Arizona’s Far-Right Has Completely Broken With Reality

by | Jun 24, 2022 | Politics

GOLD CANYON, Ariz. — Toward the end of a candidate forum put on by a central Arizona GOP club this week, Mark Finchem, a candidate for secretary of state whose views about the 2020 election generally have no basis in reality, told the audience that he had “breaking news” to share. Finchem then fed the crowd a remarkably brazen lie. He said that Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court had declared — at 10 p.m. EST on a federal holiday, no less — that mail-in ballots were unconstitutional. Finchem offered no further explanation of the major news he claimed had just happened. The crowd cheered and whooped in delight.Advertisement“That’s big, ladies and gentleman,” Finchem said, nearly drowned out by applause. “That’s huge. Huge. Wow.”Was Finchem confused? Probably not. The closest approximation to what Finchem described happened in January, when three judges on a Commonwealth Court did, in fact, strike down Pennsylvania’s no-excuse mail voting law, which passed with bipartisan support in 2019. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf appealed the decision. In March, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania said the law could stay in place during the appeals process to create less confusion ahead of the May 3 primary.In June, the U.S. Supreme Court actually cleared the way for Pennsylvania to count undated mail-in ballots after the GOP Senate primary between Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick came down to just a handful of votes, a ruling that was largely seen as a win for proponents of mail voting.That was the latest development, however, making what Finchem said neither breaking news nor correct. AdvertisementIt was just one small example of the lies perpetuated by Finchem and other election-deniers running in this year’s midterm elections. And the crowd ate it up, underscoring the degree to which the “big lie” and easily debunked misinformation goes virtually unchallenged in the grassroots GOP. Finchem, a state House member who has said he aspires to have “one of the most transparent campaigns out there,” didn’t respond to a request through his campaign to clarify what he meant by his “breaking news” about Pennsylvania.Arizona’s primary is Aug. 2, and in no other state do the tentacles of election conspiracy run as deep as the place that originated an infamous partisan election audit. Mark Finchem is running on a platform that puts front and center Donald Trump’s “big lie” about a stolen election.Steve Helber/Associated PressFinchem is running to become the state’s top election official with former President Donald Trump’s backing, but his remarks to th …

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