Strategies and a national committeeman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin.


Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor John Micek for questions: info@penncapital-star.com. Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.

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Trump's fake electors: Here is the full list of 84 people who signed bogus documents www.youtube.com

Trump’s fake electors: Here’s the full list

The 84 people who signed bogus documents claiming that Donald Trump won the 2020 election include dozens of local Republican Party leaders, seven current candidates for public office, eight current office holders and at least five previous state and federal office holders.

Groups from Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin all allegedly sent lists of so-called alternate electors to the National Archives after the 2020 election. The slate of fake electors includes Lou Barletta and Charlie Gerow, both candidates for governor in Pennsylvania; Burt Jones, a candidate for lieutenant governor in Georgia; James Lamon, a candidate for U.S. Senate from Arizona; and candidates for state legislative seats.

The group also includes eight current officeholders:

  • Jake Hoffman, an Arizona state representative.
  • Burt Jones, a Georgia state senator.
  • Stanley Grot, the Shelby Township clerk in Michigan.
  • Amy Facchinello, a member of the school board in Grand Blanc, Michigan.
  • Robert Spindell Jr., a member of the Wisconsin Election Commission.
  • Sam DeMarco III, an at-large member of the Allegheny County Council in Pennsylvania.
  • Josephine Ferro, the Monroe County Register of Wills in Pennsylvania.
  • Kelly Ruh, an alderperson for De Pere, Wisconsin.

In addition to the chair or co-chair of the state Republican Party in all seven states, the group includes people for whom political controversy and investigations are nothing new:

  • Michael Ward of Arizona has been accused of spitting in the eye of a former campaign volunteer for his wife, Kelli Ward.
  • Tom Carroll of Pennsylvania was accused by a Black colleague of leaving a stuffed monkey on her desk in a racist act, while he was serving as an assistant district attorney.
  • Gloria Kay Godwin of Georgia has been accused of stalking after allegedly attempting to interfere in a citizen effort to obtain signatures for a recall election petition.

The Justice Department has announced that it is investigating the attempt by the false electors to subvert the election.

On Friday, the Congressional Select Committee on January 6th also announced it has subpoenaed 14 of the counterfeit electors who it believes have information about how they met and who was behind the scheme, according to committee Chairperson Bennie G. Thompson, (D-Miss.). Each of the 14 served as “chair” or “secretary” on the state slates of fake electors.

According to recent reports, Trump’s then-attorney Rudy Giuliani led the scheme by submitting the slates of “alternate electors” to the National Archives. In March 2021, D.C.-based watchdog group American Oversight made public the documents, which it received in response to a public records request.

Attorneys general from the seven states involved in the scheme are investigating whether to bring charges against the Trump backers who participated. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has said there is “absolutely” enough evidence to charge the false electors with election fraud.

Here is a comprehensive list of all the bogus electors from the seven states, including the people who were slated to sign the documents but were replaced with alternates:

(A * indicates a person who was listed as chairperson or secretary of their state group and who was subpoenaed by the House Jan. 6 committee.)

ARIZONA (11)

Nancy Cottle*: Cottle is the first vice president of programs for the Arizona Federation of Republican Women. She has been active in Arizona politics for the past decade and holds various other positions on the Maricopa County Republican Committee and the AZGOP executive committee.

Loraine B. Pellegrino*: Pellegrino has served as president of Ahwatukee Republican Women.

Tyler Bowyer: Bowyer is the chief operating officer of Turning Point USA, a Phoenix-based nonprofit organization that advocates for conservative values in schools. He has previously worked for the Republican National Committee and the Maricopa County Republican Party.

Jake Hoffman: Hoffman is an Arizona state representative for the 12th District. Hoffman also runs a conservative digital marketing company, Rally Forge, that was banned from Facebook and suspended from Twitter for engaging in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” on behalf of Turning Point Action, an affiliate of Turning Point USA. The company was enlisting and paying teens to share comments with right-wing opinions, including that mail-in ballots would lead to fraud and that coronavirus numbers were intentionally inflated. Experts told the Washington Post in 2020 that the effort was “among the most ambitious domestic influence campaigns uncovered this election cycle.”

Anthony T. Kern: From January 2015 until January 2021, Kern was an Arizona state representative for the 20th District. He is currently running for election to the Arizona state Senate to represent the 20th District. Kern participated in the January 6 riots in D.C. and has lied about breaching the U.S. Capitol building

James Lamon: Lamon is running for election to the U.S. Senate to represent Arizona. He is a veteran and was previously CEO of DEPCOM Power, a solar energy contractor, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Robert Montgomery: In 2020, Montgomery served as the chairman of the Cochise County Republican Committee.

Samuel I. Moorhead: Moorhead serves as the second vice chair of the Gila County Arizona Republican Party.

Greg Safsten: Safsten is the executive director of the Republican Party of Arizona. He previously worked for Rep. Andy Biggs and Rep. Matt Salmon, both of Arizona, in their U.S. House offices, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Dr. Kelli Ward: Ward is an osteopathic physician who has served as the chair of the Arizona Republican Party since 2019. Following the 2020 election, Ward aided Trump’s efforts to invalidate the election results and filed a number of lawsuits to nullify Arizona’s results. In 2016, she challenged the late U.S. Sen. John McCain in the Republican primary but lost with 39 percent of the vote. She previously served in the Arizona state Senate.

Dr. Michael Ward: Ward met his wife, Kelli Ward, while he was serving in the Arizona Air National Guard. In 2019, he was accused of spitting in the eye of a former volunteer of his wife’s when she was a candidate for Senate because the volunteer went on to support her former political foe, Martha McSally. Michael Ward denied touching, pushing, threatening or spitting on the volunteer in an email to police, according to AZ Central.

GEORGIA (16)

Joseph Brannan: Brannan is treasurer of the Georgia Republican Party, a media executive, and a leader in the Muscogee County party.

James “Ken” Carroll: Carroll is assistant secretary for the Georgia Republican Party.

Vikki Townsend Consiglio: Consiglio is assistant treasurer for the Georgia Republican Party and is on the board of governors for the Georgia Republican Foundation.

Carolyn Hall Fisher: Fisher is first vice chairman for the Georgia Republican Party.

State Sen. Burt Jones: Jones has been a member of the Georgia state Senate since 2013, representing the 25th District. He is running for lieutenant governor and is endorsed by Trump.

Gloria Kay Godwin: Godwin is a local Republican Party leader in Blackshear and the co-founder of grassroots group Georgia Conservatives in Action, according to her LinkedIn profile. In September 2020, she was accused of stalking after allegedly attempting to interfere in a citizen effort to obtain signatures for a recall election petition for Godwin’s grandson, District Five City Council member Shawn Godwin. She told the Blackshear Times that she was unaware of the complaint.

