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If Youngkin Wins, Arizona’s Fiasco May Be Our Future

Glenn Youngkin, Republican nominee for Governor, has almost no record in public service, except for a bad trade deal [1]. He makes up for it by discussing almost no issues in his campaign except for “election integrity” – a dog whistle to proponents of the Big Lie, which he himself refused to refute until he was nominated [2].

So what would “election integrity” mean for Virginia in a Youngkin Administration? The best example is Arizona – and that should be enough to keep any voter from choosing Youngkin or his GOP ticket-mates this fall.

Under pressure for the Big Lie Caucus, the Arizona Senate majority seized Maricopa County ballots for an “audit.” Then they handed them over to a firm run by a Big Lie proponent. “Cyber Ninjas” (yes, that’s the firm’s name) has done such a bang-up job that even audit proponents [3] are throwing them under the bus. That hasn’t stopped them from examining ballot paper for “bamboo” [4] (which supposedly meant fraudulent ballots from Asia), declaring cheeto dust as evidence of … something, and messing up Maricopa voter machines so badly they can’t be used in any future elections [5].

Now, in Arizona, the State Senate Republicans had to go through the courts to inflict this nonsense on Maricopa County voters. Under Youngkin, RPV won’t have that problem. Why? Because a Youngkin victory hands control of every election board in the state to the Republicans. From there, any board in any locality can rerun the Arizona horror show.

No wonder Amanda “Trump Won in Virginia” Chase is backing Youngkin now [6]. She knows that if Trump runs in 2024, GOP-controlled election boards can make sure he wins Virginia no matter how anyone in the Commonwealth actually votes.

If that sounds alarmist to you, it’s because you’re not sufficiently alarmed. Georgia’s legislative majority [7] has already given itself the power to control state elections and to remove local election boards it doesn’t like.

Texas’ legislature nearly succeeded [8] in removing proof of fraud as a reason to overturn an election. In both states (and Arizona), this has been driven by the fact that the people making up the election infrastructure weren’t sufficiently Trumpist enough to declare Republican victories despite Democratic majorities in the number of votes.

In Virginia, election board control (and the Secretary of State post) depends on one thing and one thing only: who the Governor is.

This is how a pretty face like Glenn Youngkin can let his party fatally undermine democracy in the Commonwealth. Virginia voters would be wise to prevent that from happening.