Election officials in a Republican-leaning California county on Tuesday voted to dump their Dominion voting machines and attempt to hand-count elections moving forward after being influenced by right-wing conspiracy theories about the security of the Dominion systems.
And of course MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell is involved.
Earlier this month, Lindell encouraged county officials to drop their contract with Dominion and communicated with county officials as they voted to dump the machines. After county officials voted to move to a hand-count system on Tuesday, Lindell celebrated the development Wednesday morning on his show “The Lindell Report” and offered once again to “cover” any legal expenses the county might incur by ditching the machines.
When right-wing TV personality Brannon Howse asked how he felt about national media saying he’s to blame, Lindell responded in the affirmative: “I want to be to blame. That’s fine,” he said before encouraging “everyone in this country” to go to their county clerks and “say we want paper ballots hand-counted.”
At the Shasta County officials’ Tuesday meeting, members of the elections board considered two alternatives to the Dominion machines now that they’ve ditched the devices: replace them with a different electronic voting system or try counting all ballots by hand.
They voted 3-2 to hand-count the ballots by the end of the day, an expensive process that could open the county up to errors.
“It’s pretty clear the supervisors don’t quite understand what they’ve undertaken,” Shasta County elections chief Cathy Darling Allen told SFGATE, saying she was “in a little bit of shock” about the decision.
The move could prove costly and complicated for the county because state and federal laws require states to provide voters with disabilities access to electronic voting equipment. During the meeting, Board President Patrick Jones introduced a motion to create a plan to provide these accommodations while requiring most other voters to use paper ballots.
Supervisor Mary Rickert introduced a third option: re-entering a contract with Dominion. But her proposal was quickly struck down by Jones and Supervisors Kevin Crye and Chris Kelstrom.
Jones and Crye were among the ultraconservative board members who first campaigned against using Dominion equipment, which became the target of such a virulent disinformation campaign that the company has filed multiple defamation suits for billions of dollars, most notably against Fox News for $1.6 billion.
Crye had also been in touch with Lindell, who offered to provide “all the resources necessary, both including financial and legal,” to defend the county’s choices, Lindell told the Los Angeles Times.
Lindell reiterated that promise on Wednesday morning. “If they go after them with lawsuits, we’re gonna cover them,” he said. His fuzzy financial status, however, could make that a tall order.
Lindell was a major instigator in the right-wing war against Dominion Voting Systems; he’s also the subject of a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit that may be draining his company.
“The machine companies continue to sue us for billions of dollars, and we had to borrow almost $10 million at MyPillow,” he told fellow Trump crony Steve Bannon earlier this month, before walking back his complaints a few hours later.