For months, One America News Network has continued its attacks against democracy with a campaign to get viewers to contact their state legislators and demand election audits. This campaign, which has intensified after the release of the Arizona “fraudit” results, directs viewers to call, email, and protest state government officials in support of election audits, to defend so-called election integrity by running for office themselves, and to do anything they can in service of this delusion.
On the air, this effort is led by OAN correspondent Christina Bobb, who previously used her weekend show Weekly Briefing to raise $605,000 for the Arizona “audit,” and OAN prime-time host Natalie Harp, a former Trump Advisory Board member and determined supporter of anyone who has “not moved past the 2020 election.” Other OAN talent has also pushed viewers to become involved, and the network has continued to air election lies and live rallies in support of election audits. It is a networkwide attempt to subvert democracy.
OAN airs calls to contact representatives with demands for “election integrity”
- On August 18, OAN aired a Christina Bobb interview with QAnon-linked Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, recorded earlier at an “Audit the Vote” rally in Gettysburg. Bobb asked what Pennsylvania residents could do to support the state’s audit, and Mastriano told viewers to “always [be] polite and respectful … but you can be firm” in an “email, [phone] call, an office visit, whatever” to their state senator and ask for “a forensic investigation” of election results.
- Bobb ended her September 25 show, the first edition after the Arizona “audit” results were released, with an urgent request for viewers to “call your state legislators and let them know you expect them to take a closer look at your elections. Find a local organization and get involved in protecting your elections. If we don’t secure our elections, nothing else matters.”
- Bobb ended her October 9 Weekly Briefing with a forceful demand for viewers to contact Wisconsin state Sens. Devin LeMahieu and Chris Kapenga, both Republicans, and “let them know they aren’t doing their jobs” of investigating the election. Bobb also denounced unnamed “Republicans running interference” on election fraud investigations “in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Arizona,” as President Joe Biden leads a “communist takeover” by “the woke left,” which can only be stopped if OAN viewers “get involved in protecting your elections.”
- On the October 5 edition of The Real Story, Harp complained to former Trump official Hogan Gidley about “states like California” embracing mail-in voting. Gidley’s solution was for OAN viewers to “talk to your legislators and remind them that you want free, fair, and honest elections,” free of “serious problems” caused by “rogue secretaries of state, rogue governors, election boards, etc.” Gidley, now the director of the generically named Center for Election Integrity, called for “holding people accountable,” from legislators to poll workers, for allegedly mismanaging elections.
- On October 11, Harp told QAnon-connected Michigan attorney general candidate Matthew DePerno that “attorney generals’ offices should be focused on election integrity number one,” otherwise “there’s no point in even saying we’re free people anymore.” DePerno agreed, encouraging viewers to “come out to Lansing,” the state capital. “We need as many people as we can get. We want people to show up. We want to put pressure on our legislature to say, you have to do a forensic audit. Do the right thing. Have the courage to do it.”
- On October 12, Real America host Dan Ball asked, “Why aren’t we screaming from rooftops” to demand election audits. “What are folks doing? What are you doing?” Ball said to his viewers, “If you think Georgia needs [an audit], why aren’t you holding massive protests shutting down commerce in Atlanta? Cause a stir in Pennsylvania, in Wisconsin, in Michigan. Why aren’t you doing those things?” He also told viewers, “Go to your statehouse. Stand out front. Get thousands of people. Demand those Republicans in those state houses … start a forensic audit. That’s all you’ve got to do.” His guest, QAnon-linked Arizona GOP chair Kelli Ward agreed, saying, “People need to do it all over the country. We can’t sit back and let an election be stolen.”
- On October 20, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann told Bobb that “anyone else who has any information” that could pertain to alleged Arizona election fraud, “please give it to [Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich] because he has the power of the grand jury.”
OAN airs calls for viewers to seek local office
- On the September 11 edition of Weekly Briefing, Bobb and QAnon-linked Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers used the Rogers’ life story to inspire viewers to run for office, just like “Grandma Wendy.” Rogers, who is a prominent audit supporter, suggested people should run for school board as it’s a place to make “the best impact,” which Bobb said was “absolutely, exactly correct” and “the school boards would be the pivotal elections coming in 2022.”
