Backers of an Arizona-style election “audit” circus launch wave of lawsuits in Washington

Wash­ing­ton is nation­al­ly renowned for its ear­ly adop­tion of vote at home, a sys­tem in which near­ly all vot­ers make their voic­es heard using paper bal­lots, as opposed to elec­tron­ic vot­ing machines. The state and its thir­ty-nine coun­ties have a lengthy track record of admin­is­ter­ing smooth and well run elec­tions, includ­ing last year, when Wash­ing­to­ni­ans allo­cat­ed their twelve elec­toral votes to Pres­i­dent Joe Biden and Vice Pres­i­dent Kamala Har­ris, reject­ed right wing efforts to gut com­pre­hen­sive sex ed, and reelect­ed Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee to a third term.

Yet a cadre of con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists and elec­tion secu­ri­ty crit­ics remain utter­ly, total­ly con­vinced that the 2020 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in Wash­ing­ton was rife with fraud and “manip­u­lat­ed” bal­lots. With no one pay­ing atten­tion to their com­plete­ly base­less and unfound­ed alle­ga­tions, they’ve decid­ed to up the ante by going to court and wast­ing pub­lic resources rehash­ing their griev­ances there.

So far, at least three law­suits have been filed (in Sno­homish, What­com and Clark coun­ties) which all demand that the judi­cia­ry order the cre­ation of an Ari­zona-style elec­tion “audit” cir­cus that would seize the coun­ties’ archived bal­lots and deliv­er them into the hands of con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists for “review”.

The lead plain­tiff in each of these bogus legal chal­lenges is an enti­ty cre­at­ed by Tam­borine Bor­rel­li, a for­mer 2016 Bernie Sanders nation­al del­e­gate who ran for the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate as a Demo­c­rat and then lat­er chal­lenged Den­ny Heck for Con­gress as an inde­pen­dent. (Both cam­paigns were unsuc­cess­ful). Bor­rel­li has teamed up with right wing activists to take on elec­tions officials.

The Her­ald’s Jer­ry Corn­field spoke with Repub­li­can Sec­re­tary of State Kim Wyman about the base­less suits for a sto­ry that got picked up by The Asso­ci­at­ed Press.

“This is the new real­i­ty on the ground for elec­tion admin­is­tra­tors,” Wyman said.

“It doesn’t mat­ter how wide a mar­gin in the results. You call every­thing into ques­tion and it under­mines the valid­i­ty of every­thing in the process.”

“All these alle­ga­tions and I’ve yet to see any­thing brought to a pros­e­cut­ing attor­ney or the FBI that we could actu­al­ly respond to,” she added.

Corn­field was also able to get sev­er­al plain­tiffs to go on the record about their par­tic­i­pa­tion in these actions. They each basi­cal­ly said the same thing: we don’t have any evi­dence of fraud or wrong­do­ing, but we don’t trust the system.

Con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists love to toss around words like integri­ty, hon­esty, trust, and of course, foren­sic audit. Yet they them­selves behave dis­hon­est­ly and with­out integri­ty by con­coct­ing wild, total­ly base­less accu­sa­tions of impropriety.

As Sec­re­tary Wyman said, none of the con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists or crit­ics have yet offered a cred­i­ble alle­ga­tion that could actu­al­ly be investigated.

That’s because all of this — all of it — is based on belief. Not fact. Belief.

Bor­rel­li and anoth­er plain­tiff Corn­field inter­viewed (Art Coday) are both can­di­dates who have run for office repeat­ed­ly and lost. Oth­ers are Trump back­ers who appear to be among the crowd that were utter­ly con­vinced that vic­to­ries for Loren Culp and the cam­paign to reject Ref­er­en­dum 90 were imminent.

The response of these Trump back­ers to the dis­crep­an­cy between the actu­al results and their delud­ed expec­ta­tions has been to assert that some­thing nefar­i­ous hap­pened, and that a “foren­sic audit” would bring the “truth” to light. They want an Ari­zona-style “audit” cir­cus right here in Washington.

It’s telling that all of the plain­tiffs are rep­re­sent­ing them­selves and don’t have attor­neys. If these con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists had any actu­al evi­dence to work with, they’d have no prob­lem obtain­ing legal counsel.

But they don’t because there isn’t any.

We hope the judges who end up han­dling these cas­es give the plain­tiffs the sharp telling-offs they deserve for wast­ing court time and pub­lic resources. That’s prob­a­bly about all of the good that we could expect to come out of these suits.

Andrew Villeneuve

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