As the winner of Nevada’s Senate election came into focus this weekend — and with it, the reality that Democrats would retain the upper chamber for two more years — a winner was also projected in another key race: That for Nevada’s secretary of state.
Jim Marchant (R), one of the most outspoken deniers of the 2020 election to run for office in 2022, lost to Cisco Aguilar (D). That made for a clean sweep: in states that could be key to determining the presidency in 2024, election deniers had run to control the states’ vote count and lost.
In two of those states — Arizona and Michigan — election deniers were on the ballot not just for secretary of state, but also for two other crucial roles for administering elections: governor and attorney general. In Michigan, these candidates lost too. In Arizona, the governor and attorney general races remain too close to call.
With the defeat of the MAGA secretaries of state, the possibility of a 2024 election in which state-level officials did the opposite of what Georgia’s Brad Raffensperger did in 2020 — and gave in to Donald Trump’s claims of a stolen election — becomes less likely.
Marchant was especially prolific, and particularly unsubtle: He headed up an “America First Secretaries of State coalition” that included candidates for the office in several states, as well as gubernatorial candidates Doug Mastriano (Pennsylvania) and Kari Lake (Arizona).
He helped convince Nye County, Nevada, commissioners to count ballots by hand, which is more vulnerable to error, mere weeks before Election Day. He has erroneously claimed that politicians from both parties have “installed anybody they want” in Nevada elections since 2008, and that elections are controlled by a “deep state cabal.” He decried the widespread usage of mail-in voting and called for limiting early voting.
That’s not to say election deniers were kept from overseeing election administration everywhere. In Indiana, for instance, Diego Morales, who has questioned the 2020 election results, won the office. In redder states, numerous candidates who had paid lip service to Trump’s lies were elected.
But the most visible candidates, like Republican secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem in Arizona, lost their races — though in his case, he has not gone quietly: Finchem has begun blaming his loss on the ongoing FTX scandal and… Ukraine?
Marchant, meanwhile, has been notably quiet since he lost to Aguilar this weekend.