- On her October 9 show, Bobb bragged to Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos about “telling people [to] volunteer at the precinct level,” a call which Vos seconded, telling viewers that as poll workers, “when somebody comes in and doesn’t have the right ID, or appears to not be a resident, you get the right to challenge that person and make sure that the fraudulent vote isn’t cast. … So we’ve got to have people at the polling place.” Vos encouraged viewers nationwide to support candidates who believe in election fraud and “show [the liberals] that there should be some changes.” Toward the end of the interview, Vos thanked Bobb for “the work you’re doing around the country to show people that elections really do matter.”
OAN airs calls for viewers to otherwise get involved
- Bobb ended her October 23 Weekly Briefing with a call for Republican volunteers to stop “woke” Democrats from stealing the Virginia gubernatorial race: “Volunteer to be a poll worker. Virginia's governor's election is November 2nd, in just a few weeks. Are there enough Republican volunteers to make sure there's no midnight ballot drop? Are there enough volunteers bold enough to ask questions of suspicious people doing suspicious things? We need bold people working the polls.”
- On August 18, OAN aired another Bobb interview with Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers, who said that Pennsylvanians should “get behind Doug Mastriano” and his effort to audit the Pennsylvania vote, and that everyone should sign her petition “to decertify the election nationally.” Rogers frequently promotes her petition on OAN, even though decertifying the election is legally impossible.
- On the September 11 edition of Bobb’s Weekly Briefing, Bobb platformed Liz Harris, the QAnon-linked failed Arizona state house candidate who supported the Arizona audit by canvassing Maricopa County voters in search of fraudulent votes. Harris was promoting Canvass50.org, an apparent attempt to export her blueprint nationwide. The bare-bones website is only a form to collect the user’s personal information, at the end of which is a PDF of her nonsense canvassing results and a plea to “share this link with everyone you know!”
- On September 18, Bobb prompted Arizona state Sen. Sonny Borrelli to address voters who are “concerned that their voice isn’t being heard,” and Borelli said, “People need to start getting involved. This is your destiny. This is your birthright. There’s a lot of blood and treasure that has been spent for that birthright … unfortunately to be just manipulated and cast aside."
- On the September 25 edition of Weekly Briefing, the first after the release of the Arizona “audit” results, two lawmakers doubled down on the urgent need to do something about supposed election fraud: “I need you as poll workers. I need you as observers,” Wisconsin state Rep. Janel Brandtjen pleaded of OAN viewers, and Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem promoted his petition to audit Pima County in the state.
- On October 9, Bobb spoke with Wisconsin Rep. Janel Brandtjen, who told OAN viewers, “If you’re not involved in Election Day, then you don’t get to gripe. It is not enough just to vote anymore.”
- On October 12, after Harp warned former Trump adviser Bruce LeVell that Democrats have started their “shenanigans … at the local level,” LaVell declared, “All OAN viewers, listen to this carefully. Go out and encourage your small city hoods to take over your elections process.” LeVell also warned of massive “civil unrest” caused by election fraud, if “legal American citizens don’t roll their sleeves up ... get in here, and get this under control so we can save our republic.”
- On Harp’s October 13 show, Michigan secretary of state candidate Kristina Karamo commented that Americans “have been living in this illusion that somehow we the people still effectively control” the government, but “when we the people are being told that we can’t scrutinize the election process, what do we have left?” Karamo said, “We must be actively engaged for the fight of liberty. … This requires constant citizen engagement.” She also told “every American to get involved, go to your city council meeting, go to your county commissioner. … Find out what those people believe.”
- In a September 18 OAN news segment, Bobb promoted the far-right “Patriot Party of Arizona” and hosted its spokesperson, the QAnon-linked Maggie VandenBerghe, who spoke about the group’s effort to ban all voting except for in-person on Election Day -- and to have “no machines” voting -- “so that we can restore confidence in our elections.” VandenBerghe then encouraged viewers to get involved with the group’s attempt to subvert voting.
Update (10/24/21, 1:40 p.m. EDT): This post has been updated with an additional example.