How To Rig The Vote

I want to follow up on yesterday’s extra post.

Psychiatrists have a word for it: projection. The “Big Lie” is a classic example–accuse the other team of doing what, in fact, your own guys are doing and/or attempting to do. 

The most obvious cases are the vanishingly few situations in which a particular voter is found to have committed vote fraud of some sort; in every news report of such behavior that I’ve seen, the culprit was Republican. Reliable research shows that individual voting misbehaviors are not only rare, they aren’t the problem. These scattered incidents don’t change results.

We also know that, despite hysterical accusations, non-citizens aren’t descending on polling places and casting votes for “the other side.”

As Paul Ogden has frequently reminded us, the real danger isn’t coming from people casting votes. The threat is that the people counting those votes will be dishonest. So we should all be concerned by that recent report from the Brennan Center.

Across the coun­try, races are well under­way for offices like state secret­ary of state that will play key roles in running the 2024 elec­tions. This year, these races are attract­ing far more atten­tion than in recent memory. Part of the reason for the increas­ing visib­il­ity of elec­tion offi­cials is the spread of the Big Lie that elec­tion fraud “stole” the 2020 race from Pres­id­ent Trump. In state after state, campaigns are focused on elec­tion denial as a cent­ral issue.

In this series, the Bren­nan Center exam­ines the finances and polit­ical messages in contests that are import­ant to the future of elec­tion admin­is­tra­tion. Through­out 2022, we are taking a regu­lar look at relev­ant contests in battle­ground states that had the closest results in the 2020 pres­id­en­tial elec­tion. As candid­ates file disclos­ure forms and inform­a­tion becomes avail­able, we will exam­ine ques­tions such as how much money is raised, who the biggest donors are, how much candid­ates rely on small donors, and how much outside spend­ers like super PACs and dark money groups spend.

After examining available data on races for secret­ary of state in the states in the states in the sample, the Center found some key trends. They are disturbing enough that I am quoting them in their entirety:

Money is flow­ing into secret­ary of state races at a rate not seen in recent memory. Across the six battle­ground states we are track­ing, candid­ates have collect­ively raised $13.3 million, more than two and a half times the $4.7 million raised by the analog­ous point in the 2018 cycle, and more than five times that of 2014.

New data in secret­ary of state contests reveals elec­tion deniers in Arizona, Geor­gia, and Nevada either in the lead or running a close second in fundrais­ing. On the other hand, candid­ates who have condemned elec­tion denial have over­whelm­ing fundrais­ing leads so far in Michigan and Minnesota.

Illus­trat­ing the nation­al­iz­a­tion of secret­ary of state races, national groups and donors are spend­ing to influ­ence them, includ­ing Donald Trump’s lead­er­ship PAC and others with ties to efforts to chal­lenge the 2020 result. On the other side, several national liberal groups are newly becom­ing active in secret­ary of state and local races to support oppon­ents of the Big Lie.

Donors who have not given to secret­ary of state candid­ates before are making major contri­bu­tions with a clear pattern of support for elec­tion denial candid­ates or for candid­ates who are running on the threat elec­tion denial poses to demo­cracy.

Elec­tion denial claims, as well as claims that it is an exist­en­tial threat to demo­cracy, are heat­ing up at the state level, and they are also show­ing up in more local elec­tion offi­cial contests, notably in Geor­gia and Nevada. Super PACs on both sides of the issue spent to influ­ence local races in Wiscon­sin in April. In those elec­tions, of the six candid­ates suppor­ted by outside messaging cast­ing doubt on the last elec­­tion, five won office, and three of those unseated incum­bents.

There is much more detail at the link. The report also collected campaign state­ments and ads premised on or supportive of the Big Lie in ten battleground states. And it identifies the national funders of those efforts. I encourage you to read the entire report.

