Mark Finchim: Arizona Republican Secretary of State nominee stands by electoral conspiracy theories in debate

“There are some counties that should have been set aside as irreparably vulnerable — Maricopa County was one of them. It was a county that was one of them,” the state’s Republican lawmaker said, echoing allegations he made in a February resolution that called for the revocation of certification. on the results of the 2020 elections in three Arizona counties — although legal experts say there is no legal mechanism to do so. “We have too many votes outside the law which begs the question, what are we going to do in an election where we have votes on the table, which shouldn’t be counted?”
Donald Trump endorsed Finchim, an Arizona Republican, in September 2021 after he became one of the most vocal supporters of the former president’s lies about the 2020 presidential election. Trump supports a wide range of election deniers vying for the position in November ) as he continues his relentless campaign to undermine and undermine the results of 2020.
Fenchim is one of at least 11 Republican candidates running for the state’s election presidency who have questioned, rejected or attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election, CNN’s Daniel Dale recorded last month — a trend that has alarmed election experts and further polarized public opinion. Public notice.

His assertions Thursday night — made when a mediator asked him if he would certify the 2020 presidential results — drew a sharp rebuke from Fontes, the Democratic nominee for secretary of state, who said Finchem had just explained why. It is too dangerous to be tasked with administering and supervising Arizona’s election systems.

“Our democracy is really based on the decisions (of) thousands of people — Republicans and Democrats alike — who did the job of elections. When we have conspiracy theories and lies like the one Mr. Fenchem just shared, it’s not true,” said Fontes, who previously worked as a registrar. To Maricopa County, “Evidence, what we ultimately do is erode the faith we have in one another as citizens.” “The kind of dichotomy, grounded in fact, not grounded in any evidence, that we have seen Mr. Finkim yell at is dangerous. on America.”

Fontes was elected as Maricopa County’s registrar in 2016 but was defeated in his 2020 re-election bid after he faced criticism for some of the changes he made to the county’s voting systems. Finkim has repeatedly criticized his performance at the registrar’s office on Thursday night.

In a Quinnipiac University poll last month, 67% of Americans said they believed the nation’s democracy was “in danger of collapse,” up 9 points from January.

As Trump contemplates running for the White House, Fenechem’s close alliance with the former president has come under close scrutiny because he will be tasked with managing and certifying the results of the 2024 presidential election in a pivotal swing that President Joe Biden did not win by a narrower margin. From 11,000 votes.

The office he seeks is also very important on the other hand because in Arizona, the Secretary of State is second only to the position of Governor.

Finchim co-sponsored legislation with fellow Republican lawmakers in Arizona that would allow lawmakers to reject election results and require election workers to count votes manually rather than using electronic equipment to tabulate results. He also asserted without evidence that early voting leads to electoral fraud and questioned whether it was constitutional.

During the 30-minute debate, sponsored by the Arizona Citizens’ Clean Elections Commission and broadcast on PBS in Arizona, Fontes, a former Marine, repeatedly tried to get Finchem to answer some of the ideas he proposed as a legislator such as restricting the ability to vote for postal route.

Finchim resisted, arguing that the Secretary of State does not set policy: “The Secretary of State does not take away people’s ability to vote. That is up to the legislature,” he said.

When a broker stepped in and pressed Finchem to answer whether he wanted to cancel mail-in voting, Finchem replied: “What I want doesn’t matter.”

Later he allowed that he “doesn’t care about voting by mail. That’s why I go to the polls.” The Republican congressman said he supports “absentee voting” programs, but not programs in which ballots are sent to voters who did not request them.

When a broker asked Finchim if the August primaries were fair, Finchim replied he had “no idea.” When I follow the medium by asking Fenchim what has changed between the 2020 presidential election and the Arizona primaries 2022, Fenchim replied: “The candidates.”

When asked about the role the federal government plays in the Arizona election, Fenechem said he believes the federal government “needs disruption,” adding that the legislature “should be the one who determines the time, place, and manner of elections, not the federal government.”

Fontes tried to extract Fenechem from some of his controversial associations — including that he was a self-proclaimed member of the far-right extremist group known as the Oaths of War — but the Republican lawmaker did not participate.
CNN’s KFile team uncovered a series of posts from Finchem where he shared anti-government conspiracy theories, including a Pinterest account with a “betrayal watchlist” (which included pictures of Democratic politicians) and pins of Barack Obama photos alongside pictures of a man in Nazi uniform performing a Nazi salute. .
Fontes also pressured Fenechem to explain what he was doing in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021.
Fenechem attended the January 6 rally leading up to the storming of the US Capitol – though he said he was not involved in the riots. At about that time, the Arizona Republic reported that he posted a photo online of rioters on the steps of the Capitol and said the events were “what happens when people feel they’ve been ignored, and Congress refuses to acknowledge rampant fraud.”

Fontes accused him of engaging in a “violent uprising” that tried to “overturn the constitution that binds this nation together.”

Finkim rejected this characterization. “Mr. Fontes just got caught up in a complete fantasy, creating something that didn’t exist,” he said. “The (Department of Justice) and the Commission (January 6) interviewed me as a witness … for him to confirm that I was part of a criminal uprising is absurd and frankly, it’s a lie.”

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