Arizona counties have certified results of midterm elections in Monday. But for conspiracy theorists who have traveled from out of state to local election commission meetings, the dream of annulling election results continues.
While most of the Republican candidates accepted defeat by overwhelming margin Mid-term performance of GOPArizona is still a hot spot for refuse to vote candidates who suggest (incorrectly) that they actually won their race. Those supporters have attracted the attention of conspiracy theorists, who began gathering in Arizona last week in an unlikely attempt to demand a new election.
When Arizona’s election board convened Monday to confirm their election results, some in the conspiring crowd attended meetings to question local officials.
In Phoenix, conspiring charlatans have rallied since Friday to demand “a re-vote on AZ.” It was hardly a grassroots uprising by the locals. Monday’s rally was attended by less than 100 people, AZ Right Wing Watch reportand many of those protesters are from out of state.
One of the main organizers, Joe Oltmann, is a podcaster based in Colorado who has Constantly calling hangman of political enemies. Oltmann announced the rally in a fundraising email last week and encouraged followers to flock to Arizona, even if that means being away from their families over Thanksgiving.
“Everybody realizes where we are and consolidation is SUCCESSFUL,” Oltmann posted on Telegram last week. “I will be at AZ tonight. I won’t ask anyone to do something that I’m not willing to do myself. Join me there… giving thanks doesn’t matter what we are giving thanks for because of our generation’s lack of courage to protect our children. Right?” [sic]
Other Gentiles included David Clements, a New Mexico resident, who called for hanged and shot against those whom he claimed had committed “treason”. Clements previously led a conspiracy-based “audit” of a New Mexico county’s 2020 election. The audit cost the county nearly $50,000 and do not return evidence of fraud. It leads to a congressional poll into a company behind an audit and a complaint from a local woman who declared a pedophile knocked door-to-door and claimed to be with auditors who did not conduct background checks.
“Oltmann has used some of his time to call himself a ‘primary suffragette’ and denigrate transgender people.“
Also in attendance in Phoenix were members of a group traveling around the country in the QAnon-themed Scooby Doo van, where they have lived since splitting from a Texas-based QAnon team that believes JFK Jr. coming back from the grave.
Their multi-day protest in Phoenix has so far failed to secure a decisive vote in Arizona. But when Phoenix’s Maricopa County Board of Supervisors convened to confirm the vote Monday morning, many protesters lined up to riot to the meeting that is usually nothing to worry about.
During the public comment section of the meeting, several foreigners took turns holding the microphone. Oltmann used some of his time to call himself “the head of the election” and disparage transgender people.
Clements, who was asked to give his address before speaking at the local meeting, ignored the question by replying, “David Clements, slave. That’s who I am, for this system.”
Ben Bergquam, a California-based media personality and anti-vaccine who made the video earlier this year when hospitalized with COVID-19, also holding a microphone, told the supervisors that “if this election is certified, the only parties that will benefit are the cartels.” Kari Lake, Arizona’s failed Republican gubernatorial candidate, shared a video of the comments on Twitter.
While the protests have drawn goofy figures from the world of conspiracy theory, they have also drawn support from other more influential Republicans.
On Monday, Donald Trump promoted conspiracy theories about the Arizona election and called for the “appointment” of Lake to be governor.
Trump wrote on his Truth Social social media site: “A large volume of voting machines ‘DONE’ in Republican Counties on Election Day. “The mechanics sent in to ‘FIX’ them made them worse. Kari must be taken to a perfectly functioning Democratic precinct to vote. Her opponent ran the Election. This is yet another criminal voting operation – VERY CLEAR. Lake Kari should be installed Governor of Arizona. This is almost as bad as the 2020 Presidential Election, which the Opt-out Committee refuses to touch because they know it’s Fraud!
Lake has refused to acknowledge his loss and filed a lawsuit against Maricopa County last week.
Elsewhere in Arizona, other election certifications turned dramatic. In conservative Cochise County, supervisors refused to confirm the vote, violating the confirmation deadline before Monday night. Arizona’s secretary of state will file a lawsuit forcing the county to certify its vote, the Republic of Arizona report.