Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey finds herself in a crowded primary as she seeks a second term this spring. And so, she’s resorting to a tried and true tactic in today’s Republican Party: Insisting, without proof, that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump.
“The fake news, big tech and blue state liberals stole the election from Donald Trump,” Ivey says at the start of her latest ad – running in advance of the state’s May 24 primary. “But here in Alabama, we’re making sure that never happens.”
Ivey goes on to note that the state “has not and will not send absentee ballots to everyone and their brother,” has “banned corrupt curbside voting” and “our results will always be audited.”
“The left is probably offended,” she says at the ad’s conclusion. “So be it. As long as I’m governor, we’re going to protect your vote.”
Which, candidly, is likely to play well in a primary where Ivey faces a well-funded challenge from Lindy Blanchard, who was the ambassador to Slovenia during the Trump administration, among a bevy of others.
The problem, of course, is that none of it is true.
There is zero evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. None. Zilch. Not only that, but there has NEVER been any widespread fraud found in a presidential election.
The notion that this is a major problem that governors like Ivey have to fix is an utter fiction.
What she’s doing is throwing out buzzwords – “corrupt curbside voting,” “audit” – that she knows the Trump base (and maybe the former President himself) will respond to. That’s it.
Let’s investigate Ivey’s assertion that Alabama will always audit the vote.
First of all, the vast majority of states already audit the presidential vote. (See this great table from the National Conference of State Legislatures for state-by-state info.) Alabama’s legislature passed a measure last month that would authorize an audit of the 2022 vote in 3 counties.
Second, in many of the most contested states in 2020, audits took place. Take Georgia, for one, where there were two machine recounts and a third statewide manual recount – all of which confirmed that Joe Biden narrowly beat Trump in the state.
These are undisputed facts. American elections are, already, pretty well protected from widespread fraud.
The unfortunate reality, of course, is that Ivey’s ad will likely accomplish what she wants it to in this race – branding her as part of the election deniers, led by the former President.
Increasingly, believing in a debunked conspiracy theory is the price of admission for Republican politics these days.