Worried About Turnout, Republicans Try Blaming Democrats

Frank McNulty is not really interested in things like “facts” or “truth.”

Voters in Colorado are already casting ballots received in the mail last week; ballots can be returned at one of more than 400 drop boxes across the state. In-person early voting is also now available in Colorado at select locations. For more information on how you can cast your 2022 ballot, check out GoVoteColorado.gov. To track your ballots as it makes its way through the election sausage machine, take a virtual visit to Ballot Trax.

As we wrote last week, there are still plenty of Republicans in Colorado who are convinced that imaginary fraud in the 2020 election might seep over into 2022 and are therefore trying to discourage voters from casting mail ballots in favor of in-person Election Day voting. As Seth Klamann reported last week for The Denver Post regarding text messages sent out by the Eagle County Republican Party:

Matt Crane, the executive director of the Colorado County Clerks Association, said the messages match up with conspiracies pushed by “election deniers” in Colorado and elsewhere. He called it “B.S.” and said it would only serve to hurt voter turnout.

“As long as you’re in line by 7 p.m. on election night, you can vote. That’s the voter’s choice,” he said. “The thing that’s problematic about this — it’s built on a premise of disinformation and lies.” [Pols emphasis]

Republicans are making the same spurious claims all over the country. As Georgia Public Broadcasting reports:

Republican activists who believe the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump have crafted a plan that, in their telling, will thwart cheating in this year’s midterm elections.

The strategy: Vote in person on Election Day or — for voters who receive a mailed ballot — hold onto it and hand it in at a polling place or election office on Nov. 8.

The plan is based on unfounded conspiracy theories that fraudsters will manipulate voting systems to rig results for Democrats once they have seen how many Republican votes have been returned early. There has been no evidence of any such widespread fraud.

Not all Colorado Republicans are on board with this strategy, however. The State Republican Party is well aware that it is strategically stupid to encourage voters to hold on to their ballots; the GOP recently sent out an email telling Colorado Republicans to vote ASAP.

Former Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty, now a candidate for CU Regent, is equally worried about the potential for GOP turnout to be depressed because right-wing voters might believe that the 2022 election is somehow fraudulent. McNulty is so concerned, in fact, that he’s promoting a flat-out lie that this is somehow an evil plot by Democrats:


The irony here is obvious. Colorado Republicans who invested their hearts and minds in Donald Trump’s snake oil business became so convinced that our elections are shady that even the GOP candidate for Governor, Hiedi Heidi Ganahl, STILL refuses to acknowledge that the 2020 election was legitimate. For a long time, Republicans like McNulty were happy to ride Trump’s coattails, ignoring the reality that his “Big Lie” nonsense was just his way of making himself feel better about losing to Democrat Joe Biden in 2020. In March 2021, for example, Kristi Burton Brown was elected Republican Party Chairperson after running on a message centered around election fraud.

Even after it was clear that those lies were persisting into 2022, Republicans didn’t do much to dissuade candidates like Ganahl from continuing to talk about election fraud. Now that it’s time to vote, however, Republicans on the ballot are nervous enough that they think the only way to fix the problem is to pretend that it is the fault of Democrats.

It’s as gross as it is predictable, but we’ll just say the same thing we’ve always said: Whoever you are, wherever you are…just vote.

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