Enough chaos to call all future elections into question

Enough chaos to call all future elections into question
Photo by Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Do you ever think about how they got it so you can't smoke cigarettes anywhere anymore like ten to twenty years ago? That effort would not work if we tried it for the first time now. You'd have chuds burning heaters in the grocery store in cashiers' faces and making their kids smoke ten at a time outside the mayor's house and shit. Really slipped that one in under the wire.

Today Justin Glawe reports on the burgeoning movement of Trump-worshipping election-denier conspiracy theorists in Georgia.

It's a campaign "to harass, intimidate and threaten election workers in an attempt to cause enough chaos to call all future elections into question," he writes.

Before we get to that you may have missed this piece I sent out to paid-subscribers on Monday.

He’s drowning right in front of you and you won’t help

It's about – surprise – the uselessness of the police and a sickening video of three of them in Tempe Arizona watching a man they had just been harassing drown in a lake.

I'm drowning the man yelled up to the police. I'm not jumping in after you one of them says and then sure enough the man drowned while his wife begged them to do something. They told her to calm down or they were going to arrest her.

It also draws from a recent piece by Alex Pareene and on the question of what it is that cops actually do.

His conclusion sounds obvious to anyone who spends much time thinking about policing in America but it's no less clarifying to read it stated so plainly.
"I have come to a pretty simple but comprehensive answer," he writes. "They do what is easy, and avoid what is difficult."

Subscribe to read that one and get every issue of Hell World please and thank you.

Oh wait never mind I guess the cops weren't trained on how to save people in the water they said so it's basically not their fault. Thank you to NPR for passing this information along uncritically.

According to the Tempe Officers Association, the union that represents city police, Tempe police officers receive no training in water rescues and don't have the equipment necessary to help drowning victims.
"Attempting such a high-risk rescue could easily result in the death of the person in the water and the officer, who could be pulled down by a struggling adult," the group said in a statement.

I don't know I am pretty sure I learned how to do that shit in Boy Scouts.

Here's another story about Tempe police from last month as well.

Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Enough chaos to call all future elections into question

by Justin Glawe

The letters all start out the same.

“I, [insert name], one of the people of the 50 American States, Republican in form (as seen in U.S.C. Art 4 Sec 4), Sui Juris, am serving you with due notice of Danger to the People, so that you may provide due care.”

They go on to insist that any rights that a government body may possess are inherently derived from the people, We the people, as the saying goes. The letters demand that certain things happen, primarily that the certification of the recent Georgia primary election be halted and “nullified,” and that any failure to do so “will be used as evidence reflecting said agent is acting with malice, full knowledge, and intent against the rights of the People with maladministration.”

The letters, to be clear, are complete bullshit.

And yet they have been signed by thousands of people across the country and sent to at least a dozen county election offices in Georgia as I have discovered. They’re part of a harassment campaign carried out by people who fervently believe that the recent primary election was beset with widespread fraud — specifically that the voting machines millions of Georgians used to cast their ballots were weaponized in an effort to ensure candidates supported by Donald Trump lost the election.

Called a “notice of maladministration,” at least a dozen counties have received thousands of these form letters. Since the day after last month’s primary, Ware County election supervisor Carlos Nelson said his office has received more than a thousand of them. At first he responded, saying he’d received the request and would take it into consideration. But as his inbox exploded each morning with hundreds more, he began forwarding them to the county attorney.

“I don’t even waste time on that because we have so much to do,” Nelson told me. “And that’s what’s so frustrating to me. I’m afraid that if I’m not looking through them, I’m going to miss an important email from a voter asking for an absentee ballot, or a legitimate open records request.”

That’s partly the point. The letters are part of a broader campaign in Georgia to harass, intimidate and threaten election workers in an attempt to cause enough chaos to call all future elections into question. There’s no proof of widespread voter fraud, despite what these people say and do. So they manufacture controversy by asking election officials to prove there is no fraud, while providing no proof it exists themselves.

Trump’s true believers in election fraud are doing this across Georgia and the country by filing tens of thousands of open records requests and demand letters, and straight up threatening election workers. Urged on by people like Steve Bannon, they’re signing up by the thousands to work as poll watchers at precincts nationwide, where they’re calling into question ballots cast by Democrats.

We know this has been happening generally speaking, but here in Georgia I can now report to you exactly how it’s affecting election offices.

“Even though Republicans are in control, they are, in my opinion, trying to set up a situation where no one can trust the election,” said Jim O’Brien, a Democrat member of the Spalding County Board of Elections, which is headed by an election conspiracy theorist and QAnon adherent.

