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Jim Marchant

Jim Marchant, a loyalist of former President Donald Trump who's been linked to the QAnon conspiracy theory, won the Republican nomination for secretary of state of Nevada on June 14, 2022. (Photo: Facebook/Jim Marchant)

QAnon-Linked Conspiracy Theorist Wins GOP Primary for Nevada's Top Election Official

"Election deniers are on the verge of winning offices that run elections."

Julia Conley

Republican voters in Nevada on Tuesday chose Jim Marchant, a former state legislator who continues to baselessly deny the 2020 presidential election was legitimate, as the party's nominee for Nevada's top election official.

Marchant has said he ran for secretary of state at the urging of Juan O. Savin, a QAnon influencer, and that if he had been in office in 2020 he would have refused to certify the presidential election results.

"Marchant doesn't want to institute substantive improvements so much as he wants to make it harder for Nevadans to vote and harder for people like him to lose."

As a candidate, Marchant is pushing for a shift to hand-counting election ballots and decertifying voting machines that were used in 2020. Election experts warn hand-counting votes would open up the tallying process to far more errors. Marchant has also called for the elimination of voting-by-mail and early voting.

Ahead of the primary election, a column in The Nevada Independent called on voters to reject the "conspiracy theorist" running for one of the state's most powerful positions.

"Marchant doesn't want to institute substantive improvements so much as he wants to make it harder for Nevadans to vote and harder for people like him to lose," wrote Hyla Winters, a former Republican. "There's a word for this: rigging."

Marchant also ran for Congress in 2020 and, like former President Donald Trump's, claimed that his loss was fraudulent. He eventually lost a lawsuit challenging the election, which he lost by 16,000 votes.

In a debate during the primary, Marchant told the audience that the state's and country's entire election systems are illegitimate, asserting, "Your vote hasn't counted for decades. You haven't elected anybody."

Marchant is the fourth so-called "America First" candidate to win a Republican primary; the slate of candidates includes supporters of QAnon and people who deny that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election.

"Election deniers are on the verge of winning offices that run elections," tweeted New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo.

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