Florida Election Officials Call On GOP To End Stolen Election Claims After Threatened


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A Republican-led group of Florida election officials pleaded with GOP candidates and lawmakers to “tone down” their rhetoric about unproven allegations of voter fraud after threats were made against its members.

Former President Donald Trump and his allies have repeatedly claimed that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, despite the lack of evidence to back up allegations of fraud.

In a Wednesday statement, Florida election supervisors, led by Republican Wesley Wilcox, warned that unproven allegations of voter fraud had “systematically undermined” confidence in the election.

“During and after the 2020 presidential election, the integrity of our democracy has been called into question by disinformation, disinformation and misinformation which sows discord and undermines confidence in the US electoral process,” the statement said. “Many of us have been threatened by our fellow citizens who have been led astray by these deceptions.”

Election officials called on lawmakers and political candidates to “calm the rhetoric and stand up for our democracy.” They said they were determined to ensure that no voter fraud takes place during elections and that “every eligible voter’s ballot is counted accurately.”

“But false allegations of fraud do not strengthen our elections. Instead, they degrade trust in institutions and discourage citizen participation in our democracy,” the statement said.

The audits confirmed the results of the election. In Michigan, 250 random audits across the state confirmed the accuracy and integrity of the election, according to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Yet Trump wrote earlier in October that there was fraud “beyond what anyone can believe” in the state he narrowly lost.

A GOP-backed election audit in Maricopa County, Arizona, a traditionally conservative state won by President Joe Biden, also confirmed his victory in the state. The audit found that Biden won by a slightly larger margin. Trump then falsely claimed that the audit found he won the county.

Some Republicans even pushed for an audit in Florida, a swing state Trump won. Trump won 51.2% of the vote, compared to 47.9% for Biden. GOP State Representative Anthony Sabatini, a Trump ally, has introduced a bill to ask the state legislature to review the elections.

A group of Florida election officials pleaded with the GOP to “tone down” their rhetoric surrounding voter fraud. Here, a survey site is seen in August 2020.
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Election supervisors wrote in an August statement that Florida had conducted the audits it usually performed and was “confident in the safety and integrity” of the results.

“Florida’s election in 2020 was accurate, transparent and conducted in accordance with Florida law,” the statement said.

More than 100 people threatened election workers and officials over allegations of electoral fraud. A September Reuters report described the threats as part of an “unprecedented campaign of intimidation.”

News week contacted Florida election supervisors and the state’s Republican Party for comment on Saturday, but had not received a response by post. This story will be updated with any response.

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