PoliticsWednesday 08.17.22

How the GOP is using the Secretary of State position to install right-wing values in government

I would love to return to a time when I didn't know who the secretaries of state all across the country were.

Secretary of State is a weird office. Federally, it's our chief diplomat. Fly across the world, negotiate deals, get embroiled in years-long controversies –normal stuff.

But at the state level, it's something completely different. They primarily oversee elections, and in an ideal world, we wouldn't know who these mid-level bureaucrats are. But 2022 is not an ideal world, so instead we're now watching the office be transformed into ground zero of efforts to overturn our election and turn bat sh*t conspiracy theories into official government policy,

35 States elect their secretaries of state, and 27 are on the ballot this year. In at least 10 of those races, including some top swing states key to the 2024 presidential election, Republicans are nominating candidates who backed the lie that the 2020 election was stolen and want to change the way elections are run to retroactively reflect that.

Some of them are guaranteed to win, some don't have a chance, but others are in real toss-up races and just so happen to be in some of the most important, swing states

Three out of five of the states Biden flipped blue in 2020 –Nevada, Arizona, and Michigan – have far-right election deniers vying to be in charge of the election process. In a fourth, Pennsylvania, the governor picks the Secretary of State. Who did Republicans nominate for governor? A far-right election denier who just so happened to be at the insurrection. Do the math.

But even beyond just the election stuff – these people are crazy. Mark Finchem, the GOP nominee for Arizona’s secretary of state, was the chief cheerleader of Arizona's audit of the 2020 election, which literally tried to search ballots for shards of bamboo because they thought they got flown in from Asia for Biden., Google it. Kim Crockett, the Republican nominee for Minnesota Secretary of State. recently wondered if disabled people should be barred from voting.

The bottom line, Democrats responded to losing the 2016 election by running around for a full year with their heads on fire, arguing over who had the best chance to beat Trump. Republicans reacted to losing the 2020 election by trying to burn the system down, rewrite basic history and rig every future round. And whatever your politics on everything else, we should be f**king scared that they might succeed.

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