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Gov. Inslee proposes bill making it illegal for elected leaders, candidates to spread election fraud lies

Jan 6, 2022, 2:57 PM | Updated: Jan 7, 2022, 10:16 am
Inslee election fraud bill...
Protesters in Olympia, Washington. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Gov. Jay Inslee proposed new legislation on Thursday, which would make it a misdemeanor for elected leaders or candidates to spread unfounded allegations of voter fraud.

Election fraud narrative becomes common thread among state’s Republican candidate

Speaking on the one-year anniversary of the now-infamous U.S. Capitol riot, Inslee opined that “the threat to our democracy is just as dangerous on January 6, 2022, as it was a year ago.”

“I think we do need to do much more than commemorate this day of infamy,” he said as part of the Associated Press’ 2022 legislative preview. “I think we need to realize that this is a continuing effort to continue the ‘big lie,’ to cast doubt on the fundamental workings of our democracy — we simply have to realize the nature of this challenge.”

That has Inslee pushing for a bill in the state Legislature that would “make it a gross misdemeanor to lie about these election results without any basis.”

“I think we need to do more than speak,” he proposed. “It should not be legal in the state of Washington for elected officials or candidates for office to willfully lie about these election results. This needs to be made illegal.”

Inslee highlighted three Republican state legislators — Representatives Brad Klippert, Robert Sutherland, and Vicki Kraft — who used taxpayer dollars to attend MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s cyber-symposium on election fraud, and who have continued to support claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

Opinion: Culp, Trump show refusal to accept reality in both Washingtons

Several Republican candidates for Congress in Washington have made voter fraud claims central platforms of their respective campaigns as well. That includes Klippert, failed gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp, and Navy veteran Jerrod Sessler — all three of whom are running to unseat fellow Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse. Kraft is running for Congress on a similar platform against incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler.

Sessler has also gone so far as to criticize both Culp and Klippert for not supporting the fraud narrative strongly enough, describing Culp’s election challenges as “lukewarm attempts towards establishing a better election system.”

Gov. Inslee’s proposed bill has yet to be pre-filed, and still requires a sponsor in the state Legislature in order to move it forward.

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Gov. Inslee proposes bill making it illegal for elected leaders, candidates to spread election fraud lies