We must counter the Big Lie and the anti-democratic efforts that advance it, in Lancaster County and elsewhere [editorial] | Our opinion

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THE PROBLEM

“Several people who signed petitions calling for a manual recount of races in the Republican primary, claiming ‘fraud or error,’ did not vote in those races”, LNP | LancasterOnline investigative reporter Carter Walker reported it in Sunday’s “Lancaster Watchdog” column. “A comparison of the 148 petitioners for the recounts in the 100th State House District and the 36th Senate District in the state with voter data from Lancaster County found that eight people did not vote in the competition. Another person signed a petition for the wrong neighborhood, and one person who signed was not registered to vote. Audit the vote The PA’s favorite candidates lost their primary races to State Sen. Ryan Aument in the 36th Senate District contest and State House Speaker Bryan Cutler in the 100th Legislative District race .

If you did not vote in an election, you should not be able to request a recount.

If you have no vested interest in the outcome of an election, but are asking for a recount, it seems to us that you are not seeking confirmation of a vote — you are seeking chaos.

According to state law, a recount can be requested if “three qualified residents of an electoral precinct say they believe fraud or error affected the result,” Walker explained.

The effort to get recounts in two legislative primary races was indeed just a ploy – a trial of a tactic by Audit the Vote PA, ahead of the November general election. Just in case things don’t go the way the band wants.

Audit the Vote PA co-founder Toni Shuppe gave the game last month when she asked this question on social media: “What if Pennsylvania could find a way to legally force manual recounts during November general election?

It didn’t work this time.

He shouldn’t be allowed to work next time. Or never.

As we noted last month, Donald Trump’s persistent refusal to acknowledge his rightful defeat in the 2020 presidential election laid the groundwork for this new post-election reality of unnecessary and money-wasting recounts.

The perpetuation of the big lie that the 2020 election was stolen, as well as the complicity of state and federal Republican lawmakers in creating distrust in our elections, also contributed to this groundwork.

Due to this campaign to engender distrust, many people have a vague feeling that something fishy happened in the 2020 presidential election, although they are not sure exactly what. After all, there’s been so much talk about post-election audits and investigations, and where there’s smoke, there’s fire, right?

No. Sometimes the smoke is all there is. And this smoke was created out of nothing.

Trump’s own attorney general was clear on this point: the 2020 presidential election was legitimate and fair. As US House Select Committee hearings revealed on January 6, 2021, former Attorney General William Barr called Trump’s 2020 allegations of significant voter fraud “bull—-“. He said the allegations of voter fraud were overwhelmingly “false and silly and generally full of misinformation.” Barr also called Trump’s claims “crazy stuff” from a president “detached from reality.”

Trump isn’t the only one detached from reality.

Auditing the whole purpose of Vote PA is detached from reality. It is an extremist and anti-democratic group which is also – fortunately for democracy – incompetent.

The group surveyed Pennsylvania voters in hopes of uncovering voter fraud. But NL | LancasterOnline’s analysis of Audit the Vote PA’s canvassing operation “revealed that the group’s work was riddled with errors and speculation and that its methodology was deeply flawed, errors that undermine its conclusion and render its unreliable conclusions.

His quest for recounts in the GOP primaries of the 100th Legislative District and 36th Senate District were also misguided.

The group included in its 36th District petition, for example, the signature of a Columbia resident who did not vote in the primary because she said she did not change her registration in time. She told LNP | Someone from LancasterOnline approached her to sign the petition; she did not specify who.

It’s no wonder that Judge David Ashworth of the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas dismissed most motions last month on the grounds that they were filed late or weren’t dealt with. proper verification.

Unverified claims are Audit PA Vote Calling Cards. The same goes for throwing a spanner in the works of a smooth election.

Like NL | Walker of LancasterOnline reported that a petition in East Drumore Township was granted, but an automatic recount found no change in the primary results for the 100th Legislative District in that constituency.

The petitioners therefore appealed, claiming that the language of the state election law that states that ballots must be “counted by persons” designated by a judge meant that the recount had to be done by hand.

Ashworth responded by saying nothing in the law required a manual recount. He described the gist of the call as “absurd”.

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court upheld Ashworth’s decision and dismissed the plaintiffs’ argument as “totally without merit”.

“Wholly without merit” perfectly describes the dangerous election shenanigans of Audit the Vote PA.

It also describes the Big Lie.

We must oppose him with the truth as often as necessary. The 2020 election was safe and fair. Our electoral system is trustworthy. Voting is essential. We should not allow anyone to undermine or nullify the vote. Or to stir up mistrust in our elections.

If you are not already registered to vote in Pennsylvania, please do so in time for the November 8 general election. You have until October 24.

And if you don’t vote, don’t complain about the outcome.

A former Trump supporter testified before the Jan. 6 committee on Tuesday about how his life was derailed by his decision to follow the former president’s urging to come to Washington, DC, on Jan. 6, 2021.

Stephen Ayres of Champion, Ohio, has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of disorderly and disruptive conduct inside a restricted building and is awaiting sentencing. Because he joined the mob illegally entering the US Capitol, Ayres said he lost his job and had to sell his house.

He said something that we hope will be heard by those who continue to believe in the Big Lie: “The most important thing for me is to take the blinders off, step back and see what happens before it’s too late. ”

US Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland, a member of the January 6 committee, said, “We must defend both our democracy and our freedom with everything we have.

It means thwarting anti-democratic efforts, however buffoonish.

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