From the disturbing violence of Jan. 6 to the ongoing efforts to restrict voting and cast doubt on the integrity of the 2020 election, 2021 has shown us just how fragile our democracy is. This year also underscored the power of public records to expose misconduct, shine a light on corruption, and hold our leaders accountable to the people.
The latest revelations about the government officials, including elected lawmakers, who were involved in or supported former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn his loss are a potent reminder that the threats to U.S. democracy did not disappear with the end of his administration and that our work is as urgent as ever.
January 6 and Election-Overturning Ploys: The mob of Trump supporters who attacked the U.S. Capitol building may not have succeeded in preventing the certification of Joe Biden’s election, but they did demonstrate the frightening power wielded by the Big Lie. And there is still much we don’t know about that day, from the government’s apparent lack of preparedness to what Trump was doing during the attack and what accounted for the delay in sending National Guard troops. And we’re still learning about the extent of Trump’s schemes to illegally stay in power.
Election ‘Audits’ and Investigations: Despite multiple recounts, independent audits, and absolutely no evidence of irregularities that could have altered the outcome of the 2020 election, partisan activists have pushed several states to undertake baseless ballot reviews and unnecessary election investigations.
We’re still pushing for transparency for the Arizona Senate’s bogus “audit” of Maricopa County ballots. Our litigation has already helped expose the process for the sham it was:
In Wisconsin, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has said that the election investigation being run by attorney Michael Gableman will extend into 2022 and cost taxpayers even more than the $676,000 already allotted.
Of course, the election reviews in Arizona and Wisconsin are not the only partisan exercises that serve to undermine faith in our democracy. Our investigation of these efforts have revealed the web of Trump allies and Big Lie proponents who are working to expand their reach to other states. We uncovered new details about a problematic post-election audit in Pennsylvania’s Fulton County, and are investigating the Pennsylvania Senate’s partisan election probe as well as the Texas secretary of state’s audit of four large counties.
These efforts to bolster lies about widespread voter fraud and a “stolen” election have provided the pretext for 2021’s wave of voting restrictions.
The omicron variant’s rapid spread across the U.S. and the world comes as we approach the end of two full years of a pandemic that has resulted in a staggering loss of life and upending of society.
Part of Investigation: