A Down-Ballot Threat

A recent article from Time Magazine highlighted yet another threat to American democracy–and this particular threat is especially worrisome, because it involves political contests that voters rarely focus on. In our highly polarized era, most voters no longer split their tickets, and few even bother to look “down ballot”–beyond the more publicized races to local contests.

That lack of attention could be especially costly this year. As the Time article reported, the midterm elections will see numerous election deniers “MAGA hardliners who trumpet former President Donald Trump’s lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen” running for positions that oversee elections at the state and local levels.

Inspired by Steve Bannon’s so-called “precinct strategy,” far-right activists have flooded local precincts, signed up en masse to be poll workers, and orchestrated harassment of existing officials.

At the same time, election deniers are winning GOP nominations for key election-related roles in major swing states. According to data compiled by States United Action, a nonpartisan nonprofit devoted to protecting elections, 13 election-deniers are running for Attorney General in 11 states, 19 are running for Secretary of State in 15 states, and 25 election deniers are running for Governor in 15 states as of July 11. More than one-third of Attorney General and Governor races in 2022 include an election denier, and more than half of the candidates for Secretary of State have embraced some form of the Big Lie.

A newsletter authored by Robert Reich echoed the message, warning about a dark-money group called the America First Secretary of State Coalition. As he wrote,

The coalition was formed by radical MAGA candidates who are running for secretary of state in key battleground states. In most states, the secretary of state oversees elections—including determining who is eligible to vote and with the power to kick voters off the rolls, throw out votes, and declare the winners of elections.

The goal of the America First Secretary of State Coalition is to elect Trump marionettes to the top elections administration in critical swing states so that when the 2024 election comes, they will have the power to declare Trump the winner—no matter the true will of the voters.

As I have previously reported, Indiana has one of those “Big Lie” supporters running for Secretary of State. Republican nominee Diego Morales has called the 2020 election “a scam,” and promised to make “voter fraud” (apparently, people voting for Democrats) a focus of his efforts if elected. Morales has vowed to purge voter rolls, limit absentee ballots and allow voting only on Election Day. 

You need not take my word for it: I’ve previously quoted James Briggs of the Indianapolis Star, who seemed incredulous about Morales ‘nomination. Briggs wrote,

The Indiana Republican Party on Saturday nominated a secretary of state candidate so broadly unacceptable that the selection must be setting some kind of record for political ineptitude.

Their choice, Diego Morales, once worked in the secretary of state’s office. That would normally be a good thing. Experience!


Except that, well, Morales got fired in 2009 over incompetence and a “lack of professionalism,” according to his personnel file. Morales disputes the record, as IndyStar’s Kaitlin Lange wrote, but his file doesn’t leave much ambiguity as to whether he met expectations in his job as a special assistant under Todd Rokita.

Anyone rational–let alone patriotic– willing to spend even a few minutes contrasting Morales with the Democratic candidate, Destiny Wells, would have no difficulty deciding to vote for Wells. She’s a U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel, a lawyer and an entrepreneur. She says

I’m running for Indiana Secretary of State to safeguard democracy and the freedom to vote right here at home. I have worked at all levels of government—local, state, federal, and the multi-national level with NATO. As an attorney, I’ve been Associate Corporation Counsel for the City of Indianapolis and Marion County, and Deputy Attorney General for the State of Indiana. And as a military intelligence officer, I have seen first hand the state of democracy across the world.

This choice should be a “no brainer.” But this is Indiana, where far too many voters reflexively choose anyone with an “R” by their name, no matter how flawed, dishonest or otherwise unacceptable. So, Indiana readers, please spread the word. Tell your friends and family. Visit Wells’ website (and send her some money so she can run a visible campaign. I just did.) The last thing Hoosiers need is an incompetent “Big Lie” proponent overseeing our elections.

Help defeat Indiana’s “Trump marionette.”


  1. Destiny is the superior candidate. However, she claims that if we don’t vote for her, we “risk losing democracy altogether.”

    I’m not sure how she will change our oligarchy at the state or federal level. Does the State Democratic Party have a plan for that because the national party has no agenda for winning back the democracy we once had in this country?

  2. Todd; shut up, just shut up! We all know you do not support any political party or any political candidate or any action or issue they support or are against. So please, JUST SHUT UP!

    I have dropped all memberships in the 12-14 national organizations I have supported for years to use what little I can afford to vote for Democratic candidates here, in Texas, Georgia, Arizona and Ohio. I would gladly donate to Destiny Wells if only I could find an address for her campaign headquarters; none posted on any of her Internet web sites, all of which pop up the same campaign ad. I do not donate on line, I send checks; I have mailings from Mark Kelly and Tim Ryan after sending a check with a note they responded. Others who do not send mailings, I will again donate to with a note. Our election problems run much deeper than “Down Ballot”; change is needed across the country. I will gladly donate to Destiny Wells if only I can find her address; I plan to vote for her on November 8th.