David G. Hanna: Hanna was CEO and co-founder of Atlanticus Holdings Corporation, an Atlanta-based financial holding company, until he left the post in March 2021.

Mark W. Hennessy: Hennessy is the CEO of several car dealerships around the Atlanta area.

Mark Amick: Amick is on the board of governors for the Georgia Republican Foundation. In 2019, Amick unsuccessfully ran for city council in Milton. In 2020, he served as a poll watcher in Milton County and testified in a hearing after the election that he saw more than 9,000 votes wrongly go to Joe Biden during the first Georgia recount.

John Downey: Downey is a House district chair for the Cobb County Republican Party.

Cathleen Alston Latham: Latham is an economics teacher with the Georgia Virtual School, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Daryl Moody: Moody is a GOP donor who is currently the chairman of the Georgia Republican Foundation.

Brad Carver: A lawyer focused on energy, utilities, environmental and local government law, Carver is a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association. Carver represents clients before the Georgia Public Service Commission in the Georgia General Assembly.

David Shafer*: Shafer is chairman of the state GOP and a Georgia state senator from 2003 to 2019 who was state Senate president pro tempore for many of those years. In 2018, he ran for lieutenant governor and lost in the primary. He was also accused that year of sexual harassment by a lobbyist, but was cleared by the Senate ethics committee.

Shawn Still*: Still is a board member of the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Georgia and is finance chair of the Georgia GOP.

C.B. Yadav: A small business owner in Camden County, Yadav is a member of the Georgians First Commission under the governor’s office. He was an early supporter of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s gubernatorial campaign and worked as part of his campaign’s “grassroots army.”

Slated to sign but replaced:

John A. Isakson: Isakson is the chief financial officer for Preferred Apartment Communities. His father, Johnny Isakson, served as a U.S. senator from Georgia from 2005 to 2019 and represented Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House from 1999 to 2005.

Patrick Gartland: Gartland has served as the Cobb County Republican Party’s representative on the board of election.

CJ Pearson: A conservative activist, political adviser and commentator on cable news, Pearson has served as the executive director of Young Georgians in Government and executive director of Teens for Trump. He currently serves as the campaign manager for Vernon Jones, who is running in Georgia’s 2022 gubernatorial race.

Susan Holmes: A member of the Georgia House of Representatives from the 129th District, Holmes has also served as mayor of Monticello for 12 years.

MICHIGAN (16)

Kathy Berden*: Berden is a national committeewoman of the Republican Party of Michigan who has worked for the GOP at the local, state, and national level. Berden and her husband own an organic farm.

Rose Rook: A retired realtor, Rook was previously a Democrat and got involved with the Republican Party in 2016. She is the former Van Buren County GOP chair and served on the executive committee of the county party and as president of the Van Buren County Republican Women’s Club.

Mayra Rodriguez*: Rodriguez is the Grosse Pointe Farms chair for the 14th District Republican Committee.

Hank Choate: Choate is a dairy farmer who sits on the board of directors for the Michigan Milk Producers Association. In 2017, he met with Trump to discuss agricultural issues. He said he became involved in Republican politics in 2010 and went on to serve as chair of the Jackson County Republican Party for four years and served as chair of the party’s 7th District.

Meshawn Maddock: Maddock is the Michigan Republican Party co-chair and serves on the national advisory board of Women for Trump. She is co-owner of A1 Bail Bonds, a bail bondsman company, along with her spouse, state Rep. Matt Maddock.

Mari-Ann Henry: Henry is treasurer of the Greater Oakland Republican Club, according to her LinkedIn profile.

John Haggard: Haggard is the owner of Haggard’s Plumbing and Heating and a veteran of the Vietnam War.

Clifford Frost: A real estate agent, Frost is a member of the Michigan Republican Party State Committee and board member for the Macomb County GOP. In 2018, Frost ran in the primary to represent the 28th District in the Michigan House but lost the race.

Kent Vanderwood: Vanderwood is vice president at the Timothy Group, which advances Christian organizations, and serves as committee chair for the Second District Republican Committee of Michigan.

Stanley Grot: Grot is the Shelby Township clerk and is currently running for the Michigan House. He previously served on the Sterling Heights City Council and as a Macomb County commissioner. He also chairs the 10th District Republican Party. In 2018, he ran for secretary of state but abruptly dropped out of the race, which became the center of an alleged payoff scandal that resulted in Michigan Party Chair Ron Weiser paying a $200,000 state fine for violating campaign finance law.

Marian Sheridan: Sheridan is the director of the Lakes Area Tea Party and co-founder of the Michigan Conservative Coalition, a right-wing group founded by the Maddocks. She serves on the executive board of the Oakland County Republican Party and as grassroots vice chair for the Michigan Republican Party. In February 2021, she asked Republicans to photograph addresses used on some voter registrations, claiming there were “thousands of voters in Wayne County who were not registered at legal addresses.” In 2020, she trained hundreds of poll challengers and joined as plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking to uphold the state’s 8 p.m. Election Day deadline for returning absentee ballots.

Timothy King: King sits on the executive committee of the Washtenaw County Republican Party and on the 12th District Republican Committee. In 2020, he unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Washtenaw County Commission.

James Renner: Renner was a precinct delegate in 2020 for Watertown Township

Michele Lundgren: A photographer from Detroit, Lundgren was elected in 2020 to serve as the Republican delegate for her precinct to the county convention.

Amy Facchinello: Facchinello serves on the school board in Grand Blanc and has been the subject of protests over her QAnon social media posts. Facchinello has refused to resign. She has also been a precinct delegate and served on the executive board of the Genesee County Republican Party.

Ken Thompson: Biographical information for Thompson could not be obtained.

Slated to sign but replaced:

Terri Lynn Land: Land served as Michigan secretary of state as a Republican from 2003 through 2010. In 2014, she lost the U.S. Senate race to Democrat Gary Peters. She also serves on the Wayne State University Board of Governors.

Gerald Wall: Wall has served as the chair of the Roscommon County Republican Party for more than 20 years. An army veteran, Wall worked for General Motors but is now retired, according to his LinkedIn profile.

NEW MEXICO (5)

Jewll Powdrell*: Powdrell is a retired businessman and was managing director at ABQ Sales & Marketing Group, according to his LinkedIn profile. He told the Albuquerque Journal that he has “no regrets, whatsoever” about putting his name on the false elector document. Powdrell, a Black man, said he denounces the Black Lives Matter movement and criticizes politicians who lump Black people into one group.

Deborah W. Maestas*: Maestas is chair of the Republican Party of New Mexico. Previously, she served as deputy campaign manager on Allen Weh’s unsuccessful 2014 U.S. Senate campaign and as president of CSI Aviation.

Lupe Garcia: Garcia is a business owner in Albuquerque.

Rosie Tripp: Tripp is the national committeewoman for the Republican Party of New Mexico, a former Socorro County commissioner and a former city councilwoman in Socorro.

Anissa Ford-Tinnin: Ford-Tinnin is the former executive director of the state Republican Party.

Slated to sign but replaced:

Harvey Yates: Yates is the national committeeman for the Republican Party of New Mexico. He served as chair of the party from 2009 to 2010.

NEVADA (6)

Michael J. McDonald*: The chair of the Nevada Republican Party, McDonald is a former member of the Las Vegas City Council.

James DeGraffenreid*: DeGraffenreid has served as vice chairman of the Nevada Republican Party and is president of an insurance company.

Durward James Hindle III: Hindle is vice chair of the Nevada Republican Committee and is a managing partner at Cascade Survey Research, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Jesse Law: Law was recently elected chairman of the Clark County Republican Party and was a staffer on the Trump campaign.

Shawn Meehan: Meehan serves on the board of the Douglas County Republican Party and is founder of the Guard the Constitution Project, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Eileen Rice: Rice serves on the board of the Douglas County Republican Party.

PENNSYLVANIA (20)

Bill Bachenberg*: Bachenberg is the owner of Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays and an NRA board member. He and his wife operate Camp Freedom, a nonprofit that offers shooting experiences for veterans and first responders with disabilities and their families.

Lou Barletta: Barletta is currently running for governor of Pennsylvania. He previously served as a member of the U.S. House, representing Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District from 2011 to 2019, and as mayor of Hazleton from 2000 to 2010.

Tom Carroll: Carroll is currently running for district attorney in Northampton County. He previously served as assistant district attorney for the county but resigned after a Black colleague reported that he put a stuffed monkey with a shirt reading “Loudmouth” on her keyboard.

Ted Christian: Christian was the Pennsylvania state director for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. He runs the Philadelphia office for lobbying firm Duane Morris Government Strategies.

Chuck Coccodrilli: Coccodrilli was a board member with the Pennsylvania Great Frontier PAC and an advocate and board member at Camp Freedom. He died in October 2021 after an illness.

Bernadette Comfort: Comfort is the vice chairwoman for the Pennsylvania Republican Party. She works for Novak Strategic Advisors and has worked with the party to increase the number of women in decision-making positions. She was also a top aide to former Pennsylvania first lady Michele Ridge in the 1990s.

Sam DeMarco III: An at-large representative on the Allegheny County Council, DeMarco is the chairman of the council’s Republican Caucus. He is also the chair of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County.

Marcela Diaz-Myers: Diaz-Myers is the chairwoman of PA GOP Hispanic Advisory Council.

Christie DiEsposti: DiEsposti is an account representative at Pure Water Technology, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Josephine Ferro: Ferro was elected Monroe County Register in 2015 and is the former president of the Pennsylvania Federation of Republican Women.

Charlie Gerow: Gerow is currently running for governor of Pennsylvania. He is a GOP political strategist, the vice chair of the American Conservative Union, and the CEO of Quantum Communications, a Harrisburg-based public relations firm. Last July, he cooperated with a police investigation after he was involved in a fatal crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which he says he did not cause.

Kevin Harley: Harley works with Gerow as managing director of Quantum Communications and has served as a spokesperson for Gerow. He has also worked as press secretary for former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett.

Leah Hoopes: Hoopes is a small business owner and Republican committeewoman for Bethel Township in Delaware County who served as a poll watcher in 2020. She was named as a defendant in a Delaware County voting machine supervisor’s lawsuit alleging that Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that election officials tampered with the election made the supervisor the subject of physical threats.

Ash Khare: An immigrant from India and retired engineer, Khare is active in the Pennsylvania Republican Party and describes himself as a political junkie.

Andre McCoy: McCoy is a director of government affairs with more than 30 years of military service and civilian experience, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Lisa Patton*: Patton was the director of events in Pennsylvania for Trump’s campaign. She was the owner of Twin Ponds Family Recreation Center in Harrisburg, according to her LinkedIn.

Pat Poprik: Poprik is the chair of the Bucks County Republican Committee.

Andy Reilly: Reilly is a national committeeman for the Republican Party of Pennsylvania and former secretary for the party. Reilly was previously elected twice to serve as a member of the Delaware County Council. He’s also managing partner at the law firm Swartz Campbell LLC.

Suk Smith: Smith is owner of Patriot Arms Inc., a firearms training center, and Dragons Way School of Kenpo Inc., a martial arts school in Carlisle.

Calvin Tucker: Tucker is deputy chairman and director of engagement and advancement for the Pennsylvania Republican Party. In 2016, he served as a media surrogate and African American adviser to Trump’s campaign.

Slated to sign but replaced:

Robert Asher: Asher has held several positions in the Pennsylvania Republican Party and has held various local elected offices. While chairman of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania, he was convicted in 1987 of conspiracy and bribery, among other charges, for accepting bribes in exchange for awarding a state contract. He resigned from the position and served one year in federal prison.

Lawrence Tabas: Tabas is chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, longtime general counsel to the party and a well-known Philadelphia elections attorney. Before the 2020 election, Tabas told the Atlantic that he had spoken with the Trump reelection campaign about the possibility that Republican-controlled legislatures could directly appoint electors, but he claimed the comments were taken out of context.

Thomas Marino: Marino was a member of the U.S. House from 2011 until 2019, when he abruptly resigned two weeks into his term. He has also served as U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. In 2017, Trump nominated him to be the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, but he withdrew from consideration after reports that he had crafted a bill that protected pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors and made it harder for the federal government to tackle the opioid crisis.

Lance Stange: Stange works for Novak Strategic Advisors and has served as chairman of the northeast caucus of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania.

Carolyn Welsh: Welsh was the sheriff of Chester County for two decades until 2019 and was one of Trump’s earliest boosters in Pennsylvania, often speaking at his rallies. In March, she entered a no-contest plea to misdemeanor theft charges for allegedly allowing employees to improperly collect comp time, paid for by tax dollars, for volunteering at fundraisers for the office’s K-9 unit. A judge ordered her to pay restitution and a fine.

Christine Toretti: Toretti is the national committeewoman for the Pennsylvania Republican Party and is the former chairman and CEO of S. W. Jack Drilling Co., an oil and gas company involved in fracking.

Robert Gleason: Gleason was formerly the chair of the Pennsylvania Republican Party. He is a businessman who was appointed by Trump in 2018 to the board of visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy.

