Virginia Republican State Senator Amanda Chase used a radio interview on Tuesday to baselessly claim that Democrats are trying to “steal” the state’s impending gubernatorial election, the first major race to come in the wake of continued President Donald Trump’s lies that the 2020 presidential race was stolen from him.
“I know how the elections are being stolen and we are not going to allow that to happen this year, ”Chase said of the Democrats. during an interview on Tuesday, before launching a series of absurd claims about next month’s election. The interview was conducted by John Fredericks, a conservative radio host whose show Trump used last month to claim that Democrats try to steal the election.
Chase, who attended the January 6 rally during which Trump called on his followers to “stop the robbery” before the insurrection in the United States Capitol, has spent the last few weeks campaigning for Republican candidate for governor Glenn Youngkin.
Youngkin has flirted with Trump’s election-related conspiracies throughout the race without explicitly endorsing them, as it attempts to appeal to moderate voters without alienating Trump devotees who have bought into the lies the party has told about the 2020 election. But Chase’s comments, and his increasingly prominent role in the later stages of the contest, suggest that parts of the Republican Party have chosen to bet the contest primarily on the ability of election-related conspiracies to motivate conservative voters.
During the interview, Chase said he had “cleared his schedule” and planned to spend the last 10 days of the campaign working with and for Youngkin before the Nov. 2 election. She is also scheduled to appear at a wednesday event along with Republican Party lieutenant governor Winsome Sears and former Trump confidant Steve Bannon, who has also spread the lie that the 2020 election was stolen.
During election debates, Youngkin has said that he believes the 2020 election was “certifiably fair” and that he hopes to “have a fair and fair election” in Virginia this year. Youngkin’s campaign spokesman, Macaulay Porter, argued that former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Youngkin’s Democratic opponent, “is the only candidate in this race who has falsely claimed that an election was stolen,” pointing to McAuliffe’s earlier claims. that the 2000 presidential elections had been stolen from Al Sangre.
But Porter did not offer direct comment on the substance of Chase’s remarks and did not question Chase’s own characterization of herself as a stand-in for Youngkin’s campaign.
Throughout the 16-minute interview, Chase wove an increasingly bizarre web of conspiracies, lies, and other unsubstantiated claims about alleged plots to steal elections dating back to 2016. He claimed to be aware of Democratic plans to “fix” the 2016 presidential election, he cited the repeatedly discredited claim that votes had been illegitimately swapped during the 2020 presidential race, then claimed that Democrats are attempting to manipulate the governor’s race by manipulating voter lists, conducting “cyberattacks.” in voter registration files and using absentee ballot fraud.
She spoke of a meeting with Arizona State Representative Mark Finchem, a Republican candidate for secretary of state who has promoted conspiracy theories about Trump’s loss there last year. Chase said that he and other anonymous people who were part of recent meetings, including “the guy who stopped the cyber attacks” that were part of the alleged 2016 election plot, “showed me exactly how they are stealing the elections in Virginia.”
But this time, she said, she and other Republicans, including the Youngkin campaign, know how to thwart the elaborate conspiracy to steal the election that she says Democrats have engineered.
“I know how they are doing it,” Chase said. “They are moving, in the cyber world, they are changing inactive voters to active voters, all in the same week, it is undetectable. I know what they’re doing, John, and now the Youngkin campaign has all that information and they’re not going to deal with us this year. “
“Everybody saw thousands of votes being traded where Trump really lost votes,” Chase continued. “I know how they are doing it, and now the Youngkin campaign has it, and we are not going to allow that to happen. So I’m warning the Democrats. “
Fredericks elaborated on Chase’s theory, falsely accusing Democrats of using voter lists and registers to identify registered voters who were unlikely to cast their votes and then fraudulently filling out absentee ballots and placing them in mailboxes. .
“That’s just the tip of the iceberg,” Chase said.
There was no widespread fraud during last year’s election or any other in recent American history. Chase also failed to provide any evidence for his claim that Democrats are currently “cheating” on multiple fronts. Early voting in Virginia began on September 17, and thus far there have been no substantiated reports of embezzlement or wrongdoing.
“Glenn Youngkin and his top allies have one priority: bringing Donald Trump’s dangerous agenda to Virginia,” Virginia Democratic Party spokesman Manuel Bonder said in a statement. “Youngkin has made it clear: He would be more than happy to destroy our democracy if it means taking him and Trump to power. It does not belong to the government. “
Youngkin’s campaign spokeswoman Porter also criticized McAuliffe’s upcoming campaign tour with former Georgia State Representative Stacey Abrams, who refused to acknowledge her loss in the 2018 gubernatorial race over voter suppression claims and because his opponent, then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp, had also supervised the race he was running in. “The McAuliffe-Abrams Election Denier Tour will feature two of the top three electoral conspiracy theorists in the city. [Democratic] Party: The only one missing will be McAuliffe’s mentor, Hillary Clinton, ”Porter said. Both Abrams and McAuliffe have rejected such comparisons.
Youngkin has Said he thinks President Joe Biden won the elections legitimately. But he has also made “electoral integrity,” the euphemism Republicans have adopted for continue to nod toward Trump’s conspiracy theories and restrict voting rights, a centerpiece of your campaign.
Youngkin has said that he will create a “electoral integrity working group“As governor and he led the” electoral integrity “rallies that took place during this year’s contest. He has also pushed for voter identification laws and other policies that Republicans have tried to aggressively implement after last year’s election, and deliberately avoided the opportunity to rebut claims made by voters who have been asked about an alleged fraud or whether Trump could be reinstated as president. (It can’t be).
The problem has caused headaches for Youngkin over the course of the race, complicating his attempts to appeal to both conservative and moderate Trump voters, he would need to get the first state victory for the Virginia GOP since 2009. Youngkin is slightly behind McAuliffe , who served as governor from 2014 to 2018, in pre-election polls.
Last week, Youngkin requested audits of Virginia’s voting machines, a practice that is often legitimate but which McAuliffe criticized as an attempt to placate Virginia conservatives who want an Arizona-style “forensic audit” of the 2020 state elections. Youngkin later said it was just asking for the kind of legitimate audits Virginia already conducts, which McAuliffe has also supported.
Chase, who visited Arizona during her bogus “audit” earlier this year and also called for a similar process in Virginia, expressed her gratitude to Youngkin for not ruling out “Trump Republicans” like her.
“Glenn is really unifying the party,” he said during the interview. “And I know there are some Republicans who want to try to cancel Trump’s Republicans, and I really appreciate that Glenn didn’t do that. I mean, he’s really trying to bring us all together. “