The Arizona Attorney General is investigating reports that election day voters in Maricopa County were directed to fill out their ballots with sharpie markers. What appears to be hundreds of voters claim that they were given sharpies to fill out their ballots.
I can confirm I was given a sharpie to fill out my ballot. https://t.co/UNNjX1qu5h
— Adam Crigler (@AdamCrigler) November 4, 2020
In Maricopa Co there are reports of Sharpie bleeds preventing ballots from being accepted at voting machines and allegations that poll workers placed ballots into piles to remark new ballots with ballpoint pens for voters
— Tyler Bowyer (@conservatyler) November 4, 2020
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs insists that ballots filled out with sharpie ink will be counted without any irregularities. However, some Arizona voters are concerned that ballots with marks from sharpies that bleed through to the opposite side of the form won’t be properly tabulated by election recording technology.
IMPORTANT: If you voted a regular ballot in-person, your ballot will be counted, no matter what kind of pen you used (even a Sharpie)! 1/
— Secretary Katie Hobbs (@SecretaryHobbs) November 4, 2020
The office of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich confirmed they were investigating the reports on Wednesday.
We have received hundreds of voter complaints regarding Sharpies at polling locations. Accordingly, we sent this letter to Maricopa County election officials. Let's get some answers. Read our letter here: https://t.co/c6FSFZiNj7 pic.twitter.com/HnZ16UTTrs
— Mark Brnovich (@GeneralBrnovich) November 4, 2020
We don’t know if the use of sharpies had any impact on the tabulation of ballots, but the widespread concern over the suggestion of their use is questionable enough.
The outcome of the presidential election in Arizona appears possible to likely to determine the national outcome of the election. As of Wednesday evening, the Trump campaign is expressing confidence that still-outstanding election day ballots will give the President a narrow victory over Joe Biden to secure the state’s 11 electoral college votes.
Will Josh Hawley be the Next Champion for an America First Foreign Policy?
America First May Have its Next Leader to End Wars Abroad
Does America First have a new non-interventionist champion?
Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has been viewed by many as one of the figures who could potentially lead a Trumpist movement after Trump, should Joe Biden end up being installed as president on January 2021.
Hawley has made a name for himself as a champion of Middle America and questioning the neoliberal orthodoxy on immigration and trade. Lately, Hawley has made a pivot towards questioning the interventionist conventional wisdom on foreign policy.
In early October of this year, the Missouri Senator called for the American government to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Hawley tweeted, “Almost 20 years now in Afghanistan. Long past time to draw this war to an end.”
Hawley’s foreign policy has been a work progress over the past two years. During a 2019 speech Hawley gave at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), he questioned the nation-building policy prescriptions of previous administrations, demonstrating some degree of skepticism towards non-stop interventionism abroad on the part of the Senator.
That said, it remains to be seen if Hawley’s legislative record will fully match his rhetoric.
Hawley is a staunch China hawk, who fears the rise of China and is a strong voice against China’s expansionist efforts. Hawley’s track record shows that his foreign policy views are rough around the edges. Daniel Larison of The American Conservative is not as optimistic about Hawley judging by his votes on the Yemeni Civil War. Larison cited several of Hawley’s votes that may be cause for concern:
“Sen. Hawley voted against the Senate’s resolution of disapproval that opposed the president’s effort to circumvent Congress with a bogus “emergency” to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. More important, he voted with the president and most Senate Republicans against the antiwar Yemen resolution that would have cut off all U.S. support to the Saudi coalition.”
Nevertheless, Hawley’s comments on Afghanistan are a good sign that Hawley is catching on to the fact that Americans are tired of foreign wars. Politicians can change their views and behaviors. Hawley is likely recognizing that the America First movement is exhausted by the endless wars and wants candidates and elected officials who offer withdrawal plans.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) November 24, 2020
Journalist Glenn Greenwald, a fierce interventionist skeptic, maintained cautious optimism about Hawley. In a tweet, he commented, “All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting.”
All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting:https://t.co/0g3jpVPsDm
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 24, 2020
The jury is still out on Hawley. Regardless of flaws in his voting record, America First advocates should continue to push him and other America First leaning Republicans in the right direction. We should never forget that politicians are still receptive to political pressure and the grassroots holds the keys to political change.
Young senators like Hawley are the future of American politics and it makes sense for foreign policy restrainers to lobby them and push them in a direction that favors non-interventionism.
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