WISCONSIN (10)

Andrew Hitt*: The chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin from 2019 until 2021, Hitt is a partner at consulting and lobbying firm Michael Best Strategies.

Kelly Ruh*: Ruh is an alderperson for De Pere, chairwoman of the 8th Congressional District Republican Party, and a controller for Bay Industries in Green Bay.

Carol Brunner: Brunner is the vice chairwoman of Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District Republican Party.

Edward Scott Grabins: Chairman of the Dane County Republican Party, Grabins is a technology professional, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Bill Feehan: A business manager based in La Crosse, Feehan was a 2012 candidate for District 32 of the Wisconsin state Senate.

Robert F. Spindell Jr.: Spindell has been a commissioner on the Wisconsin Election Commission since 2019. After Biden won the election, Spindell appeared at a “stop the steal” rally at the state Capitol.

Kathy Kiernan: Kiernan is the 1st Congressional District chairman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

Darryl Carlson: Currently executive director of conservative organization No Better Friend Corp., Carlson ran an unsuccessful campaign in 2014 for the Wisconsin State Assembly. He is a veteran and has also represented the 3rd aldermanic district in Sheboygan.

Pam Travis: Travis is treasurer of the Wisconsin Federation of Republican Women and the 7th Congressional District vice chairman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

Mary Buestrin: A national committeewoman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, Buestrin says she has done volunteer work supporting Republican candidates for more than 50 years.

Slated to appear but replaced:

Tom Schreibel: Schreibel is a partner at consulting and lobbying firm Michael Best Strategies and a national committeeman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

Ohio Capital Journal is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Ohio Capital Journal maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor David DeWitt for questions: info@ohiocapitaljournal.com. Follow Ohio Capital Journal on Facebook and Twitter.

Seven states to watch in the 2022 push to restrict voting rights

WASHINGTON — Republican state lawmakers across the country are ramping up their drive to enact voting and election-related laws in time for crucial 2022 midterm elections.

As federal legislation that would limit state-level voting restrictions appears stymied in Washington, Republicans in the states are moving forward with new proposals and revisiting old ones that Democrats and voting rights advocates say are designed to both suppress voters and subvert the election process.

“I expect we will see additional restrictive voting legislation in 2022,” said election expert Rick Hasen, co-director of the Fair Elections and Free Speech Center at the University of California, Irvine. “Trump is demanding it based on his false claims of a stolen 2020 election, and it plays to the Republican base that believes Trump’s false claims.”

In 2021, at least 19 states enacted 34 laws restricting access to voting, according to an analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice. The analysis from early December found that before the 2022 session even started, state legislators were pre-filing bills to make it harder to cast a ballot and to allow “audits” of election results.

READ: Student Debt is a Racial Justice Issue. Here’s What President Biden Can Do to Help.

There are 88 voter restriction bills in nine states from the 2021 legislative session that will roll over to the 2022 session, according to the Brennan Center. Without federal legislation to block Republican lawmakers’ efforts, experts warn the United States is likely to see a similar “tidal wave” of restrictive voting laws this year.

Most of the states where restrictive laws are likely this year also passed or attempted to pass similarly restrictive laws last year.

“All indications are that the tidal wave of efforts to restrict and undermine the vote that we saw last year will continue through 2022,” said Sean Morales-Doyle, acting director of the voting rights and elections program at the Brennan Center. “We’re already seeing it, in bills to make it harder to vote and to enable partisans to sabotage elections.”

Here’s a look at states to watch, the voting restrictions that emerged last year, and what could be coming in 2022:

GEORGIA


LAST SESSION: After the 2020 election, when a Democrat won the state’s presidential contest for the first time in almost three decades, Georgia became ground zero for restrictive voting laws. In March, Gov. Brian Kemp signed Senate Bill 202, approving a spate of changes to voting rules, including a shortened period for requesting an absentee ballot, a ban on government entities from distributing unsolicited absentee ballot applications, and limitations on counties’ use of ballot drop boxes, among many other measures. The state has been hit with several lawsuits claiming the law discriminates against voters of color, including one suit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

THIS SESSION: As the legislative session gets underway, lawmakers are expected to revisit legislation to reshape the state’s handling of absentee ballots and other voting rules. Even before the session began, lawmakers started previewing their intentions. Senate President Pro Tempore Butch Miller, who is running for lieutenant governor, pre-filed legislation in December to ban ballot drop boxes, arguing that they were introduced as an emergency measure during the pandemic but many counties didn’t follow appropriate security guidelines. The bill prompted outrage from voting rights advocates across the country, but it’s only one of many by state Republicans.

Republicans are also proposing legislation to allow the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to investigate election-related complaints without a request from a local government. Another potential GOP-backed bill would allow voters to choose paper ballots instead of the recently purchased Dominion Voting Systems electronic touchscreen devices. State Sen. Burt Jones, who is also running for lieutenant governor and is endorsed by former President Donald Trump, is pushing for the change, claiming electronic touchscreens are vulnerable to hacking. Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger also wants to tighten election rules and is advocating a constitutional amendment to ban noncitizens from voting in Georgia. Noncitizens are already prevented from voting under state law.

With Republican majorities in both chambers of the legislature, Democratic lawmakers see little path to expand voting rights in Georgia this session. But voting rights groups like the Atlanta-based Fair Fight Action are ready to do their part to push back against what they see as voter suppression efforts.

READ: McConnell fumes over Biden comparing opponents of the Voting Rights Act to George Wallace

“Fair Fight Action and voting rights groups across Georgia are ready to fight back against any and all anti-voter proposals that Republicans try to force through this legislative session,” Hillary Holley, the group’s organizing director, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Georgia voters will also head to the polls this year for elections for governor and secretary of state. GOP candidates in both races have supported Trump’s lies about the 2020 election and gubernatorial candidate David Perdue has said he would not have certified the results.

Follow more throughout the session in the Georgia Recorder.

ARIZONA

LAST SESSION: Early in 2021, Arizona led the nation in proposed legislation that would make it harder for people to vote. By the end of the year, the state passed three restrictive voting bills. One bill made Arizona’s early voter list less permanent by requiring counties to stop sending early ballots to people who have not used early voting in either of the last two statewide or federal elections. Another bill requires the state to throw out mail-in ballots that are not cured of missing signatures by 7 p.m. on Election Day. The third bill included several election integrity policies including stripping election officials of their authority. That bill was struck down by Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper in September.

THIS SESSION: Before the session started, Arizona Republicans pre-filed nearly a dozen measures to reform elections. State Sen. Wendy Rogers wants legislation to set up a government bureau to investigate fraud in elections and prohibit drive-up voting for anyone who is not disabled. While those measures would restrict voting, Rogers also wants to make primary and general election days paid holidays for all state workers, which could encourage participation in elections.

