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Virginia GOP state Sen. Amanda Chase used a Tuesday radio interview to baselessly declare that Democrats try to “steal” the state’s looming gubernatorial election, the primary main race to happen within the wake of President Donald Trump’s continued lies that the 2020 presidential contest was stolen from him.
“I understand how they’re stealing elections, and we’re not gonna let that occur this 12 months,” Chase mentioned of Democrats during a Tuesday interview, earlier than launching right into a sequence of absurd claims about subsequent month’s election. The interview was carried out by John Fredericks, a conservative radio host whose present Trump used final month to say Democrats would try to steal the election.
Chase, who attended the Jan. 6 rally throughout which Trump known as on his supporters to “cease the steal” earlier than the rebellion on the U.S. Capitol, has spent current weeks campaigning for Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin.
Youngkin has flirted with Trump’s election-related conspiracies all through the race with out explicitly endorsing them, as he makes an attempt to attraction to average voters with out alienating Trump devotees who’ve purchased into the lies the social gathering has informed concerning the 2020 election. However Chase’s feedback, and her more and more outstanding function within the late phases of the race, recommend components of the GOP have determined to stake the competition largely on the flexibility of election-related conspiracies to encourage conservative voters.
In the course of the interview, Chase mentioned she had “cleared her schedule” and deliberate to spend the final 10 days of the marketing campaign stumping with and for Youngkin forward of the Nov. 2 election. She can also be scheduled to seem at a Wednesday event alongside the GOP’s lieutenant governor candidate, Winsome Sears, and former Trump confidant Steve Bannon, who has additionally unfold the lie that the 2020 election was stolen.
Throughout election debates, Youngkin has mentioned he believes the 2020 election was “certifiably honest” and that he expects to “have a clear, honest election” in Virginia this 12 months. Youngkin marketing campaign spokesperson Macaulay Porter argued that former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Youngkin’s Democratic opponent, “is the one candidate on this race who has falsely claimed an election was stolen,” pointing to McAuliffe’s earlier claims that the 2000 presidential election had been stolen from Al Gore.
However Porter provided no direct touch upon the substance of Chase’s statements, and didn’t dispute Chase’s personal characterization of herself as a surrogate for the Youngkin marketing campaign.
All through the 16-minute interview, Chase spun an more and more weird net of conspiracies, lies and different baseless claims about alleged plots to steal elections courting again to 2016. She claimed to be newly conscious of Democratic plans to “repair” the 2016 presidential election, cited the repeatedly debunked declare that votes had been illegitimately switched in the course of the 2020 presidential race, after which claimed that Democrats are presently making an attempt to rig the governor’s race by manipulating voter rolls, conducting “cyberattacks” on voter registration information, and utilizing absentee poll fraud.
She spoke of a gathering with Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem, a Republican candidate for secretary of state who has promoted conspiracy theories about Trump’s loss there final 12 months. Chase mentioned he and different unnamed individuals who had been a part of current conferences, together with “the man who stopped the cyberattacks” that had been a part of the supposed 2016 election plot, “confirmed me precisely how they’re stealing elections in Virginia.”
However this time, she mentioned, she and different Republicans, together with Youngkin’s marketing campaign, know learn how to thwart the flowery conspiracy to steal the election that she claims Democrats have cooked up.
“I understand how they’re doing it,” Chase mentioned. “They’re shifting, in cyberland, they’re switching inactive voters to lively voters, all in the identical week, it’s undetectable. I do know what they’re doing, John, and now the Youngkin marketing campaign has all that data they usually’re not gonna get by on us this 12 months.”
“All people noticed hundreds of votes being switched the place Trump really misplaced votes,” Chase continued. “I understand how they’re doing it, and now the Youngkin marketing campaign has it, and we’re not going to let that occur. So I’m placing the Democrats on discover.”
Fredericks elaborated on Chase’s concept, falsely accusing Democrats of utilizing voter rolls and data to establish registered voters who had been unlikely to forged ballots after which fraudulently filling out absentee ballots and inserting them in drop bins.
“That’s simply the tip of the iceberg,” Chase mentioned.
No widespread fraud happened throughout final 12 months’s election, or another in current American historical past. Chase additionally failed to offer any proof for her declare that Democrats are presently “dishonest” on a number of fronts. Early voting in Virginia started on Sept. 17, and there have been no substantiated reviews of malfeasance or irregularities to this point.
“Glenn Youngkin and his prime allies have one precedence: bringing Donald Trump’s harmful agenda to Virginia,” Democratic Social gathering of Virginia spokesman Manuel Bonder mentioned in a press release. “Youngkin has made it clear ― he can be very happy to destroy our democracy if it means getting himself and Trump into energy. He belongs nowhere close to the governorship.”
Porter, the Youngkin marketing campaign spokesperson, additionally criticized McAuliffe’s upcoming marketing campaign tour with former Georgia state Rep. Stacey Abrams, who refused to concede her loss within the 2018 gubernatorial race over claims of voter suppression and since her opponent, then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp, had additionally overseen the race wherein he was working. “The McAuliffe-Abrams Election Denier Tour will characteristic two of the three largest election conspiracy theorists within the [Democratic] Social gathering ― the one one lacking might be McAuliffe’s mentor Hillary Clinton,” Porter mentioned. Each Abrams and McAuliffe have rejected such comparisons.
Youngkin has mentioned he believes President Joe Biden won the election legitimately. However he has additionally made “election integrity” ― the euphemism Republicans have adopted to proceed nodding towards Trump’s conspiracy theories and curtail voting rights ― a centerpiece of his campaign.
Youngkin has mentioned he’ll create an “election integrity task force” as governor and headlined “election integrity” rallies held throughout this 12 months’s race. He has additionally pushed voter ID legal guidelines and different insurance policies Republicans have aggressively sought to implement after final 12 months’s election, and has pointedly avoided the chance to refute claims made by voters who’ve requested him about supposed fraud, or whether or not Trump might be reinstated as president. (He can’t be.)
The difficulty has caused headaches for Youngkin all through the race, complicating his makes an attempt to attraction to each conservative Trump voters and moderates he’d want to attain the primary statewide win for the Virginia GOP since 2009. Youngkin is barely trailing McAuliffe, who served as governor from 2014 to 2018, in pre-election polls.
Final week, Youngkin called for audits of Virginia’s voting machines, a follow that’s typically legit however that McAuliffe slammed as an try to placate Virginia conservatives who need an Arizona-style “forensic audit” of the state’s 2020 election. Youngkin later said he was solely calling for the type of legit audits Virginia already conducts, which McAuliffe has additionally supported.
Chase, who visited Arizona throughout its sham “audit” earlier this 12 months and has additionally known as for the same course of in Virginia, expressed gratitude to Youngkin for not writing off “Trump Republicans” like her.
“Glenn actually is unifying the social gathering,” she mentioned in the course of the interview. “And I do know that there are some Republicans that wish to attempt to cancel the Trump Republicans, and I actually recognize Glenn not doing that. I imply, he’s actually making an attempt to deliver all of us collectively.”
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