Republican candidate for governor wants Trump to seize all voting machines for an audit.
CHESTERFIELD-Virginia State Senator Amanda Chase wants to see martial law declared. The Republican candidate for governor rejected yesterday’s Electoral College vote, posting on her Facebook page that she refuses to accept Joe Biden as her president.
“Not my President and never will be,” Chase wrote. “The American people aren’t fools. We know you cheated to win and we’ll never accept these results. Fair elections we can accept but cheating to win; never. It’s not over yet. So thankful President Trump has a backbone and refuses to concede. President Trump should declare martial law as recommended by General Flynn.”
Chase wants Trump to bring in troops and seize voting machines for audit. Much like other accusations brought up by Virginia Republicans after the election, she equates the changes in the Commonwealth’s voting system with cheating.
“Here in Virginia, the Democrats legalized cheating at the ballot box to win- all under the guise of COVID. The Virginia Democrat Majority repealed voter ID laws, eliminated witness signatures and allowed voters to drop off sacred ballots in unsecured ballot boxes across the state, destroying the integrity and chain of custody of our ballots. In many other states, this would be illegal.”
That didn’t go over well. Virginia’s current 10th District Congresswoman, Jennifer Wexton, called Chase “unhinged. This is a good reminder that we don’t allow tyrants in the Commonwealth.”
Meanwhile,former Virginia Delegate David Ramadan pointed out that Article IV, Section 7 of the Virginia Constitution allows the General Assembly to punish and even expel members.
The section states the House and Senate can discipline members “for disorderly behavior and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of its elected membership, may expel a member.”
What Did Virginia Do?
There’s a lot to unpack in her statements, but let’s go one at a time. First, you still have to verify your ID to cast a ballot in Virginia. This claim keeps getting brought up. And just as quickly, it keeps getting debunked.
Virginians are no longer required to use photo ID at the polls. That part is true. Gov. Ralph Northam signed the bill into law this past February. But again, that doesn’t mean you can just walk in.
If you don’t have a driver’s license or voter ID card, then you have to show one of a limited number of other options. That includes a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or a signed ID confirmation statement.
The argument was that photo ID laws cut down on fraud, but there’s little evidence to support that. In fact, a joint study released in February said photo IDs have little impact on voter fraud. Enrico Cantoni at the University of Bologna and Vincent Pons at Harvard Business School studied data from 2008 to 2018.
“Results indicate that there is little scope for strict voter identification laws to affect voter turnout,” the paper stated.
Then there’s the claims about “unsecured” drop-off sites. Chase and other General Assembly Republicans repeatedly made this claim during the special session. The new law says each local registrar had to establish a drop-off location at their office. Literally, most set them up right outside the door. Registrars also put a drop-off box at each polling place on Election Day. If the registrar felt their area needed more drop-off sites, they could set up as many as necessary. Surveillance systems monitored the sites, so no one could break in. Every day, a member of the registrar’s office came out and collected the ballots.
No Evidence of Widespread Fraud
These post-election fraud claims go against research from President Trump’s own administration. On Dec. 1, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department had not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change the election’s outcome.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Barr said U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up specific complaints and information they’ve received, but they’ve uncovered no evidence that would change the outcome of the election.
“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election,” Barr told the AP.
Last month, Barr issued a directive to U.S. attorneys across the country. The order allowed them to pursue any “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities, if they existed, before the 2020 presidential election was certified. That memorandum gave prosecutors the ability to go around Justice Department policy that prohibits such actions.
Brian Carlton is Dogwood’s managing editor. You can reach him at [email protected].