Republican state Sen. Kelly Townsend introduced bills related to election audits and to review the security of election equipment. She also wants new voter ID requirements and legislation to criminalize people who misplace a voter’s ballot and contractors who do not follow through with election-related work.

Other Republicans introduced measures to require paper ballots to be printed with holographic foil, which they say would prevent tampering. Others want all ballots and votes to become public records with digital images.

Although Republicans have an advantage in both chambers, state Democrats are hoping for bipartisan support on their blueprint for legislation this year. “We should be making it easier for all eligible Arizonans to vote, not harder,” their blueprint reads. “While we continue to support automatic voter registration and the repeal of needless roadblocks, we know the fight in the upcoming session will be to save democracy itself.”

Follow updates on all of this legislation in the Arizona Mirror.

MICHIGAN

LAST SESSION: In 2021, Michigan’s legislature passed three restrictive voting laws out of a proposed 39-bill package, but Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed all of them. The bills would have required the state to clean up its voter rolls more frequently (a practice that voting advocates say could end up purging eligible voters), ban the use of sworn affidavits for voters who show up to vote without an adequate ID, and prohibit internet access to voting machines, among other measures.

THIS SESSION: Although Michigan Republicans didn’t have any luck with their legislation last year, 15 of their restrictive voting bills from last year will carry over to the 2022 session, according to the Brennan Center.

Republicans are also counting on the fact that Whitmer is up for reelection in the fall and could be unseated by a Republican who would support their efforts.

Michigan Republicans are also attempting to push through voting restrictions with the Secure MI Vote ballot initiative. The initiative would restrict voting by eliminating the ability for voters without ID to cast a regular ballot, requiring voters to put identifying information like their driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number on absentee ballot applications, and prohibiting election officials from sending absentee ballot application forms to voters who did not request them, among other measures. If signed by enough voters, and certified by the Board of State Canvassers, GOP lawmakers could circumvent Whitmer’s veto and enact the restrictions anyway.

Read more on these efforts in Michigan Advance.

PENNSYLVANIA

LAST SESSION: Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor vetoed the one restrictive voting law that Republicans in the state legislature passed in 2021. The bill would have mandated voter identification in all elections and limited the time period when ballot drop boxes are available, among other measures. While the bill did include some provisions aimed at expanding voting like creating early voting and allowing voters to fix mail ballots with missing signatures, Gov. Tom Wolf said that it was “ultimately not about improving access to voting or election security, but about restricting the freedom to vote.”

THIS SESSION: Although Republicans were not successful last year, 30 restrictive voting bills are carrying over to the 2022 session, four of which are proposed constitutional amendments that would allow legislators to pass voting restrictions with approval of the legislature and voters but without the governor’s review, according to the Brennan Center. The carryover bills would, among other measures, make voting harder by eliminating no-excuse mail voting, requiring voter ID for in-person and mail voting, requiring signature matching for mail ballots, and moving the deadline for absentee ballots to be returned from 8 p.m. on Election Day to 5 p.m. the Friday before Election Day.

Pennsylvania voters will elect a new governor in November.

Follow the Pennsylvania Capital Star for more on all of these efforts.

TEXAS

LAST SESSION: Last year, Texas passed Senate Bill 1, one of the most restrictive voting laws in the country. The law targets voting methods disproportionately used by Democratic voters of color, like banning overnight early voting hours and drive-through voting. The law also makes vote-by-mail more difficult and sets new criminal penalties for voter assistance. There are currently several lawsuits challenging the law, including one from the U.S. Department of Justice.

THIS SESSION: Texas’ legislative session will not meet in 2022 but all eyes will be on the litigation challenging Senate Bill 1, as opponents try to ensure it’s not in effect for the 2022 midterm elections.

FLORIDA

LAST SESSION: In May 2021, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a wide-ranging bill that restricts voting by limiting the use of drop boxes, adding ID requirements for absentee ballots, stopping the automatic mailing of absentee ballots to voters who did not request them for that particular election, and limiting who can collect ballots, among other measures. The law went into effect immediately and the state was promptly hit with federal court challenges. A consolidated federal lawsuit is set to be heard on Jan. 31.

THIS SESSION: DeSantis is already urging lawmakers to go even further this session to restrict voting. He told lawmakers in his State of the State address Jan. 11 that the legislature must create a new law enforcement entity to investigate voter fraud. He also wants to impose felony penalties for “ballot harvesting” and says the state needs stricter deadlines for purging inactive voters from the rolls. Lawmakers also prefiled a bill before the session started to initiate a partisan audit of the 2020 election.

Read more in the Florida Phoenix.

WISCONSIN

LAST SESSION: In 2021, Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled legislature passed six restrictive voting laws which were all vetoed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who said they would present “unnecessary and damaging hurdles for Wisconsinites to participate in our democracy.” The bills would have cut back on the number of absentee ballot drop boxes, limited who can return an absentee ballot on behalf of another voter, and barred the Wisconsin Elections Commission from automatically sending absentee ballot applications or absentee ballots to voters, among other measures. Republicans also tried to pass a law to end a photo ID exemption for indefinitely confined voters, which would have presented significant hurdles for voters with disabilities.

THIS SESSION: According to the Brennan Center, 13 restrictive voting laws from last year will carry over into the 2022 session. Republicans will no doubt continue their efforts, with high-ranking GOP lawmakers already indicating their intentions. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has called for members of the Wisconsin Election Commission to resign and Republicans have floated proposals to remake the bipartisan commission and allow the legislature to run elections. The investigation Vos ordered into the 2020 election will also spill over into 2022.

Evers, who is now the only barrier preventing state Republican lawmakers from passing restrictive laws, will also be up for reelection this year.

Follow new developments in the Wisconsin Examiner.

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Ohio Capital Journal is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Ohio Capital Journal maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor David DeWitt for questions: info@ohiocapitaljournal.com. Follow Ohio Capital Journal on Facebook and Twitter.

Pro-Trump groups target state and local voter registration rolls with multiple lawsuits

North Carolina’s voter rolls are like a refrigerator that needs to be cleared periodically of rotting milk and other items past their expiration date, according to Jason Snead, director of the pro-Trump Honest Elections Project.

Snead is an elections advocate supporting Republican plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to force the state to more regularly maintain its voter rolls.

But Jeff Loperfido, an attorney for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice who is representing voting rights groups that intervened in the lawsuit, called the comparison of North Carolina voters to rotting foods “just as frivolous and insulting as the lawsuit” filed against them.

“The only thing that needs to be thrown out are these claims,” he said.

