Jim Hartman: Election Law and Bizarre Conspiracy Theories

jim hartmann

Far-right Republican gubernatorial candidate Joey Gilbert lost his race to Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo by more than 26,000 votes on June 14 (38% to 27%).
This result was confirmed by a statewide recount that cost Gilbert $191,000, paid for by Robert Beadles, a millionaire cryptocurrency activist.
Gilbert, a criminal defense and personal injury attorney, refused to accept defeat in the primary election. Instead, he filed a lawsuit claiming the race was rigged. He claims that a mysterious algorithm was inserted into the election machines that overturned at least 55,000 votes in favor of Lombardo.
The lawsuit is based on an apparent ‘analysis’ by an ‘expert mathematician’ that an ‘illegal formula’ was used to tally the votes with ‘predetermined results’ and Gilbert’s loss was a ‘mathematical impossibility’.
The claims center on a 40-page analysis by election conspiracy theorist Edward Solomon who has alleged since the 2020 election that “algorithms” are responsible for changing the vote.
Solomon’s claims regarding Georgia’s 2020 presidential election were repeatedly debunked by expert fact checkers and ultimately proven false by a manual ballot count, which confirmed the result.
According to details released in the libel suit brought by Dominion Voting Systems, Solomon does not have a math degree and served two years in prison for drug trafficking.
A Carson City judge has set a trial date in the case for August 12.
While Gilbert’s vote claims are bizarre, they are reminiscent of President Trump asking attorney Sidney Powell to be his “special adviser” to investigate the alleged theft of the December 2020 election.
Media liberals howled in derision at Powell’s wacky conspiracy theories about the election. She claimed Dominion voting machines were rigged by Iran, China and Venezuelan Hugo Chavez (who died in 2013). Total absurdity.
But Democrats have their own wackos who have promoted wild conspiracy theories about voting machines.
In 2004, serious, prominent, and respected Democrats argued that Diebold’s voting machines had been rigged in Ohio, overturning votes from John Kerry to George Bush. Bush won Ohio by more than 118,000 votes, but without Ohio he would have lost the election.
The “gist” of the conspiracy theory was that the CEO of Diebold, which supplied some of Ohio’s voting machines, was a Bush supporter. And, one of Diebold’s computer engineers “gave $25,000 to the Republican National Committee in 2000.”
Diebold’s conspiracy theory was silly and completely debunked.
Yet during the official 2004 Electoral College vote count, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) and Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) objected to Ohio voting for the election, forcing both houses to debate Ohio’s electoral votes for two hours.
Thirty-one House Democrats and Boxer erroneously voted not to count Ohio’s electoral votes.
In early July, former U.S. Senator John Danforth and seven other prominent Republicans released a report titled “LOST, NOT STOLEN: The Conservative Case that Trump Lost and Biden Won the 2020 Presidential Election.”
The 72-page report studied the 64 cases containing 187 charges brought by Trump and his supporters in six battleground states, including Nevada.
In Nevada, Trump and his supporters brought 10 cases with 28 counts challenging the results. They failed to prove fraud or impropriety sufficient to overturn the election result in any Nevada court or investigation.
There is no evidence that Dominion’s voting machines and software were tampered with or that the Agilis Sorting Systems machine used to verify signatures was unreliable.
Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske conducted numerous inquiries into the election results and repeatedly confirmed the integrity of the election, finding no allegations of election misconduct that would impact the election outcome.
Cegavske certified the results, with Biden carrying Nevada by 33,596 votes.
A critical finding: The Danforth Report notes that Trump lost the election because a small but important subset of Republican voters backed GOP candidates by vote — but not Trump for president.
Email Jim Hartman at [email protected]

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