    We have 100 days till the November 2022 election which will decide the 2024 election before we know who the candidates are. Trump is still in the running; as are his chosen candidates in all 50 states; we are in the precarious position of needing Democratic numbers, if they can’t save the world or their home state, they will be counted as the majority if we get out and vote.

  3. Todd, please. When Destiny Wells assumes the role of IN SoS we can all breath a little easier that future elections in the state will be conducted to the letter of the law, and not illegally thrown to the MAGA candidate for POTUS, as well as all other downvote federal, state and local offices.

    Prof. Kennedy, thank you for making a full-throated endorsement of Lt. Col. Wells. In the one opportunity I had to meet her I was thoroughly impressed with her as a person and her knowledge of many issues and ability to clearly articulate her positions. I was reminded a bit of a certain former Mayor of South Bend.

  4. Todd, if you have a choice between really terrible and maybe, marginally, someone you don’t care for, do you just not vote or vote for a no chance candidate and let the really terrible win? Get the terrible out of the way, then work with the other to fix what you don’t like or against them for someone you really can get behind. Good governance takes time.

  5. Amen, Sister.

    As you know, along with Patrick, I am a huge Destiny supporter. I’ve met the best candidates and future candidates at French Lick, Pete and Destiny being the prime examples.

    Reports from my brother in Michigan are “hopefully optimistic” that the Republics, whomever they choose on Tuesday, will have such a wacko candidate that the Democrats will probably win in November. I hope that is true and is a national trend.

  6. If this TIME article doesn’t scare the daylights out of every actual, real patriotic American who believes in the rule of law and the preservation of our Constitutional form of government, nothing will. The Republican seditionists are hard at work making the election process a farce…just as if we were a banana republic. For years, rational people on this blog – and elsewhere – have been pointing out the true evil that the Republican party has been, is and will most certainly be if they continue to win ANY elections. I should put the word “win” in quotes. Cheating doesn’t count as a win.

    So, as JoAnn has done, everyone here should become equally as active on a broad scale (I contribute to Texas and Ohio Democrats) and locally too. Drag your neighbors to the polls in November, or in another 2-4 years there won’t be any polls.

  7. JoAnn Greene- FYI if you still need it here is a PO Box to donate to Destiny Wells from the website since you did not want to donate online.

    Checks should be made out to “Wells for Indiana” and sent to:
    P.O. Box 441501
    Indianapolis, IN 46244

    *Please add your occupation in the memo for compliance purposes.

    As of yet I don’t think she has a brick & mortar campaign office.

  8. Once parties transition from “we run based on our record and its service to voters” to “win at all costs no matter the quality of our record or our candidates”, Democracy, as it is intended by our Constitution, is in danger. What’s even worse is when what’s added to that are powerful pervasive persuasive public propaganda entertainment channels.

    In my opinion, that combination renders democracy impossible.

  9. While money helps, it is “peer-to-peer” campaigning that is most powerful. So simply calling, emailing, texting someone you know about a candidate is what research is showing has the best chance of making a difference. Work locally and across the country….

  10. bumper sticker:
    i give hugs to my children,
    not trumpism…

    Todd the idea is to stop or halt the tsunami of red tides.
    any demo into office can hold the farce of this whole

  11. Hey Todd —

    Why don’t you list YOUR suggestions for the Democratic Party to win back the democracy we once had in this country?

    Easy to criticize; much harder to think of solutions. I, for one, would like to see your solutions and ideas. Positive, constructive ideas, please.

  12. If the various MAGA bastards win, their winning will demonstrate that Trump, or any other malicious loudmouthwith a stage can define what reality will become.  It’s Hitlers concept that if one lies loudly enough, and often enough the lie is manifested.Republican claims about voter fraud have ALWAYS been bogus projections.

    JoAnn, here is a “brava” from Pam/Zoolady—thank you for telling Todd to just shut up!

  13. Hi JoAnn,

    Thank you for your support. Our address is at the bottom of our Donate Form. With your feedback, we’ll add it to a more visible place.

    Checks should be made out to “Wells for Indiana” and sent to:
    P.O. Box 441501
    Indianapolis, IN 46244

    We do have a brick and mortar office space, yet keep everything organized with a P.O. Box. We appreciate everyone’s support.

  14. Well Todd, as well informed as you seem to be, you invariably miss the point. Your ego seems constantly to get in the way. Sometimes I wonder if you are actually paying attention to the topic at hand and the comments of others. I wouldn’t tell you to shut up, although Joann often has much to offer and a great deal to think about and seems very well informed. I’m sure you have much to offer as well. Wouldn’t it be nice if you started to offer it instead of trying to contradict everyone to prove your superior intelligence.

  15. Booklady, thanks so much for the address, due to my own stupidity I got hacked and lost my AOL account for two days. I am what I call an ignor-anus (dumbass) for not recognizing an obviously bogus E-mail request.

    Destiny; a special thanks for personally joining us. I can now put out my first Wells check with the ones for Warnock for Senator and Tim Ryan for Ohio. Good luck, stay safe and God bless!

Comments are closed.