The letters are essentially “blanket challenges” to voters’ ballots, Nelson said. There is no real legal basis behind the letters, which operate under the assumption that all ballots cast in Georgia are suspect, and must be inspected by We the people to find illegal voters. In the interim, the letters demand that the certification of last month’s primary be halted until these citizen investigators can do their work in exposing widespread voter fraud, which, again simply does not exist.

In addition to the notices of maladministration, county election offices have been inundated with requests for scanned copies of every voters’ ballot — which is illegal — as well as demands for a hand recount of the entire election. In Pickens County, with just 25,000 registered voters, election supervisor Stacey Godfrey said her office has been hit with this trio of demands, including around a thousand notice of maladministration letters.

Egged on by election denier organizations like VoterGA — which has a robust private Facebook page filled each day with posts from the most hardcore election lie believers in the state — thousands of people have flooded Georgia’s county election offices with demand letters and open records requests that have taken away scarce resources from offices often staffed with just a handful of people.

Sara Lain Moneymaker is one of the true believers. As part of her harassment of election officials, she sent a demand letter to each county election office — 159 in all — demanding a hand recount of the May primary. Believing that the state’s Dominion voting machines could be manipulated to change votes in favor of Democrats, Moneymaker insists that paper ballots and hand counting is the only way to ensure a fair election.

“We were hoping to get hundreds if not thousands of requests so that these people understand that we the people, citizens of Georgia, are not going to stand for any more election fraud,” Moneymaker told me. “We want a hand count to prove to us that there was no election fraud.”

Moneymaker and thousands of her fellow “patriots” operate under the belief that there is no possible way that Gov. Brian Kemp could have staved off the challenge from Trump-backed David Perdue. Their evidence? All their friends said so.

“I was at the GOP convention last year on Jekyll Island,” Moneymaker said, “and when Brian Kemp got up, he got booed. There’s no way he got 74 percent of the vote.”

This is a common refrain in election denier circles, where I have spent much of my time in the last six months, investigating public officials who have come to power both in spite of and because of their belief in election lies. Moneymaker and fellow true believers simply cannot fathom that Americans would not re-elect Trump, or that they wouldn’t back any of the election denier candidates he has supported in Georgia and elsewhere. They all possess the same religious zeal — and a fundamental inability to imagine that anyone could not like Trump, that anyone could not view him as a savior who is protecting and defending all that is Good and Right about America.

When I told Moneymaker that it is possible — that, in fact, most people I know think Trump is awful — she was surprised. “I guess you run in different circles,” she said.

Moneymaker’s voice began to tremble when I pushed back on her conspiratorial views about election fraud. It didn’t take long before she was close to yelling at me, ranting about everything from the border — which she said is being kept purposely open by Democrats so illegal immigrants can come here and vote, a whisper away from full-on Great Replacement Theory — to Joe Biden being personally responsible for high gas prices.

But Moneymaker is no crackpot on the corner waving a Bible in tourists’ faces. She has actual ties to local Republican power. She said she recently worked with two women, both election conspiracy theorists, who tried but failed to oust a fellow Republican from the Chatham County Board of Elections last month. She’s indicative of a troubling and powerful strain within Republican politics in Georgia and across the country: True believers in election lies who aren’t satisfied with simply questioning the results of 2020, now choosing to call all elections into question. Moneymaker and her confederates within this extremist wing of the party simply do not believe that any Republican could ever actually lose a truly fair election, so all elections must be conducted under their rules and scrutiny.

And she is far from alone.

It has been well documented that election deniers are seeking state level offices with power over elections. Slightly less well-known are the people doing it at the local level. With 159 counties and at least three members of each county election board, plus a supervisor, the universe of possible election deniers working right now on local election rules and policies in Georgia is in the hundreds. In the case of Spalding County, the election denier at the head of that election board shepherded the cancellation of Sunday voting against the vocal protestations of the Black community. (He also runs an IT company which contracts with the county, and several sources have told me he is trying to get a maintenance contract for the voting machines he believes are the source of election fraud. So that’s fucking terrifying.)

With little transparency other than poorly-attended meetings and often scant local news coverage, these boards operate in the shadows. Since January I’ve been working to expose election deniers who populate these boards, but it is grueling and time-consuming work.

Board members aren’t always listed online, let alone what their party affiliation is. If they’ve made public comments in support of election lies they’re not often covered by the small town newspapers in their area. So I go hunting for them on Facebook, where many of them post without fear of repercussion over their conspiratorial beliefs. Just this week I added three more election deniers working at county election boards that have not been previously reported on.

For the moment, this work is not funded by anyone other than myself. That’s why I’m asking for donations to help fund this important work as we approach the midterms, when these boards will have the power to certify — or not — local election results. If you’re interested in helping support this work, you can donate at my Patreon. You can also subscribe to my newsletter, Where Do We Go From Here.

Ok that's all for today. Holy shit new Pianos Become the Teeth buddy!!