A group of conservative attorneys including Jason Torchinsky and William Consovoy, known for defending former President Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” that voter fraud cost him the 2020 election, filed the lawsuit in North Carolina federal court in September, alleging that the state’s process for maintaining its voter rolls is inadequate.

Torchinsky previously represented Republicans in redistricting battles and former North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in his claim that irregularities in the 2016 gubernatorial election cost him the race.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of legal actions filed by conservative groups claiming states and counties don’t do enough to maintain their voter rolls, weakening the integrity of elections.

But voting rights groups say the lawsuits are disingenuous attempts to make it more difficult for eligible voters, especially non-white voters in growing urban areas, to cast ballots. They claim the lawsuits present burdens for underfunded, understaffed election offices, which are already struggling to conduct elections safely during a pandemic while also battling widespread misinformation about voting.

Reaching out to voters

Currently, North Carolina’s Board of Elections conducts routine voter roll maintenance, as required by state and federal law. The state removes voters who have died, committed a felony, or who have moved out of the state.

The Board also conducts a biennial process of reaching out to voters with whom they haven’t had contact for two federal election cycles, eventually removing them if they do not respond to a notice asking them to confirm their address.

As part of that process, North Carolina removed more than 570,000 names in 2019 and almost 400,000 more in 2021 out of more than 7 million registered voters, according to SCSJ.

But Snead said the process isn’t enough.

“If you aren’t keeping your voter rolls accurate on a timely basis, they very quickly become unreliable, and then it does open the door to fraud as well as opening the door to doubts about the credibility of the election system,” he said.

The Republican plaintiffs argue that the voter registration rolls in some counties near or exceed the voting age population, signifying that the list must include ineligible voters.

Loperfido, senior counsel with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice’s voting rights group, said the conservative attorneys are relying on “back of the envelope mathematics,” comparing numbers of eligible voters in census data with voter registration totals.

“The basis for claiming that the rolls are inflated, when put under scrutiny, has not passed the smell test,” Loperfido said.

He explained that the lawsuits fail to take into account the fact that U.S. citizens frequently move from one address to another and that the list maintenance required under the National Voter Registration Act takes time.

“It isn’t the case that if somebody doesn’t vote after one cycle, the state board can remove that person immediately,” he said. “There are protocols and rules set by the NVRA, which was passed for the purpose of increasing voter registration and limiting some of the aggressive list maintenance voter purge activity that some states were engaging in.”

Ohio purge

The question of how aggressively states can purge their voter rolls came before the U.S. Supreme Court, which in June 2018 approved Ohio’s aggressive purge of its voter rolls. The court found that states can kick people off the rolls if they miss a few elections and do not respond to a notice from election officials.

But still, conservative groups have continued to target swing states and counties with legal actions saying their list maintenance doesn’t go far enough. Loperfido explained that they often target urban areas or Democratic strongholds that have larger populations of people of color.

“In the last couple of years especially, we have seen a coordinated effort from the voter integrity groups to file these lawsuits to try to encourage aggressive list maintenance behavior by counties and states boards with similar theories and similar motivations,” he said.

In the North Carolina lawsuit, Torchinsky is representing plaintiffs alongside William Consovoy, who launched his legal career by arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder that states across the South no longer needed Justice Department approval to make changes to their voting laws. In a 2013 decision, the court ended up gutting the Voting Rights Act. More recently, Consovoy championed Trump’s false claim that he won the 2020 election

The lawsuit follows one filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative activist group which is one of the most active organizations in filing this type of litigation, against Guilford and Mecklenburg counties in North Carolina over their list maintenance procedures. In August, a North Carolina federal judge recommended the lawsuit be dismissed.

Judicial Watch has also brought lawsuits in a number of states in recent years seeking to purge voter rolls, including Pennsylvania, California and Kentucky.

In July 2018, a Kentucky federal court agreed to a settlement in a lawsuit the organization brought against the state board of elections in which the U.S. Department of Justice intervened. Kentucky agreed to develop a program of statewide voter list maintenance that “makes a reasonable effort to remove registrants who have become ineligible due to a change in residence.”

D.C. and Colorado lawsuits

The Public Interest Legal Foundation, a conservative nonprofit, is also actively involved in this type of litigation. In December, the group sued Monica Evans, the director of the District of Columbia Board of Elections, claiming she was not allowing them to inspect voter list maintenance records.

PILF also filed a lawsuit in December against Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold claiming she violated federal law by withholding records about voters in the state who are potentially deceased.

Both D.C. and Colorado use the Electronic Registration Information Center, an organization of state election officials, to help maintain their voter rolls. ERIC collects voter registration and motor vehicle licensee data from its member states and keeps its states updated with reports on which voters have moved or died or have duplicate registrations.

“ERIC is being used to hide decisions about who gets to vote and who is removed from the rolls,” PILF President J. Christian Adams said in a statement when the D.C. lawsuit was filed.

PILF has also brought legal actions in recent years in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan and Detroit, among others.

Counties and states often choose to settle these lawsuits to avoid costly and lengthy litigation, especially given that the terms of the settlement rarely require much list maintenance effort beyond what they already conduct, Loperfido said.

“When groups that seemingly have bottomless pockets to file these lawsuits come into North Carolina, there’s certainly some incentive to say, ‘What can we do to just make this go away because a multi-year litigation on this is going to make it hard to do what we want to do, which is run elections efficiently and fairly and accurately and now safely,’” he said.

For that reason, defendants in Judicial Watch’s lawsuit in North Carolina are currently working on a settlement agreement which will involve producing records, even after a judge recommended the suit be dismissed.

Voting advocates warn that these lawsuits have dangers beyond just the burden on counties and the voters being potentially purged from the rolls. Allison Riggs, co-executive director of the SCSJ, called the latest North Carolina lawsuit a “dangerous escalation” of the GOP’s tactics to erode voter access.

Loperfido explained how the allegations are tied to the Republican narrative that inflated voter rolls lead to rampant voter fraud, and voter fraud cost Trump the 2020 election.

“The right is driving these narratives and bringing these lawsuits in sort of a vicious loop,” he said.


Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: info@michiganadvance.com. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.

Candidates fighting 2020 misinformation run to administer local elections

As a chemist and immigrant from Vietnam, Linh Nguyen never thought she could have a role in U.S. politics. But then Donald Trump was elected president in 2016 and he “unknowingly inspired minority leaders, women of color like me, to be more actively engaged in politics,” she said.

She joined the nonpartisan League of Women Voters in DeKalb County, Illinois, where she lives with her husband and two young children, and was elected the group’s president in March 2020.

Nguyen used the role to plan voter registration drives and do voter education, but grew angry when Trump and other Republicans amplified misinformation about voting following the November presidential election. Then, earlier this year, a gunman shot and killed eight people, including six Asian American women, in the Atlanta area.

Troubled by the hateful rhetoric as well as the association of the coronavirus pandemic with Asian Americans, Nguyen decided to run as a Democrat in 2022 for clerk of DeKalb County, an elected position tasked with administering the country’s elections. She’ll face Tasha Sims, the executive assistant for the DeKalb County administration office who is being supported by the current Republican clerk, who isn’t seeking reelection.

“Before the 2016 election and before the 2020 election, nobody cared about election authorities,” Nguyen told States Newsroom. “The title is county clerk, and it’s very unattractive and boring and nobody really knew what they do. But because of what happened, we started having conversations and talking about exactly how our election process works.”

Across the United States, people concerned with protecting democracy and the integrity of elections are putting their names on the ballot for local election administrator positions in the majority of states where local election officials are elected positions.

Many say they would not have considered a campaign had it not been for the rampant misinformation after 2020 and the need for qualified people to fill the roles.

They are stepping up despite the hard work and grueling nature of the posts, which has left the pipeline for potential administrators with a shortage of people with election experience.

That shortage existed before 2020, but local election officials faced threats and harassment after the election that have driven many away from the job. An analysis by Reuters in September documented 102 threats of death or violence received by more than 40 election officials, workers and their relatives in eight battleground states. Only four people have been arrested and there have been no convictions.

Many election administrators decided to quit following the 2020 election and 1 in 4 plan to retire before the 2024 election, according to a survey by Reed College and the Democracy Fund.

“Am I scared? Yes, I’m not going to lie. I am scared,” Nguyen said about the potential for threats and harassment. “But as a minority woman, to be honest, in a room of raised hands, mine will never be picked, and I learned to look for opportunities where other people see obstacles.”

The candidates are also prepared to face proponents of Trump’s Big Lie. Allies of the former president are recruiting candidates who believe that Trump won the 2020 election to state and local election offices, and advocates say they are laying the groundwork for the subversion of the democratic process in 2024.

Some candidates for local election offices like Nguyen are supported by Run for Something, an organization launched in 2017 to support young, progressive candidates in down-ballot races.

Co-founder Amanda Litman said that the group has prioritized the recruitment and support of candidates for election administrator for the coming year.

“There is a critical need to protect democracy where we can control power,” Litman said. “It really matters. It’s the last chance we’ve got.”

“These are the positions that will determine whether democracy survives past 2024,” she added.

A passion for voting rights

Denzel McCampbell was born and raised in Detroit but grew up hearing stories of his mother’s childhood in Jim Crow-era Alabama. Her recollections inspired him to work on voter protection after he graduated from college.

“Voting rights has been my passion from when I was little,” said the 30-year-old director of communications for U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat.

McCampbell worked for the Michigan Election Coalition doing voter education and outreach on college campuses. In 2020, he managed a $30 million program across eight states through Progress Now to teach people about how to safely vote during a pandemic.

He also served as an elected Detroit City Charter Commissioner and helped revise the city’s constitution to meet the needs of its residents.

Yet it wasn’t until after the 2020 election that he thought about running for office to help administer elections.

“What I saw in 2020 and the reason why I ran is that Detroit continued to be in the spotlight around unbalanced precincts,” he said. “Through my work in election protection, I knew about the issues we’ve had in Detroit and then we saw in 2020 this attack on all of that.”

In March, McCampbell launched his campaign to unseat Janice Winfrey, the incumbent city clerk running for her fifth term for the nonpartisan post. Though Winfrey had administered dozens of elections in Detroit, her office saw new attention following the 2020 election when disinformation campaigns targeted the city and lawsuits alleged, without evidence, that Detroit miscounted its votes.

Winfrey said that since the election, she and her election workers have received death threats, including a white man approaching her on the street to accuse her of cheating and to tell her that she is “going to pay.”

“They’re coming to our homes, and they’re making us very uncomfortable,” she said in testimony before a U.S. House panel in July. “Some of my colleagues have been shot at, simply because of what we do. All of us have been threatened — and because we’re trying to represent our community.”

McCampbell said the threats did not deter him.

“Not to sound cliché, but I felt like from this passion that was instilled in me from my parents and from hearing about how they were involved in the civil rights movement and faced harm and death, it really felt like standing up to those threats and violence is part of the fight to make sure our voting rights are secure and that they’re not taken away,” he explained.

In November, McCampbell lost the election to Winfrey, earning just 29 percent of the vote to Winfrey’s 71 percent. He said it’s likely he’ll run again in the future, and he’s proud of the work he did to raise awareness of the clerk’s role in protecting voting rights.

“Even though we weren’t victorious, we really raised the bar on what folks expect of that position,” he said.

An empty pipeline

Both Nguyen and McCampbell decided to run for office because of their experience working on elections, including voter education and registration.

But with the need for officials to oversee more than 10,000 local election jurisdictions across the country, experts say there simply aren’t enough people with direct election experience to fill all of them.

That problem has existed for a long time. But in recent years, running elections has become more difficult, and that was before they faced threats and harassment for doing their job, said Brianna Lennon, clerk of Boone County, Missouri, who also hosts a podcast on election administration called “High Turnout Wide Margins.”

“In 2016, we had cybersecurity concerns, so we all tried to become cybersecurity experts,” she said. “Then we had to become pandemic experts. And now it’s all of that stuff and the non-election stuff that I have to do in my job, and I have to risk my safety for that? It’s one too far.”

As a result of the threats, which have made many election officials leave their jobs or make plans to retire early, clerks are “getting to 70 or 80 years old and there’s nobody to take over for them,” Lennon said.

Paul Gronke, a professor at Reed College, has been conducting research through the Stewards of Democracy surveys on local election officials since 2018. He said there is still a vacuum when it comes to research on who runs for local election office and what motivates them.

“There’s a need for more information about who exactly is running for local office,” he said. “What are their backgrounds, what do we know about them, what motivates them to take on this service responsibility? Because it really is a service responsibility.”

Gronke’s research has revealed that the typical local election official is a white woman over the age of 50. While there is a need to bring diversity to the position, it’s difficult given how local jurisdictions are organized, he said.

Los Angeles County, for example, has one election official overseeing more than 6 million voters and more than 1,000 staffers, while Wisconsin has 1,852 jurisdictions with their own election officials at the city, town and village level.

While experts said it would be ideal for every election official to have direct experience in elections, it’s often not possible. What’s most important, Lennon explained, is that the candidates have a good moral compass, respect the integrity of elections, and are willing to learn.

“The thing that worries me the most is people who come in with no experience in the field and can’t articulate why it is that they want the job,” she said.

