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‘The Big Lie,’ January 6, and the Future of Democratic Institutions

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It was exactly one year ago today, on January 2, 2021, that President Trump launched his most audacious attempt to rewrite history. The Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger recorded a phone call in which he said, “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have.”

Additionally, Mr. Trump warned Raffensperger that if he didn’t comply, he would be subject to “unspecified criminal charges”. “That is a felony… For you, that’s a significant risk “Trump warned.

In an interview with CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett, Raffensperger said, “I listened.” “You can dig all you want, Mr. President,” I was aware of, but also knew that. Please accept my apologies for the loss.”

Garrett inquired, “Did you find it surprising?”

As he put it, “I was not going to be swayed, pushed, or deviated from making sure we followed the law and the constitution. ”

During a phone call with Georgia’s secretary of state, President Trump asked him to find proof of voter fraud (“60 Minutes”)

A criminal investigation into Trump’s “attempts to influence” the election has been launched by a Georgia prosecutor.

In his new book, “Integrity Counts,” Raffensperger recounts that call and the tumultuous months following the 2020 election (distributed by a division of ViacomCBS).

Raffensperger was under fire for allegedly aiding in the theft of Trump’s victory. He was threatened with death and his wife with sexual assault. Lifelong Republican and Trump supporter Raffensberger felt persecuted by his own party after voting for the president-elect.

Garrett inquired, “How have you found that to be?”

This is up to you,” Raffensperger retorted. “You keep a close eye on your own security.. Also, you’ll need a good eye for signs.”

Meaning? “Are their hips covered in anything? So on and so forth.”

There is a pet dog in Raffensperger’s life. No, it isn’t a security dog. Garrett brought it up.

“No. However, he’s a service dog “he chuckled.

January 6, the "Big Lie" and the fate of democracy

Trump’s claim that the election had been “stolen” in Georgia and other states fueled the violent Capitol siege on January 6, which resulted in the deaths of dozens of people. They were misled, deceived, and told lies about the election results, according to Raffensperger.

Falsehoods like these were on full display in Maricopa County, Arizona, where the Republican-controlled State Senate sponsored a “election audit” last May. However, it was found that he received a higher percentage of the overall vote than previously thought.

My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell’s summer symposium on 2020 election fraud was fruitless.

Nevertheless, the Brennan Center for Justice reports that in 2021, 19 states, the majority of which were led by Republicans, tightened their election laws.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative-leaning think tank, found that four of the states President Trump fought the hardest had the most secure voting procedures in the country.

Democrat Helen Butler served on the Morgan County Board of Elections for more than a decade in Trump-friendly Georgia. There have recently been new rules enacted by Republican county leaders that allow them to remove board members, such as Butler.

He told Garrett, “If you reassemble the board with a large number of members who are all affiliated with a political party and that party’s political line is that you must change the election results in order to keep someone in power, this is a way to do it.” ”

As the old adage goes, who votes doesn’t matter as much as who counts.

It was Butler’s view that “I have total control of the election process,” that “We didn’t get it done this time, but next time I’m going to get it done.”

Americans who did nothing more than count ballots are still the target of threats of violence. Bucks County, Pennsylvania’s Election Director Tom Freitag is one of them. “A lot of angry calls, emails, threats” have been made to him, he told Garrett.

Inquiringly, “What are we referring to?”

In one email, we learned that we would all be executed for treason.

Located in a swing state, Bucks County is a swing county. There were 44,000 more votes cast for Mr. Trump in 2016 than there were cast for him this time around.

To meet the unprecedented demand for voting by mail, set in motion by new state law and amplified by pandemic safety concerns, Garrett and Frietag first met in September 2020. Frietag was working around the clock to build an entire vote-counting facility from the ground up. In order to expedite the ballot scanning process, high-speed scanners were being installed. He stated, “We have ten of them.”

Today, Frietag was asked about the counting process, and he replied, “It went well.” “Going into it, we were all apprehensive. Overall, I’m pleased with how things worked out given the circumstances.”

Despite this, threats and bullying continued for a year and a half.

“Are you contemplating quitting because you’re fed up?” Garrett was the one who enquired.

Frietag said, “I’ve had days where I’ve wondered why I’m still doing this.” As one employee put it, “There have been days when I’ve wanted to stay home instead of going to work.”

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Bucks County Commissioner Bob Harvie stated the following: “This is the first time I’ve seen anything like it since the American Civil War. And I’m a little freaked out.”

How was January 6 for Harvie? As he put it, “the first thing you do when trying to destroy democracy turns people against each other.” It’s also important to make people question the legitimacy of upcoming elections.

Doubts are a contagious disease that spreads throughout the country.

A secretive Republican-led investigation into voter fraud in 2020 is taking place in Wisconsin, a state known for its tense and close elections.

Former election administrator and current state senator Kathy Bernier is a vocal Trump supporter and one of the most conservative legislators in the state. However, she went on to say, “Republican is the party of which I am a proud member. Nevertheless, it is pointless to keep pounding the flesh of a slain horse. We need to move forward.

“Do you know of any cases of voter fraud? There were, in fact. They’re under investigation right now. However, no one has provided evidence of widespread or organized voter fraud in Wisconsin.”

CNN’s “Sunday Morning” requested an interview with Republican State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, but he refused.

According to some pro-Trump Republicans, there is no difference between Democrats refusing to accept Trump’s election and Republicans contesting or denying the results.

He accepts Biden as president, but Bernier points out that “the Democrats are just as guilty of perpetuating misinformation or outright lies.”

According to Secretary of State Raffensperger, “These stolen election claims, what they do is to undermine voters’ confidence in the election process,” he says.

When it comes to his next election—a Republican referendum of some kind—more he’s focused on it than ever before. Congressman Jody Hice, who ran against him, as opposed to the state of Georgia’s election results being certified.

Garret inquired of Raffensperger, “How do you feel about this coming up, the primary??”

In the end, Raffensperger was able to demonstrate that he could stand on the facts. “Exactly where is he going to take up residence?

Hice turned us down time and time again when we asked to speak with him.

“People have to face the brutal truth of the election results,” Raffensperger opined.

“Do you ever wonder if you’re yelling into the void on this subject?”

“Like a lone wolf’s howl? Yeah.”

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