Republican Arizona Election Officials Debunk Kari Lake’s Misinformation About ElectionDefeated Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake’s Baseless “Slow-Roll” Vote Count Claim Called “Offensive”

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

Bill Gates, the Republican Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors had no patience for defeated gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s misinformation about the election as she refused to concede despite losing to Governor-elect Katie Hobbs.

Gates, a member of Lake’s own party, slammed Lake’s rhetoric as “offensive.”

He and other Maricopa county officials were prepared for this kind of false rhetoric and charges. They’d spent the last two years preparing for an onslaught of falsehoods and misinformation after the 2020 presidential election led to spurious claims that the election had been stolen from former-President Trump. The state’s Republican-led senate pushed for an partisan election review” of the results the following year only to produce a finding that validated President Biden’s victory.

Starting in May 2022, officials began speaking publicly about what to expect from the drumbeat of election deniers both inside and outside of Arizona. The county has held regular press conferences since early October, and has briefed the public almost daily since the November 8 election to quickly respond to claims of fraudulence and mismanagement.

At one such press conference last week, Democratic Sheriff Paul Penzone spoke alongside Mr. Gates and remarked on the climate of election denialism focused on the county. “What’s the saying, a lie travels around the world … 10,000 times before the truth even gets started?” he said. “That’s what we’re seeing here. We’re seeing people empowered by saying things that make them feel good, and they’re not accountable for it, and they lie.”

GOP-Leaning Wall Street Journal Ed Board Says Kari Lake Election Loss A Repudiation of Election Conspiracy TheoriesLake’s Failure Just One of Three Arizona Races Lost by GOP-Backed 2020 Election Deniers

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

A November 16 piece published by the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board called Kari Lake’s loss in the Arizona gubernatorial race “evidence” that the former news anchor’s Trump-endorsed brand of combative election denialism is an obvious “loser” for the GOP.

The historically right-leaning editorial board noted that two other election-deniers running statewide races for U.S. Senate and Secretary of State also lost, both by nearly 5 point margins. The latest results from the Attorney General’s race, which has yet to be called, shows Trump-endorsed candidate Abraham Hamadeh trailing his Democratic opponent.

Down the ballot, the editorial board observed that Republican State Treasurer Kimberley Yee won re-election by a sizable margin without resorting to Ms. Lake’s disproven claims about fraudulent returns in the 2020 election. Additionally, the remaining Republican statewide office candidate who did not challenge the 2020 Arizona election results, Tom Horne, won the Superintendent of Public Instruction race.

The Journal concludes thusly: “Kari Lake is a telegenic fraud theorist straight out of Mar-a-Lago casting, running in a historically red state, in a year with an unpopular Democratic President and 8% inflation. If Ms. Lake couldn’t win on “Stop the Steal” in 2022, it’s hard to see how anyone else can pull it off.”

Experts, Local Leaders Have High Confidence in Michigan Election Results and SecurityMichigan Public Policy Survey finds leaders very confident in 2022 election processes and results.

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

Michigan’s leaders are more confident than before in the state’s ability to administer elections. The state’s Public Policy Survey recently found that township and city officials are even more certain of election security than they were in 2020.

In the aftermath of false claims about the integrity of the 2020 presidential election, won by Joe Biden, election security has become a pressing topic. The Michigan Public Policy Survey, conducted in spring 2022, found that 92 percent of Michigan officials are “very confident in their jurisdiction’s ability to administer an accurate election” this November.

85 percent of officials feel certain that the “vote results, voting machines, and voter rolls” in their jurisdictions will be secure, which represents a rise of over 20 percent from 2020. Accordingly, leaders’ expectations of mistakes in voting procedure and other Election Day malfunctions have gone down since 2020. Leaders’ concerns about poll staffing have also gone down, though about a third of surveyed officials, mostly from “larger jurisdictions,” still indicate that recruitment is an issue.

However, officials are slightly more concerned than they were in 2020 about voter perceptions of the election. Only 52 percent of officials “believe that their own residents are very confident” in the elections that will be held in their communities in November. And nearly 20 percent of officials point to “intentional disinformation” about the election as a source of concern. Nearly 30 percent of officials in large districts say that disinformation is an issue in their communities.