Trump backers on the ballot

Republicans who embraced Trump’s false claims that the election was rigged against him are running for statewide and local election official positions across the country, according to recent reports.

An analysis by Reuters in September found that 10 of 15 declared GOP candidates for secretary of state in five battleground states have said that the 2020 election was stolen or called for their state’s results to be invalidated or further investigated. Trump acolytes are also seeking to infiltrate election offices on the local level.

“It’s about winning elections with the right people — MAGA people,” Trump ally Steve Bannon said in November on an episode of his “War Room” podcast, where he frequently features guests encouraging Big Lie proponents to run for local election office. “We will have our people in at every level.”

The strategy is raising alarms for Democrats and for election experts who fear how these candidates could undermine the offices they seek to run.

“People are being motivated by false or misinformation about 2020 and they’re going to go fix something that isn’t broken,” Gronke said. “They’re going to go implement forensic audits, which is a meaningless term, or they’re going in with motivations that don’t strike me as aligned with the kind of service orientation that we typically see in our local election officials.”

While the majority of local election officials who are elected have to go through partisan contests, Gronke said that the position is not typically a partisan one. His research has shown that both Republicans and Democrats are committed to free and fair elections and access and equity, and they often feel like pawns in larger political battles.

Research by election experts at the University of California, Los Angeles has found that the partisanship of election officials has little bearing on election results.

But many of Trump’s followers have a fundamentally different view of how elections should be administered than the typical Republican election official. Still, Gronke explained that their impact may be less than some fear.

Less than one fifth of local election officials who serve in jurisdictions with more than 250,000 voters are elected. That means that more than three-fourths of all registered voters reside in jurisdictions where the election official is appointed, rather than elected.

“While there are disturbing reports of some individuals running for local elections positions and who aren’t really interested at all in high-quality, professional election administration, the number of actual voters who will be impacted may be comparatively low,” Gronke said.

Interest builds in election offices

During a webinar for people interested in running for election administrator held by Run for Something in early December, four current election officials including Lennon discussed everything from fundraising to how to educate voters about what these offices do.

“Election admin used to not be a sexy thing to run for,” Santa Fe County Clerk Katharine Clark said on the webinar. “People didn’t know what it was and those campaigns tended to be really small… But now there’s more and more interest.”

Nguyen attended the webinar and said she was inspired by the elected officials’ stories.

She said she knows she faces an uphill battle raising money, but hopes that she will win support for her ideas about how to improve onerous voter registration requirements that disproportionately impact students and non-white voters in DeKalb County

“We need to have more conversations and teach people that there’s a lot of work that goes into the election process, not just on Election Day,” she said.


Wisconsin Examiner is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Wisconsin Examiner maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Ruth Conniff for questions: info@wisconsinexaminer.com. Follow Wisconsin Examiner on Facebook and Twitter.

Man behind the infamous PowerPoint has a long history of election subversion attempts -- in multiple states

WASHINGTON — The suddenly famous election denier behind the circulation of a PowerPoint filled with plans to overturn the 2020 election has a long history of election subversion attempts in multiple states.

Retired Army Col. Phil Waldron also has close ties to former President Donald Trump’s legal team and served as one of its key witnesses in efforts to reverse the presidential election results.

This week, Waldron became known as the person responsible for circulating the document titled “Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN” to Trump’s allies and Republican lawmakers on the eve of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Waldron also said he met with Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, in the White House “maybe eight to 10 times” after the election, the Washington Post reported. Meadows is a former North Carolina congressman who on Tuesday was found in contempt by the U.S. House for not answering questions about its Jan. 6 inquiry.

But before any of that work, Waldron was working to subvert the election by sowing doubt about electronic voting, pushing for election “audits” in the states, including Arizona, and testifying as a witness for Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani in hearings in Georgia and Michigan.

READ: Giuliani’s star witness gets destroyed at Georgia election fraud hearing

Giuliani repeatedly cited Waldron as the source of information in the former New York mayor’s legal filings seeking to overturn the 2020 election. Waldron’s testimony was filled with misinformation about election administration and false claims about fraud.

Before the election, Waldron started working with Texas-based Allied Security Operations Group, a company led by cybersecurity analyst Russell James Ramsland Jr., Waldron told the Washington Post. Ramsland, a Republican businessman and failed congressional candidate, is credited as one of the leading election deniers to spread false information about the election, the Post said.

Despite the lack of evidence behind Allied Security Operations Group’s allegations of inaccuracies in electronic voting audit logs, Republican officials called on it to advise them post-election. In February, Republican Arizona Senate President Karen Fann tapped Waldron and Allied Security Operations Group to conduct an audit of the election in Maricopa County under another company. Arizona Senate Republicans later hired Cyber Ninjas to lead the audit.

Last December, Waldron testified before a Michigan House subcommittee at Giuliani’s request, the Detroit News reported. Waldron told lawmakers he was part of the “forensics team” responsible for a debunked report signed by Ramsland falsely claiming that election results in Antrim County, Michigan, were tabulated with a 68 percent error rate.

READ: Mark Meadows met multiple times at White House with retired military officer tied to insurrection PowerPoint: report

Citing the same report, Waldron also falsely told lawmakers there were 10 Michigan precincts with 100 percent turnout and six precincts that recorded over 120 percent voter turnout.

In response to his testimony, Michigan’s former elections director, Chris Thomas, tweeted, “Colonel Waldron is not up to speed on election results reporting.”

After his testimony in Michigan, Waldron continued to spread false claims on Fox News, alleging there were 17,000 dead people who cast ballots in the state.

“Each one of those is a woeful attempt to strip rightful voters in America of their civil rights,” he said. “It’s a multifaceted attack.”

READ: 'Primal fears are awakened': Meet the team of ex-military officers working with Mike Flynn to discredit democracy

In Arizona in November 2020, Waldron, serving as a witness for Giuliani, said voting machines are “vulnerable everywhere,” falsely claimed that Arizona voting machines are connected to the internet, and stated incorrectly that signatures on mail-in ballots are not verified.

Waldron also appears in a film about purported election fraud by Mike Lindell, the chief executive of MyPillow, and claims with no evidence that the Chinese government has access to Dominion Voting Systems’ files and that servers in Europe played a role in manipulating election results, the New York Times reported.

Despite Waldron’s history of spreading false information and his connection to the Jan. 6 PowerPoint, states continue to give him a platform. A voting panel in Louisiana tasked with replacing the state’s voting machines invited him to speak on Tuesday.

“We’re very pleased to have him here and excited to hear what he has to say,” said Louisiana GOP Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, according to the Washington Post. Ardoin added that the audience included many members of Waldron’s “fan club.”

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