As the January 6th Committee hearings get underway, we are learning that the insurrection on that date was only one manifestation of a concerted effort at a coup–a deliberate effort to overturn the will of the people that began almost immediately after the election. The Brennan report is evidence–if more evidence was needed–that January 6th was not a “one off” nor a spontaneous event.  The cabal plotting that coup and its fellow-travelers are nothing if not persistent. 

The people screaming “Stop the Steal” are precisely the people intent upon stealing the next election. They have to be stopped.


  1. Perhaps the DOJ could make a big splash of putting some of the crooks in jail for the misdeeds performed in the lead up to Jan 6 – the phony elector schemes for example. Maybe some move from the FEDS could slow the crooks down. Just a hope

  2. patmcc, as much as I’d love to see ALL the crooks in prison, I’m afraid this would just support the mania of the Big Lie ‘wacko-on-the-street’. I honestly have no idea how to combat delusion.

  3. The DOJ is a joke because it is a department within a captive government. A government of the oligarchs, by the oligarchs. If you haven’t noticed, the same oligarchs are preparing the world for WW3.

    As for Stop the Steal and the Big Lie, as Sheila writes about today, “big money is flooding political campaigns.”

    My curious self always wants to know, “Where does this money come from?” or “Who wants to secure the outcome of the elections?”

    Like with 1/6 Insurrection, who funded it? According to the law, those who support it are just as guilty as the boots on the ground. The very fact the politicians in charge never bring up the monied interests indicates this hearing is performative. It’s a show. It’s entertainment for the people to distract them from real issues. And, of course, it works perfectly.

    Until the 1/6 Committee brings in the oligarchs funding these performances (which they never will), I recommend turning off your TVs and picking up a hobby instead, maybe writing a children’s book. 🙂

    Or, you could read Chris Hedge’s latest piece in Substack, “Society of Spectacle.” It won’t disappoint!

  4. In the myths of ancient Greece, Cassandra was given the gift of prophecy, and the curse that no one would believe her. She told the leaders of Troy to “beware Greeks bearing gifts”. The Trojans did not believe her. Things did not end well for Troy.
    America, the Greeks are in the Horse, the Horse is at the gate. Beware. Wake up!

  5. American politics will never turn away from big money; the biggest money sources donate to both sides in typical American CYA tactics. It is when they continue adding more big money to the winning side that problems increase; there is always the factor of stopping donations to the winning side if it is known they are not going to get rewarded with paybacks for their donations. We watched, and continue to watch, the Trump administration support White Nationalism; breaking rules, laws, ordinances and governmental protocol to continue filling their coffers for both campaigns and themselves. It continues today; nowhere is it more evident than in the U.S. Senate which continues to be controlled by the Republican minority. Sadly, the Constitution supports their lies and their bastardization of both 1st and 2nd Amendments to continue their control.

    Article 1 of the Constitution set up the Legislative Branch of government to protect the people from dictatorship by one person in the Executive Branch; but there is no system to force the Executive lawmakers to honor their own Oath of Office or for the President to honor his/her Oath of Office once elected. “Passing the buck” to the states to suppress voters is strengthening states and weakening the federal government and now the Supreme Court, the 3rd branch of government, is a pseudo-religious based panel to uphold the controlling minority at the federal level.

    I will continue my yammering at people to register to vote if not already registered and to vote for any Democratic candidate until we can get the local, state. federal levels back on the track supporting democracy, civil and human rights and the Constitutions of their own state government and the U.S. Constitution which gave them the rights they are now losing. I will also continue donating to Democratic candidates in other states to increase and strengthen the party. If you want to consider that “How To Rig The Vote”…have at it!

  6. I wonder if Todd and Chris Hedges will vote. They tell us there is no ultimate difference in the 2 parties. The oligarchs are in control. Why waste our time voting.

