California recall election: Larry Elder campaign pushes unfounded fraud claims

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- As the California recall election nears the finish line, a website paid for by Larry Elder's campaign is pushing unsubstantiated claims of election fraud before results have even been released.

Elder's campaign website has a link to a "Stop CA Fraud" page where people can report suspicious voting activity or sign a petition demanding a special legislative session to investigate an election that isn't even over.

The "Stop CA Fraud" page appears to assume Gov. Gavin Newsom will stay in office as a result of fraud.

"As is the case, we implore you...our fellow citizens...to join us in this fight as you are able, primarily by signing our petition demanding a special session of the California legislature to investigate and ameliorate the twisted results of this 2021 Recall Election of Governor Gavin Newsom," the site says.

The site also claims "statistical analyses" have detected voter fraud in California, resulting in Elder's defeat, but such an analysis would be impossible since no votes have been counted.

"Statistical analyses used to detect fraud in elections held in 3rd-world nations (such as Russia, Venezuela, and Iran) have detected fraud in California resulting in Governor Gavin Newsom being reinstated as governor," the site says. "The primary analytical tool used was Benford's Law and can be readily reproduced."

The website's claim was first reported in the Sacramento Bee on Friday.

Elder is one of the leading Republican candidates seeking to replace Newsom if the recall succeeds. The talk radio host has said he believes "there might very well be shenanigans, as there were in the 2020 election."

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber said concerns about election security are "inaccurate." The state's chief elections official said California has "the strictest voting system testing, procedures for use and security requirements in the nation."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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