Candidates Debate Differences On Abortion Rights In Michigan; Dixon Calls Single Working Women “Lonely”Abortion in Michigan faces an uncertain future following the fall of Roe v. Wade, and the issue took center stage in the first debate between Governor Whitmer and GOP nominee Tudor Dixon.

In first debate, Michigan gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon (R) remained firm on her opposition to abortion rights, including in cases of rape or incest.

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

For now, a 91-year-old law that would jail women who seek abortions and the doctors who provide them, even in cases of rape or incest, cannot be enforced. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer filed a lawsuit to block the law and a Circuit Court Judge issued an injunction.

This contrasts with the position of Tudor Dixon, the Republican nominee for governor, who supports enforcement of the law and recently doubled down on her opposition to abortion.

During the debate, Whitmer reminded voters of Dixon’s position: “This is a candidate who said a 14-year-old child raped by a family member is a ‘perfect example’ of why we shouldn’t have abortion rights,” adding, “To protect our rights, we cannot trust Mrs. Dixon.”

At an event following the debate, Dixon attacked Whitmer, saying Michiganders “don’t have support for families… unless they look exactly the way she wants… Single women working. That’s like her dream… Last time I checked, that’s a pretty lonely life.”

In First Debate, Whitmer Touts Lowering Health Care Costs, Job Creation, Fastest Small Business Growth in 23 YearsAbortion in Michigan faces an uncertain future following the fall of Roe v. Wade, and the issue took center stage in the first debate between Governor Whitmer and GOP nominee Tudor Dixon.

Michigan has had one of the strongest economic recoveries in the country... I will continue to move Michigan forward and boost our economy. Governor Whitmer in Grand Rapids

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

Michigan’s economy took center stage in the first debate between Governor Whitmer and her Republican opponent, Tudor Dixon.

Whitmer addressed inflation head-on, saying, “A Governor cannot fix global inflation but we can keep more money in your pocket.” Whitmer pointed to record job growth and an economic recovery that Bloomberg News called number one in the country. Under Governor Whitmer, Michigan has seen more than 30,000 new auto jobs and the fastest small business growth in 23 years.

The Governor made news during the debate by calling for a tripling of the Earned Income Tax Credit, ending the retirement tax, and suspending the state sales tax on gas.

This fall, Governor Gretchen Whitmer took action to lower costs for working families by signing an executive directive to take advantage of tax credits and other opportunities made available in the Inflation Reduction Act.

Experts say this will significantly lower health care costs for Michigan families. The legislation allows Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices while capping out-of-pocket expenses at $2,000/year. Insulin costs for Medicare are now capped at $35 per month.

Tudor Dixon, the Republican nominee for governor, opposed the legislation and called on Michigan’s congressional delegation to vote no.

Tudor Dixon Confirms Support for Criminalizing Abortion in Cases of Rape, Incest; Whitmer Vows to Defend RightsAbortion in Michigan faces an uncertain future following the fall of Roe v. Wade, and the issue took center stage in the first debate between Governor Whitmer and GOP nominee Tudor Dixon.

Tudor Dixon (R) has said a 14-year-old-girl raped by a family member is a

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

Tudor Dixon stood behind her previous remarks about abortion and confirmed that she supports a 1931 Michigan law that does not provide exceptions to an abortion ban in cases of rape and incest.

In an interview, Dixon was asked about whether a 14-year-old who had been raped by her uncle should be permitted access to an abortion and she said that this was a “perfect example.” She has also suggested that right to an abortion creates “a safe haven” for sexual predators. “If you’re a predator, there’s nothing you like more than abortion,”

Dixon’s position stands in contrast to that of Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who has sued to block the 91-year-old Michigan law, which would make abortion illegal even in the case of rape and incest, from going into effect. Whitmer has said abortion is a personal decision that should remain between women and their families, their doctors, and their God — not politicians.

Changes to Voting Process from 2018 Means Ballots Can Be Counted Faster, Say ExpertsAdjustments to Michigan voting laws from proposition 3, passed in 2018, allow for no-excuses absentee voting, same-day registration for voting in person, fastervote tally, and help prevent fraud experts say.

