Virginia’s GOP lawyer basic units up an ‘election integrity unit.’ Critics name it intimidation

Jason Miyares, Republican candidate for state attorney general, on Nov.  2, 2021, in Virginia Beach, Va.

Jason Miyares, Republican candidate for state lawyer basic, on Nov. 2, 2021, in Virginia Seaside, Va.

WASHINGTON – Virginia’s Republican lawyer basic introduced Friday he has created an “election integrity unit,” an obvious follow-up to Donald Trump’s unproven claims of voter fraud through the 2020 presidential balloting.

The workplace of Lawyer Basic Jason Miyares mentioned the brand new unit of greater than 20 attorneys, investigators, and paralegals “will present authorized recommendation to the Division of Elections” and “examine and persecute violations of the Virginia election legislation.”

“I pledged through the 2021 marketing campaign to work to extend transparency and strengthen confidence in our state elections,” Miyares mentioned in an announcement. “It needs to be simple to vote, and onerous to cheat.”

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin additionally promoted “election integrity” throughout his profitable marketing campaign for his jobs in 2021.

Trump and different Republicans have by no means confirmed that widespread voter fraud happened throughout his 2020 loss to President Joe Biden. Trump’s efforts to overturn the ends in key states – resulting in the tried rebel of Jan. 6, 2021 – are the topic of investigations by a particular congressional committee and grand juries in Washington, DC, and Atlanta.

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Quite a lot of authorized officers, judges, and lawmakers, together with some Republicans, have mentioned that Trump’s false claims about voter fraud are meant to undermine confidence within the political system.

Different states run by Republicans, together with Florida and Texas, have vowed to extend policing of election legal guidelines, techniques that opponents mentioned are getting used to intimidate and discourage Democratic voters.

Michael McDonald, a political science professor on the College of Florida who focuses on American elections, responded to the creation of the Virginia election unit by tweeting that that is “the place conservatism is at this time: losing taxpayer cash on non-existent issues.”

McDonald added that “undoubtedly no matter vote fraud shall be ‘discovered’ will goal communities of shade and Democrats, whereas Republicans are ignored.”

He and different critics additionally cited information studies that, in 2021, Youngkin’s 17-year-old son tried to forged a poll regardless that he was not sufficiently old to vote.

“The place do I am going to report this vote fraud?” McDonald’s tweeted.

This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Election integrity: Critics name voter fraud effort intimidation ruse