Royal Oak Tribune
Great Lakes states deliver election deniers a stiff rebuke
‘It doesn’t mean that denial’s gone away’
Voters rejected election deniers across the country last week. But they did so with particular verve along the Great Lakes.
In Minnesota, the Democratic secretary of state defeated by a 10-point margin a Republican challenger who baselessly called the 2020 election rigged and pushed for restricting early voting. In Wisconsin, voters handed Gov. Tony Evers (D) a second term, declining to reward a candidate backed by former president Donald Trump who left open the possibility of trying to reverse the last presidential election. In Pennsylvania, Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) crushed Republican Doug Mastriano, who had highlighted his willingness to decertify voting machines if he won the governorship.
But perhaps the biggest statement on democracy came in Michigan, where voters by large margins rebuffed a slate of Republican election deniers running for governor, attorney general and secretary of state. They also embraced an amendment to the state constitution that expands voting
rights and makes it much more difficult for officials to subvert the will of voters. In the process, they flipped the legislature with the help of new legislative maps drawn by a nonpartisan commission, giving Democrats complete control of state government for the first time in 40 years.
All of that led Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) to make a bold prediction, one that might have seemed far-fetched before the vote: “Democracy ultimately will emerge from this time period stronger than ever before - more robust, healthier, with more people engaged and believing in it than perhaps they did back in 2018 or 2019.”
In other battlegrounds across the country, voters rebuffed election deniers, but in many cases not as resoundingly as they did in the states bordering the Great Lakes. Katie Hobbs (D) beat election denier Kari Lake (R) by a slim margin in the Arizona race for governor. Denialism is one of several issues expected to play prominently next month in Georgia’s runoff race between Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D) and Republican Herschel Walker, who has embraced Trump’s lies about the 2020 election.
Jeff Timmer, a former executive director of the Michigan Republican Party who now works for the antiTrump Lincoln Project, said Democrats performed exceptionally well in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin because they have honed their appeal to voters in a set of states that went for Trump in 2016, only to return in 2020 to their pattern of voting Democratic in presidential elections.