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

Popular changes to the voting process in 2018 will help speed up vote counting and ensure vote integrity in 2022’s upcoming election, experts say.

Proposition 3, which passed with over 66% approval in 2018 made important changes to Michigan’s voting laws, ensuring freer and fairer elections.

Among them, Prop 3 brought Michigan in line with 37 other states by allowing no-excuse absentee ballots, a change that will help working parents and other voters with time constraints. This change also means that voters can vote early allowing for processing of ballots before election day. This means counts can come in sooner once election day is over, and experts say this will help speed up the voting process and avoid fraud. Further, it created a built-in election audit that ensures accuracy and transparency within the process, which involved hundreds of Republican, Democratic and nonpartisan municipal and county clerks from more than 1,300 local jurisdictions, hand counting more than 18,000 randomly-selected ballots throughout the state.

Prop 3 also allows citizens to register to vote anytime with proof of residency, meaning voters can now register to vote on election day itself. At least 17 other states including Idaho, Colorado, and Wisconsin also allow same-day registration.

The popular measure featured several other measures that experts say have improved the voting process in Michigan including protecting the right to vote in secret ballots, ensuring military service members and overseas voters can obtain ballots, restoring the option to vote straight party, and automatically registering citizens to vote at the Secretary of State’s Office unless the citizen declines.

Strong Turnout in Michigan Early Voting as 1.77 Million Absentee Ballots Requested52% increase in absentee ballot requests since 2018, the last gubernatorial election, indicates strong early voting turnout as early voting is underway.

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

The Michigan Secretary of State’s Office reported that 1.77 million Michigan voters have requested absentee ballots as of October 22nd indicating a strong turnout in the upcoming election to vote for key statewide and state legislature offices.

This year, Michigan voters will choose key statewide leaders including Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, members of the state’s House of Representatives and the State Senate. Additionally, there are three ballot measures that would address: 1) changing existing term-limits laws and require better financial disclosure by state lawmakers and statewide office holders, 2) expand voting access in future elections, and 3) making reproductive freedom a right in the state constitution (and repealing a 1931 law that makes abortion a felony).

This surge in turnout marks a 52% increase for the same timeframe in 2018 when 1.16 were requested during the last gubernatorial election and before voters passed no-excuse absentee voting.

As a consequence of this adjustment of voting laws in 2018, 3.2 million mail-in ballots were cast in 2020, which also saw the second highest voter turnout in Michigan history. Indeed, in some counties, the number of absentee ballots requested is almost 50% the total number of votes cast for 2018.

In-person early voting has been underway since October 24th.

GOP Attorney General Candidate Matt DePerno Under Investigation for Tampering With 2020 Voting MachinesGOP Att. Gen. candidate Matthew DePerno is under investigation for tampering with voting machines; his Dem. opponent, Att. Gen. Dana Nessel, says election was “legitimate.”

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

Republican candidate for Attorney General Matthew DePerno is being investigated for possible tampering with voting machines in the wake of the 2020 election.

A state investigation has already “revealed that DePerno, state Rep. Daire Rendon, and seven others ‘orchestrated a coordinated plan to gain access to voting machines.’” Michigan Chief Deputy Attorney General Christina Grossi said that DePerno and others gained unauthorized access to machines in Roscommon County, Richfield Township, Lake Township and Irving Township.

The current Attorney General, Democrat Dana Nessel, has said the 2020 election results reflect the “legitimate vote of millions of people in the state of Michigan.”

An investigation by the Republican-led Senate Oversight Committee concurred with Nessel’s conclusion. It spent considerable time debunking DePerno’s voter fraud claims and found that “citizens should be confident the results represent the true results of the ballots cast by the people of Michigan.” It also asked for a criminal investigation into “those who have been utilizing misleading and false information about Antrim County to raise money or publicity for their own ends.”

Observers say this was clearly pointing the finger at DePerno—and likely launched the initial probe—given that the attorney filed an election lawsuit in Antrim County that was rejected by a Republican-appointed judge and raised more than $300,000 for an “election fraud defense fund.”

DePerno is backed by Donald Trump, who lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden in Michigan by 154,000 votes, but continues to falsely claim the election results were illegitimate.

