Another MAGA ‘Election Fraud’ Rally Flops With Low Turnout

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A protest crowd angry about the outcome of the midterm elections, in which Republicans were defeated in multiple statewide elections in Arizona, showed back up near the state Capitol in Phoenix for another day — with maybe even fewer people this time.

In images from the first day of protests, just dozens are visible amid remarks from Joe Oltmann, a conservative podcaster who helped originate conspiracy theories about a now former executive at Dominion Voting Systems — false claims that have led to ongoing defamation litigation from the subject of the lies: Eric Coomer, who’s been among those facing threats to their safety and lives from believers in election conspiracy theories. Other images from the scene showed a crowd in the same range. On Saturday, which was the follow-up day of demonstrating in Phoenix, footage circulated showing around a few dozen people there in what was apparently the entirety of the scene. On both days, those gathered were pushing for a redo of the election, an idea for which Donald Trump himself has also advocated. Several candidates who lost at the state level were closely allied with Donald.

In the footage from Saturday, a speaker is pushing those listening to stand firm despite the absence of Arizona political leaders supporting their cause. Kari Lake, the defeated GOP candidate for governor, didn’t bother stopping by even though she’s fully on board with banging the rhetorical drums against the election. “This election can not be certified until a complete investigation of these issues has been completed,” Lake posted Saturday. Another clip from Saturday showed around five dozen people, with signs in the background demanding that Katie Hobbs — the Democratic victor in the Arizona governor’s race — be jailed and complaining about requirements for COVID-19 vaccinations. There is, of course, no sign of either a legitimate reason for a redo of the elections in Arizona or that leaders in the state will be taking that path, although Lake has filed litigation over problems on Election Day with scanning ballots in Maricopa County, the state’s largest county by population. Those issues apparently trace back to printers producing ballots that were too light to be scanned.

Outgoing state legislator Kelly Townsend was present for Friday’s protests in Phoenix, and as her time in public office draws to a close, she is also pushing Maricopa officials for information related to the printer and scanner issues. There is no evidence of an intentional conspiracy to sabotage Republican votes, and voters who confronted problems with the equipment at their polling place on Election Day still had other options to cast their ballots. They weren’t simply disenfranchised. In her lawsuit, Lake wants “names and contact information for voters at polling sites that experienced printer malfunctions” as the Arizona Republic notes, and although the information in voter registrations is available in certain contexts, that just seems objectively reckless. These people aren’t known for being the best at securing information.

See Saturday’s footage below: