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Alabama among states where candidates pushing election conspiracy theories won

Election 2022 Security Threats Explainer
Lynne Sladky/AP
FILE - Employees test voting equipment at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department, Oct. 19, 2022, in Miami, in advance of the 2022 midterm elections on November 8. Top U.S. election security officials say protecting the nation’s voting systems has become increasingly more challenging. That’s due mostly to the embrace by millions of Americans of unfounded conspiracy theories and false claims about widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential race. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

Incoming Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen’s decision to withdraw Alabama from a voter information database was criticized by outgoing Secretary John Merrill. Allen claims it’s a matter of privacy, while Merrill says the data sharing system reduced voter fraud. Alabama’s new Secretary of State campaigned on issues like doing away with curbside voting, mail-in ballots, and no-excuse absentee voting. His actions were singled by the Associated Press on a list of election conspiracy theorists who won their elections, while voters rejected others.

As voting experts cheered the losses of election conspiracy theorists in numerous high-profile races on Election Day, Paddy McGuire prepared to hand over his office to one of them.

For example, Paddy McGuire, the auditor of Mason County in western Washington, lost his reelection bid to Steve Duenkel, a Republican who has echoed former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election. Republicans who supported Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election lost bids for elected offices that play key roles in overseeing voting in the six states that decided the last presidential election, as well as in races across the country. But an untold number won in local elections to control the positions that run on-the-ground election operations in counties, cities and townships

Of the nine Republicans running for secretary of state who echoed Trump’s lies about the 202 Presidential election or supported his efforts to overturn its results, three won — all in Republican-dominated states.

In Alabama, State House member Wes Allen didn’t wait to take office before making waves. Last week, he announced that once he becomes secretary of state he will withdraw from the multistate database of voter registrations. The system is designed to notify states when voters need to be removed because they’ve relocated, but it’s become a target of election conspiracy theorists.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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