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Last week, the New York Times published a hit piece on our friend Cleta Mitchell. Cleta, a top-notch lawyer, was a partner in an international law firm until she had to resign because leftists besieged her law firm’s clients, demanding that she be fired. She is now working on election integrity issues for the Conservative Partnership Institute.

The Times story lies from the top, beginning with its headline: “Lawyer Who Plotted to Overturn Trump Loss Recruits Election Deniers to Watch Over the Vote.” Mitchell did not “plot to overturn Trump loss,” she worked in a single state, Georgia, to examine and expose election integrity issues there. And the Times calls those who are concerned about the honesty of our elections “election deniers,” a childish smear.

The article begins:

In a hotel conference center outside Harrisburg, Pa., Cleta Mitchell, one of the key figures in a failed scheme to overturn Donald J. Trump’s defeat, was leading a seminar on “election integrity.”

Again, the same misrepresentation of Cleta’s post-election efforts. And the fact that the Times puts election integrity in scare quotes tells you all you need to know about the paper’s position on voter fraud.

“We are taking the lessons we learned in 2020 and we are going forward to make sure they never happen again,” Ms. Mitchell told the crowd of about 150 activists-in-training.

To the extent the Times quotes Mitchell, what she says is entirely unobjectionable. So the Times fills the vacuum with smears and absurdly false characterizations:

In the days after the 2020 election, Ms. Mitchell was among a cadre of Republican lawyers who frantically compiled unsubstantiated accusations, debunked claims and an array of confusing and inconclusive eyewitness reports to build the case that the election was marred by fraud. Courts rejected the cases and election officials were unconvinced, thwarting a stunning assault on the transfer of power.

This is ostensibly a news story, not an op-ed. But when it comes to protecting the Democrats’ ability to implement a voter fraud strategy, the Times takes no chances.

This part is entertaining if you know the back story:

Asked about her project at the Pennsylvania training, Ms. Mitchell declined an interview request and asked a reporter to leave.

The Times reporter sneaked into the Harrisburg event, which was not open to the press, and cornered Mitchell in the ladies’ room, apparently a favorite liberal tactic. Cleta declined to be interviewed in the bathroom and, yes, asked the reporter to leave. It’s funny how reporters leave out the facts that make them, personally, look stupid.

The Times piece goes on and on, conflating legitimate election integrity efforts like those carried out by the Conservative Partnership Institute with flakier, if well-intentioned efforts by others. And it isn’t only the Times that gets hysterical about the idea that votes might be cast and counted honestly in upcoming elections. I learned about the Times hit job because it was reprinted on the front page, above the fold, in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, with a headline about “election deniers.”

You can learn more about CPI’s Election Integrity Network here. The site includes podcasts and a donate button. The cause is well worth supporting. And you can go here to get the organization’s Citizens Guide emailed to you.

Why do liberals go ballistic over efforts to assure honest elections? Because voter fraud is an element of the Democrats’ election strategy. Sometimes the Democrats commit voter fraud themselves, and sometimes they enable voter fraud by doing away with safeguards. In 2020, Minnesota was one of a number of states where the Democrats used fraudulent, collusive litigation to unconstitutionally change election laws so as to facilitate cheating.

Briefly, the DFL Party recruited plaintiffs to start two lawsuits, one in federal court and one in state court. The lawsuits, in which Minnesota’s Democratic Secretary of State was the defendant, alleged that on account of covid, the only safeguard on mail-in ballots–the requirement of a witness signature–should be done away with. That was a non sequitur, of course, and the Secretary of State has no legal power to change Minnesota’s election laws.

But the whole thing was set up in advance, and Secretary of State Steve Simon immediately “settled” the two lawsuits by agreeing to do away with the witness signature requirement. The settlement came on for approval before a federal judge, who refused to approve it. But the state court judge, in that case, loyally approved the settlement, and 1.8 million mail-in ballots were cast with no meaningful barrier to fraud. How many of the 1.8 million were illegal? There is no possible way to know.

That is the problem with a lack of ballot integrity: it can’t be remedied after the fact, it can only be prevented. This is why the efforts of groups like the Election Integrity Network are so important, and why leftists are so desperate to discredit them.

The current Rasmussen Reports offers a useful coda:

The new documentary “2000 Mules,” which investigates evidence of widespread cheating in the 2020 presidential election, is hitting home with voters who have seen the film.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 77% of those Likely U.S. voters who have seen “2000 Mules” say the movie strengthened their conviction that there was systematic and widespread election fraud in the 2020 election. Only 19% of those who have seen the documentary say their belief in election fraud was weakened.

So far, only 15% of voters have seen “2000 Mules,” the movie by conservative activist Dinesh D’Souza….

Awareness of the new documentary is much more widespread, with 41% of voters saying they’ve heard about “2000 Mules.” That includes 50% of Republicans, 36% of Democrats and 38% of unaffiliated voters.

“Only” 15 percent have seen the film? That is a huge number. Interestingly, many Democrats join Republicans in wanting honest elections:

Among voters who have seen “2000 Mules,” 85% of Republicans, 68% of Democrats and 77% of unaffiliated voters say the movie strengthened their conviction that there was systematic and widespread election fraud in the 2020 election.

Among voters who have seen the documentary, 78% say they would recommend “2000 Mules” to others regardless of whether or not they share their political beliefs. That includes 84% of Republicans, 73% of Democrats and 74% of unaffiliated voters who have seen the film.

Even among those who haven’t seen “2000 Mules” yet, 57% believe it is important for the public to be aware of topics covered in the movie, including 40% who believe public awareness of the subject is Very Important. Only 17% think public awareness of the topics covered in “2000 Mules” is Not At All Important.

There is a reason why voter ID consistently polls at around 75%. Most people, including most Democrats, want honest elections. In the long run, leaders of the Democratic Party and their cheerleaders in organs like the New York Times are most likely fighting a losing battle.