  7. this what ya get when you allow such a vast wealth to include people who dont stop at anything to make sure America is theirs,and only theirs. i seen such a reasoning when i was college age and question what the fratenities of colleges would or they produce groups of greed and distrust. all through recent history the well to do and influential never ceased to take over. unlike a rag tag bunch,the working class,these rich and influential have now secured a whole party and some of the other party to insure what they get. fold it all in with lobby,K st, wall street, lawyers,and whoever uses the best propaganda wins. the working class as a majority is ignorant of the whole picture. i dont settle for trivial conversation with these trumpers,(a group,idealism) but in conversation,few if any have a clue. it all amounts to divide and conqueror,except its with bots and social media and a few major news media. combine that and its a conspiracy to over throw the present goverment. would anyone admit to it,or is this just a head in the sand moment? the bradley foundation provided the big lie line thru bots and into social media mainstream. this isnt a secret,but few if any have ever made a public statement to the effect. wall streets PR at its best. we have shoveled money long enough into the hands of a few,and in a capitalistic society, money is power. when a republican party wants to party with the likes of orban, and russian money,didnt anyone call foul? instead we read about it and whine..
    that liberal voting block better make a wave next november and make a turn,otherwise those who profit on wall street win.. this well maybe the last time we vote..corprate law doesnt allow the masses to vote,its all run by a board of whoever has the most toys..except its lives now..

  8. So both parties are filled with greedy, power hungry bastards, but at least one of them still supports the Constitution and our somewhat democratic republic, while the other wants to install an authoritarian regime led by a sociopath who is also a would be gangster. Which is the greater danger? VOTE like your life depended on it, because it just might.

  9. Well, this “rigging” by Republicans is what one would expect. Why? Ask any Republican how he/she would have the government work. You’ll hear some version of cut taxes and stop spending. That’s it. No inputs for health care. Nothing about public education. Nothing about infrastructure repair. Not a peep about taking assault rifles away from idiots. If you ask one of the right-wing morons who wear their armored vests to church, you’ll hear even less.

    So, what is it that the Republicans and right-wingers are projecting, really? They are projecting the original, post-Lincoln memes made virulent and hostile by the first Bush-era Republicans and allowed to become more acidic and self-destructive since. Republicans are projecting their hate, bigotry and emptiness in trying to rig elections. It is, after all, all they have left.

    So, in order to fully expose that neurological epidemic, over 75% of the 75% of RATIONAL people who respect and defend the Constitution MUST turn out to vote – especially for this coming midterm. Part of the Republican strategy is to gerrymander districts, because they KNOW that 90% of their small population WILL vote. The numbers don’t lie. Only Republicans lie.

  10. Wayne, I suspect that by 2024, the two options for POTUS will be hideous. If so, I will not cast a vote for either one. The USA is on a downward trajectory for which a global miracle would be required to stop the descent into the abyss.

    Enjoy the heat wave coming and be sure to send a thank you card to the Koch puppets in Washington and Indiana.

  11. There is no more critical issue here than campaign funding yet everyone knows that the folks who benefit from it will not fix it. As long as we live under their government and not our government the influence of money, following the success of those same people hoovering up all of the money, will simply rule the roost.

    Is our democracy now so weakened as to make that problem insurmountable?

  12. I was a poll worker last Tuesday, here in So. California. It was a very hot day and when I saw seniors or disabled people pulling up to drop off their completed ballots, I offered to do that for them/save them from getting in & out of their car.

    It was disturbing (although understandable) that possibly half of them didn’t trust me…”ELECTION WORKER” badge notwithstanding. So I showed them the quickest way to drop their ballot into the collection box and gave them their “I VOTED” sticker, thanked them and sent them on their way–hoping to instill a tiny bit more confidence in their suspicious minds.

  13. Todd,

    Just stop.
    So what, we just roll over and give up?
    Is THAT the example we leave for the next generation?
    Your gloom and doom are tiresome.
    They are also un-American.

    My Grandad Bowers left the poverty of southern Indiana, with his family in tow, to seek a better job in Elkhart.
    Grandpa and Grandma Adamo didn’t just give in to a life of misery in southern Italy.
    My dad and thousands of others didn’t give up on a fight with the Fascists in Europe.
    My mom didn’t crawl into a bottle when Daddy passed away suddenly.
    They STOOD UP to the bullies, the poverty, the devistating life circumstances that came their way.

