Kansas election security forum mixes campaign calls with concerns about election misconduct

OLATHE — Republican nominee for Secretary of State Mike Brown joined Monday in an election integrity discussion focused on conspiracy theories about election misconduct in Kansas and other states that have potentially deprived President Donald Trump from a second term and threatened the future of the nation.

“This room is full of people because there are doubts about our elections. When there’s doubt about elections, it’s corrosive to our democracy, to our republic, to our way of life,” Brown said at the event co-ordinated by the Conservatives’ Political Action Committee for the United States. electoral integrity.

Brown pledged to ban ballot boxes used to facilitate Kansan voting. He challenged the decision of Secretary of State Scott Schwab, the state’s top election official since 2019, to defer prosecution of alleged voter fraud to Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office.

“We will investigate and prosecute election crimes in our state. I promise you we will not back down,” he said.

Brown’s campaign has come under scrutiny for voting as a member of the Johnson County Commission to accept an $850,000 grant from the Center for Tech and Civic Life to help fund election operations from the county in 2020. At that time, Brown called the money a “pleasant surprise.”

However, as the GOP candidate for Secretary of State, Brown denounced Facebook executive Mark Zuckerberg’s $350 million donation for campaign grants to local government across the country, including the county. of Johnson, during the election cycle dominated by COVID-19. Brown did not mention the political dispute during his presentation to hundreds gathered in a ballroom at an Olathe hotel to preview conspiracy allegations that failed to gain traction in court. of the country, but which remained the focus of those frustrated by the loss of Trump in 2020.

The event was hosted by Lara Logan, CBS News correspondent from 2002 to 2018. She was hired by the conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group in 2019 before joining the Fox News streaming service in 2020. She created controversy over social media for embracing Trump voter fraud. claims and drew attention by comparing presidential medical adviser Anthony Fauci to Nazi doctor Josef Mengele.

At various points in the roundtable, participants drifted away from electoral issues. Brown, for example, went from a description of electoral system contracts to a point about why the Kansas GOP had no room for “milquetoast, Republican in name only, lousy Republicans.”

Kansas State Senators Mike Thompson and Mark Steffen, Republicans who have sounded the alarm over voter fraud in Kansas, joined Brown for the roundtable.

Logan asked the panelists if Republicans also cheat when it comes to thwarting voters’ will. Crowd members shouted “yes,” but only Thompson answered his question. He said he didn’t care who was breaking the law, because everything had to be stopped.

An election integrity forum hosted by conservative political organizations in Olathe featured Johnson County election conspiracy theorist Thad Snider, Kansas Secretary of State, candidate Mike Brown, Republican Senator Mike Thompson and GOP Senator Mark Steffen. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Thompson, a retired television weather forecaster, said passing sufficient election law was difficult in the Legislature despite GOP two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate.

“There are a lot of people who are shy,” Thompson said.

Steffen, who has repeatedly endorsed Brown’s bid for secretary of state, said Kansas’ voting process had been overwhelmed by computer technology to the point that it was impossible to know whether individuals , corrupt companies or countries were altering votes or results.

“Who knows what’s going on? he said. “It’s a classic situation where simplicity wins. What angers me about our Kansas state government, the federal government, and every state, is the money we spend on technology, on computers. We have to invest in people. I would much rather pay someone $50,000 a year to have a Big Chief pencil and notebook and count the votes.

Steffen also said the U.S. Supreme Court has failed Americans in handing over fundamental constitutional questions about elections — as well as abortion — in a way that some parents have failed their children.

“They’re a bunch of eggheads who are chosen to be United States Supreme Court justices who aren’t smart in the real world,” the senator said. “They didn’t have the cojones to take on a case (Trump’s election) that changes the course of our country.”

Thad Snider, a Johnson County resident who claimed responsibility for voter fraud in Johnson County, said lazy reporters refused to write about the truth of election misconduct. He suggested that these flawed journalists might as well work for Pravda, the Russian news agency. He said Johnson County’s acceptance of Zuckerberg’s grants was a big mistake.

He said 10% of ballots should be audited to get a better idea of ​​the overall accuracy of the system. Additionally, perhaps 7,000 votes were miscounted in a recent Johnson County election because the chain of custody of the ballots was not documented. He alleged that there was ballot trafficking and that the video surveillance of ballot boxes was a joke.

Snider also declared his support for State Sen. Dennis Pyle, a Hiawatha resident who quit the GOP to run for governor as an independent. Pyle was in the audience. His idea is to shake up the November race between Democratic Governor Laura Kelly and Schmidt, the Republican attorney general.

Johnson County Sheriff Calvin Hayden said department investigators continue to review the potential for voter fraud in the county.  He promised that the deputies "to squeeze" oversight and security of future Johnson County elections because things were "just not smelling good." (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)
Johnson County Sheriff Calvin Hayden said agency investigators continue to review potential voter fraud. He promised deputies would “tighten up” oversight and security of future Johnson County elections because things “just didn’t feel good.” (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Johnson County Sheriff Calvin Hayden, who launched an investigation into potential election crimes in Johnson County, said he grew suspicious when Democrat registrations increased between 2016 and 2020 in Johnson County. Johnson. He also accused Kelly of making a “terrible” deal with the ACLU to pass information about voting opportunities through state agencies to individuals.

“That tells me corruption is rising to the top,” Hayden said. “Everything I look at just doesn’t smell good. We will continue to watch this. I want nothing more than to handcuff the people who did this.

He said Johnson County deputies would be given electoral duties to “enhance” oversight and security of the vote. He added: “We will solve this problem.”

In separate video appearances at the event, Republican candidates for secretary of state from Colorado and Arizona spoke about election challenges.

Mark Finchem, a member of the Arizona House backed by Trump in the secretary of state contest, said there was enough evidence of electoral misconduct in Arizona for the state Senate to issue subpoenas to appear. He was aligned with the Oath Keepers militia group.

It is part of a federal lawsuit seeking an injunction against the use of machines to tally votes in Arizona in the upcoming election due to the potential for hacking.

“That means we would move to paper ballots and manual counting,” Finchem said.

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who faces a 13-count indictment in Colorado for alleged tampering with election materials and official misconduct, said Americans willing to fight for the integrity of the elections had to stand up to powerful government forces. She is a Republican candidate for Secretary of State of Colorado.

Peters, who compared Secretary of State Jena Griswold to a Nazi secret police agent, said the legal effort that ensnared her was motivated by the type of people who wanted the United States ” fail”.

“We’re up against a big machine,” Peters said. “This is a globalist takeover.”

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