Michigan State Sec. Race: Benson Stays Focused On Ensuring Fair Elections While Karamo Touts Debunked Election Conspiracy TheoriesSecretary of State Jocelyn Benson asks lawmakers for $100 million to improve election processes for Michiganders, while GOP opponent Kristina Karamo falsely claims 2020 election results were illegitimate.

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has “a moral and legal duty to stand by the will of the people” as she oversees the state’s elections.

A law professor who has served Michiganders as Secretary of State since 2018, Benson has plans to ensure that Michigan’s 2022 elections will proceed smoothly. “Michigan voters deserve election results on election night and for their elections to be sufficiently funded,” she says. Benson has asked the state legislature to allocate $100 million for “upgrading machines, training election workers and challengers,” educating voters, and providing security at polling places. She has also asked for faster pre-processing of absentee ballots and the option of allowing military members deployed overseas to vote electronically.

Benson’s GOP opponent, Kristina Karamo, has earned endorsements from Trump and other election deniers, including Republican ex-Senator Patrick Colbeck and podcaster “Trucker” Randy Bishop, as she echoes false claims of election fraud. Trump has said that Karamo will combat the “massive crime” of election fraud.

Trump lost the presidential election in Michigan by 154,000 votes, as confirmed by over 250 audits on both the state and local level. A Republican-led Senate report confirmed that there was no “widespread or systematic fraud in Michigan.”

Biden Outlines Global Strategy to Tackle China, Russia, and Support U.S. Middle ClassNational security strategy aims to support the American middle class while identifying China as primary and strategic concern and competitor, outlining goals of containing an increasingly dangerous Russia, and working with allies to address issues of climate change and oil prices.

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

President Joe Biden laid out his first national security strategy this month, reported the AP, laying out a vision of the a “decisive” next decade and an American strategy, which prioritizes the needs and interests of the American middle class while checking China, containing an aggressive Russia, and working with allies to address a narrowing window of opportunity for addressing climate change.

Laying out the Biden Administration’s priorities, the strategy document states, “we understand that if the United States is to succeed abroad, we must invest in our innovation and industrial strength, and build our resilience, at home…Likewise, to advance shared prosperity domestically and to uphold the rights of all Americans, we must proactively shape the international order in line with our interests and values.”

The strategy clearly identifies China as the only real competitor for the U.S. with both the desire and capability to “reshape the international order.” Nevertheless, the strategy also deals directly with emergent and continuing threats from Russia, price manipulations of oil by Saudi Arabia, and ongoing global crises like climate change, food insecurity, pandemics, and inflation.

Speaking in an introduction to the document, Biden said, “around the world, the need for American leadership is as great as it has ever been. We are in the midst of a strategic competition to shape the future of the international order,” stressing the need for nations to measure up to their responsibilities, especially in this difficult moment.

Commenting specifically on the issue of oil prices, Biden indicated that they were exploring economic responses to Saudi Arabia’s announcement that they would cut oil production, threatening a further increase on oil prices.

Social Security Payouts Have Highest Increase in Over 40 Years Cost-of-living increase of 8.7% will boost monthly payments and is aimed at helping Social Security’s 70 million recipients weather high inflation.

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

The Social Security Administration announced that its recipients will receive an 8.7% increase in payments averaging at $1,827 a month for 2023, reported CNN. This is the largest increase since 1981, and it is squarely aimed at helping approximately 70 million senior citizens tackle inflation.

In another rare event, Medicare premiums are slated to decrease, one of only four times since Medicare was created in 1965 creating what Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at The Senior Citizens League, called a “once-in-a-retirement event” where there is “a historically high COLA, and at the same time, Part B premiums are going down next year.”

Acting commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Kilolo Kijakazi, said that the combination of these two decreases “will give seniors some peace of mind and breathing room” as 37% of elderly men and 42% of elderly women depend on Social Security payments for at least half of their income.

While this increase is undoubtedly good news, it remains to be seen whether it will fully keep up with inflation and some experts would like to see Social Security payout increases tied to an index that specifically measures inflation affecting the elderly. The current metric instead reflects price changes for urban wage earners and clerical workers, which does not take into account the increased cost of healthcare for the elderly.