QAnon ballot box
Andrea Austria / Media Matters

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Multiple people seeking to run state elections are connected to QAnon

Update (8/31/21): This article has been updated with additional details.

Multiple people who have affiliated with, appealed to, or supported the QAnon conspiracy theory and its followers at some level are trying to take charge of election administration in their states.

The QAnon conspiracy theory revolves around an anonymous account known as “Q,” who claimed to have an inside scoop showing former President Donald Trump had a secret plot that would take down his perceived enemies, the “deep state,” and a cabal of Democratic pedophiles. Some supporters of QAnon have been tied to violent incidents and participated in the January 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol, and government agencies have issued internal warnings over the false conspiracy theory.

QAnon supporters have also played a crucial role in spreading false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, which influenced people in Trump’s orbit and fueled the grievances that helped lead to the attempted insurrection. QAnon has influenced the Arizona “audit” pushing false voter fraud claims in an effort to overturn that state’s presidential election results.

Now, multiple people who are involved with, or aspiring to be involved with, administering statewide elections -- running to serve as secretaries of state or in equivalent offices -- have connections to the conspiracy theory. And that is in addition to the numerous 2022 congressional candidates who have expressed some level of support for the conspiracy theory.

Below is a list of people serving as, or trying to become, statewide officials in charge of election administration who previously endorsed or gave credence to the conspiracy theory, promoted QAnon content, or were involved with an event centered on QAnon. They are organized by state in alphabetical order.

  • Arizona

  • Mark Finchem

    Mark Finchem is a Republican candidate and member of the Arizona House of Representatives running for Arizona secretary of state in 2022. He has repeatedly posted QAnon content on Gab, including sharing a Q post. Finchem has also appeared on a QAnon show (whose host participated in part of the insurrection), where he pushed a QAnon-connected conspiracy theory about watermarked ballots. Finchem is also scheduled to attend a QAnon conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, that is being organized by a QAnon influencer.

  • Mark Finchem QAnon post about the media

    From Mark Finchem's Gab account. 

  • California

  • Rachel Hamm

    Rachel Hamm is a Republican candidate running for California secretary of state in 2022. During a conversation with a QAnon supporter, Hamm said, “I follow ‘c-u-e’ … constantly.” (“Cue” is what some QAnon supporters started calling the conspiracy theory to evade algorithmic detection on certain platforms.) She also said that the “coded language” of the Q posts “is actually how I think,” adding, “I frequently read it and feel like I know exactly what it’s saying,” and, “It just speaks my language. I love it.” She also said the Q posts “expose things that have been hidden,” adding that “I think Trump is also involved in” the conspiracy theory. During another conversation with the same QAnon supporter, Hamm said the conspiracy theory “was used to help a lot of people” and “if it did nothing else but that, it’s a good thing.” She has also appeared multiple times on the QAnon program The Charlie Ward Show.

  • Video file

    Citation From a video uploaded to Rumble on February 3, 2021

  • Nevada

  • Jim Marchant

    Jim Marchant is a Republican candidate and former member of the Nevada State Assembly running for Nevada secretary of state in 2022. He was scheduled to attend a QAnon conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, that is being organized by a QAnon influencer, but is no longer listed by the conference to attend. A spokesperson had previously told the Las Vegas Sun that Marchant “wasn’t aware of all the other speakers or attendees but is keeping his commitment to speak, as he speaks in front of as many Nevadans as possible.”