Election Victory Progress Tracker: April 10th to 21st 2023
North Carolina – In North Carolina, two election officials initially refused to certify the results of the November 2022 elections. However, one of the officials ultimately decided to certify the results. Additionally, there was a redo election in the state this year under unusual circumstances involving a poll worker.
Georgia – A grand jury in Georgia concluded its investigation into former President Donald Trump’s efforts to disrupt the 2020 presidential elections in the state. Though the full report has been withheld to protect potential future defendants, it is known that the grand jury recommended perjury charges against one or more witnesses. The investigation examined various issues, including Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud and his coercive phone call to Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger. Notably, Trump’s former personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is a target of the investigation, along with 16 people involved in a fake elector scheme. Despite the possibility of imminent indictments, Trump claimed the grand jury’s findings were a “total exoneration.”
Texas – Tarrant County Elections Administrator Heider Garcia resigned from his position, which he had held since 2018. His resignation came after a meeting with County Judge Tim O’Hare, where differences in ideas for running transparent elections became apparent. Garcia emphasized that his approach to administering a quality, transparent election was based on respect and zero politics, and compromising on those values was not an option. In August 2022, it was reported that Garcia had received death threats following the 2020 presidential election, including threats to his children. Additionally, in February 2023, Tarrant County officials announced the formation of an election integrity unit, a decision that Garcia was not informed of in advance. Garcia’s resignation will take effect on June 23, 2023, allowing his staff to complete duties for upcoming municipal elections.
Montana – In Montana, a state legislative committee shelved a GOP-backed proposal that aimed to alter the 2024 U.S. Senate primary by allowing only the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, to advance to the general election, effectively blocking third-party candidates. The measure was seen as an attempt to undermine Democratic Sen. Jon Tester’s reelection chances, as his seat is pivotal for control of the Senate. Criticized as an effort to rig the election, the proposal faced opposition from Democratic lawmakers, Libertarian party representatives, and some Republicans. Rep. Gregory Frazer, a Republican, moved to table the bill, leading to a committee vote that ultimately shelved the measure. The bill’s sponsor claimed the intent was to prevent election manipulation by promoting third-party candidates, but critics argued that the proposal, shaped by Republican lobbyist Chuck Denowh, represented irresponsible interference by outside interests. Both major parties in Montana have used third parties to their advantage in past elections, including funding third-party candidates to peel away votes from opponents.
National – Fox News reached a settlement in a defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems, agreeing to pay $787.5 million to resolve the case. The lawsuit was filed in response to Fox News’ promotion of misinformation related to the 2020 election. While this settlement addresses the legal threat posed by Dominion, Fox News continues to face another lawsuit from Smartmatic USA, another voting technology company, which is seeking $2.7 billion over the network’s coverage of debunked election-rigging claims. Dominion accused both Fox News and its parent company, Fox Corp, in the lawsuit.
National – The Elias Law Group, a Democratic election law firm led by Marc Elias, has been hit with a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). According to the complaint, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) paid the Elias Law Group nearly $5.2 million for legal services classified as “RECOUNT LEGAL SVCS” from October 2021 to July 2022. The complaint, brought by the Committee to Defeat the President on April 10, 2023, alleges that these payments were made despite no federal recounts taking place during that time period and several months remaining until the November 2022 midterm elections. The complainant argues that the payments were made in the absence of any pending federal election recounts.