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Michigan voting rights group forms super PAC against ‘election deniers’

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Days after several Donald Trump-endorsed candidates — most of whom say the 2020 election was rigged — won in the Tuesday primary, a super PAC was formed to try to defeat them. (Shutterstock)
  • Voters Not Politicians launches a super PAC to defeat ‘election deniers’ in the November election
  • Candidates questioning the 2020 election scored primary victories in legislative, gubernatorial and congressional races
  • The group plans to knock on 300,000 doors and focus on digital and mail ads

LANSING — A Michigan voting rights advocacy group is forming a super PAC to defeat “election deniers” in the November general election, according to a Thursday press release.

The announcement comes two days after the Tuesday primary, which recorded the victory of several statewide and congressional candidates who have repeated the disproved claim the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

Voters Action Committee — the new super PAC established by voting rights group Voters Not Politicians — aims to help elect “pro-voter” candidates who support election integrity and “the freedom to vote” in the state, the press release states. 

Related:

Voters Not Politicians — the group that successfully pushed for the establishment of an independent redistricting commission — is backing Promote the Vote 2022, a constitutional amendment ballot proposal to expand voting access by allowing nine days of early voting and publicly subsidized absentee ballot mailing, among other things. 

“Like in 2020, Michigan will be a ‘tipping point’ state for control of the presidency in 2024,” the group said in its Thursday release.

“Yet with election deniers up and down the ballot in 2022 who are proudly running on promises to overturn the next election, there is a clear danger that this year’s midterms will set up our state for a democratic crisis.”

Candidates running for the state Legislature who believe the 2020 election was stolen could change “the direction of how voting is done in the state, which could impact (the) 2024 (election) results,” said Andrew Feldman, speaking on behalf of Voters Not Politicians.

Michigan lawmakers have passed a slew of bills to tighten election regulations, which have been vetoed by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. 

Secure MI Vote — a separate GOP-backed ballot measure that would require voter ID, ban outside election funds, among other things — missed the deadline to qualify for the November ballot, but turned in more than 500,000 signatures in hopes to circumvent Whitmer’s veto and get adopted by a Republican-led Legislature. It is unlikely, however, that the ballot measure will reach the state Legislature before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court could soon hear a case that could give state Legislatures more power to establish rules for federal elections, Voters Not Politicians Deputy Director Jamie Lyons-Eddy pointed out.  

“That could give nearly unaccountable, nearly complete power to state Legislatures even to override state Constitutions in courts, which is why it is just incredibly important that our state Legislature is filled with representatives who value voting rights,” she said in an interview.

Tuesday’s primary election results marked a win for several candidates endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who backed a slate of Republicans who embraced his false claim the 2020 election was rigged against him.

John Gibbs — a former Trump staffer who perpetuated the massive election fraud conspiracy — booted incumbent U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Grand Rapids, from the November race Tuesday.

In the state legislative race, five Trump-backed candidates advanced to the November election. For example, veteran Jonathan Lindsey, of Bronson, upset incumbent Sen. Kim LaSata, R-Benton Harbor, in the 17th district primary, claiming more than 60 percent of the vote. 

Tudor Dixon, the newly-elected GOP nominee for governor, received Trump’s endorsement late Friday. Unlike other Trump-backed candidates, however, Dixon walked back her stance on the election recently. Appearing on national TV last week, Dixon would not say whether she thought the 2020 election was stolen — a shift from her previous position claiming “obvious” and “sloppy” voter fraud

In addition to primary winners, two other Trump-endorsed GOP nominees — Matt DePerno for attorney general and Kristin Karamo for secretary of state — have both echoed the election fraud conspiracy. Both will be on the November ballot.

Voters Not Politicians said Thursday it has 5,000 “organized, highly trained” volunteers to boost voter turnout with “canvassing, texting, phones and paid media.”

Lyons-Eddy told Bridge the campaign will focus on knocking 300,000 doors to engage voters and mail and digital ads are “on the table.” But the campaign will not seek to air TV ads, she said.

The campaign has sent out questionnaires to state legislative candidates, Lyons-Eddy said, and Voters Not Politicians will endorse candidates based on their answers, regardless of their party affiliations. 

“It isn’t about Democrats or Republicans,” she said. “It’s about making sure election deniers don’t represent us in Lansing.”

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