    Is this what we leave to the coming generation?
    Do we let them fight the fight without us?
    I choose to not just give up and let them slide into authoritarianism without a battle.
    Four grown kids, nine grandchildren and 948 former students and their families deserve better.
    I’m staying for it!

  14. One would have to ask the question, what is the current Big draw concerning politics? Why are there so many running for office? Why do they fight tooth and nail? Why do they promote lies which seems to be, or is for all practical purposes, legal?

    Power, control and wealth! Not, and I repeat, not for the good of the citizenry.

    Willful delusion, or willful ignorance, is not just on one side of the coin, it’s embraced on the flip side just as much as the other!

    With mass delusion, it creates Mass confusion! People’s preconceived notions, become evidentiary fact, in their own mind! Propaganda and Innuendo, become reality because the inherent nature of those looking to follow is lazy, they lack discernment! They lack the ability to see through the obscuritism to embrace any modicum of Truth available.

    So we live in a time of fake and ineffectual solutions, we look to things that have already failed to provide an answer to any perceived present or future issue.

    If powers that be tell you to put Coca-Cola in your gas tank and that it will give you unlimited mileage, and they claim that the truth of the situation is being hidden, how many would go out and dump Coca-Cola in their gas tank? I actually believe it would be a majority of the population! Knowledge and wisdom are in short supply, comprehension even more so!

    So where is the Panacea? Or as the old Wendy’s commercial said, “where’s the beef?”

    Well, they’re really is none!

    A person’s comprehension on any subject is based on their level of understanding and perspective concerning a matter or subject!

    So, when a politician looks at society being flushed down the toilet, but the general consensus is not really a consensus at all but a jambalaya of misconceptions, lies, alternate realities, preconceived notions, and propaganda, what to do? No consensus can be arrived at concerning the majority of citizenry.

    So does the captain of the ship let it sink because some want to drill holes in the bottom, some want to bail, and some want to let the band play? Or, does that politician take the bull by the horn, and use any and all tools in the toolbox to save the ship?

    This current situation could be immediately repaired, military tribunals with constitutional limits, could punish the guilty, investigate the crimes, and eliminate a lot of the societal chaos that’s destroying the cities. Later, reinstating habeas corpus and putting in place qualifications for independent judges, fixing the court systems to be fair for everyone, and eliminating money pouring into politics. Basically any single individual should be able to run for office without being bankrolled by somebody. If your are ideas strike a chord with someone, then that’s good enough to start a trend. Gerrymandering would be a thing of the past, and the electoral college could be eliminated.

    All it takes is an executive order, (Martial Law) and that’s better than waiting for everything to completely disintegrate and being reactive instead of proactive!

    Too bad foresight is basically an afterthought!

  15. With education in computer and electrical engineering I watched some of documented evidence in the movie 2000 Mules. True to ghe Vote has been around for 15 years and began criticizing Republican primary votes. This last election an investigation of NPOs that collected ballots and distributed them thru mules to ballot boxes is documented where data shows return trips within 8 feet. Accuracy of data that has been used to detect movement if illegal activity is the same used to track Osama Bin Laden that Obama used to deliver justice to. Are we thru our endevorsxto win creating doubt in our elected officials ?
    Trump did not lose this election alone thru his actions. 95% of reporting of his Presidency by the media was negative. Biden as a disaster is barely receiving the same negative. Late night shows and Hollywood actors are rallying behind a President that is a total disaster.
    So wheres the Big Lie?
    The Brennan center has received millions from George Soros that makes billions off upsetting economies. Hungary kicked out the gloabalist while politicians in the US are being sponsred by him. So where is the Big Lie?
    Its been told for the last four years and financed by those that are currently shorting your retirement account.

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