A right-wing group called the Washington Election Integrity Coalition United, which promotes false claims of systematic election fraud, and attorney Virginia Shogren, who represents that organization (at least in certain contexts), have been fined over $28,000 by the Washington state Supreme Court for presenting nonsensical fraud allegations in court. The fines cover costs incurred by state officials in fighting a court case from those who now must pay up.
The fines were distributed between the group and its attorney: the so-called coalition was told it must pay nearly $9,600, while Shogren was hit with an order to pay nearly $18,800. Per The Seattle Times, the case to which these fines connect hinged on an attempt by the right-wing group to secure a court conclusion that Washington Democratic Governor Jay Inslee “violated his constitutional duties by allegedly allowing or encouraging the state Department of Licensing to register noncitizens to vote.” As with so many other right-wing claims related to the handling of U.S. elections, there doesn’t appear to be any real-world evidence of some kind of mass registration of non-citizens to vote in the state of Washington.
Per Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a Democrat, it was concluded in what seems to be the state Supreme Court that those behind the original case had “no competent evidence of voter fraud based on noncitizen voter registration.” “Attorneys and organizations who attack our democracy and abuse our legal system must face accountability. We will continue fighting to protect our elections from these baseless lawsuits that push ‘the Big Lie,'” Ferguson himself added, using conventional terminology for the baseless right-wing conspiracy theory that there was some kind of systematic, widespread fraud in the 2020 election. “Misinformation and disinformation is a threat to the functioning of our democracy. Those who intentionally spread lies and undermine our elections must be held accountable. I appreciate the attorney general’s efforts to ensure truth prevails,” Inslee remarked.
The original court claims from the now defeated right-wingers sound like they were based in substantial part on racism. Allegations from the conspiracy-minded group hinged in part on a retired employee at Washington’s state Department of Licensing whose apparent claims regarding the citizenship status of various individuals were tied to the people’s ethnic backgrounds. In Texas, authorities with the state bar are pursuing their own hoped-for punishments for state legal officials including Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is a Republican, in connection to an infamous post-election court case targeting the 2020 presidential election outcomes in four states where Biden won. In a court case targeting Paxton, the Texas bar’s Commission for Lawyer Discipline said claims in the post-election litigation “were not supported by any charge, indictment, judicial finding and/or credible or admissible evidence.” Consequences for Paxton could — in theory — include disbarment.