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Celerity

(45,188 posts)
Wed Apr 17, 2024, 10:21 PM Apr 17

The Election Denial Industry is Ramping Up for 2024 [View all]



https://globalextremism.org/post/election-denial-is-ramping-up/



The 2020 U.S. presidential election was the first time in recent history where a presidential candidate, Donald Trump, baselessly lied about potential massive voter fraud as having led to a “rigged” outcome for his opponent, Joe Biden. The “Stop the Steal” movement that emerged from Trump’s complaints about the election, and made up of dozens of election denying organizations, directly threatened American democracy. Its ideas fomented the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. As Trump used his widely followed social media platforms to amplify his election fraud claims, an entire cottage industry of far-right organizations sprang up in 2020 to spread election denial narratives citing bogus “evidence” of alleged fraud across the country (GPAHE reported on these organizations in 2022). Many of the groups active in earlier election cycles are now ramping up for the 2024 presidential election, alongside others on the far right that have begun spreading messaging about voter fraud and potential election manipulation in November.

Research has found that allegations of mass voter fraud strongly undermine trust in elections, the bedrock of a healthy democracy, and the acceptance of election results. The claims made by these groups have clearly had a negative impact on our democracy. A survey fielded after the 2020 election found most Trump voters believed Biden’s win was illegitimate, and 40 percent said that they would not support Biden even if Trump’s court cases challenging the election result failed (all of which did). All research points to voter fraud being extremely rare, and there is a large consensus among experts that voter fraud in the U.S. not the widespread problem that can alter election results as election deniers would have us believe. An analysis by Justin Levitt, professor at Loyola Law School, for example, found only 31 credible cases of voter impersonation between the years 2000 and 2014, in a pool of over a billion ballots.

Voting by Mail (VBM), which was commonplace in 2020 due to the pandemic, is also incredibly secure, and five states – Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington – hold elections almost exclusively through the mail. VBM states have reported just over a dozen cases of fraud since the year 2000. As with voting in person, VBM fraud is rare, and studies have shown that it increases voter turnout. Despite this unequivocal evidence to the contrary, far-right groups still push the narrative that elections in the United States are largely fraudulent primarily for three reasons. First, to promote legislation that makes it harder to vote, which usually targets minority and lower income voters. Secondly, to promote the lie that Trump actually won the 2020 election. And finally, to bolster the lie that there is a deliberate conspiracy by government elites (usually Democratic party-aligned individuals or Jews) to “replace” the native population with a non-white immigrant one (i.e. the white supremacist “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory). Unfortunately, these claims haven’t stopped since 2020, and far-right groups are now laying the groundwork to paint elections in the U.S. as riddled with fraud.

Here are six organizations pushing election denial in advance of the 2024 election.



The Heritage Foundation

The Heritage Foundation is a far right “think tank” founded in 1973, which came to prominence during the Reagan era, and remains an influential organization in the far-right movement. Initially opposed to the Trump administration, the Heritage Foundation eventually came around to supporting Trump after they were given enormous leeway in choosing who would be appointed to cabinet positions in the administration following the 2016 election. They later hired a number of ex-Trump officials after Biden won in 2020. More recently, the organization has turned towards “national conservatism” under the leadership of its new president Kevin Roberts, who has taken up the mantle of Trumpian and Orbanist (see Global Project Against Hate and Extremism’s reporting on Heritage’s connections to Hungary) causes at Heritage. Since then, the organization has transformed from a traditional conservative organization to a well-funded authoritarian and conspiracist outfit fixated on cultural panics and disseminating its detailed plan, Project 2025, to move the country towards authoritarianism and strip civil rights for many communities (for more, read GPAHE’s detailed analysis of Project 2025). Heritage rails about imaginary “radical left threats,” a “secret communist movement in America,” and “wokeism” in every aspect of American life.

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