Our election-denying, January 6th insurrectionist county commissioner thoroughly humiliated himself last week when he imposed his pet conspiracy theory on the regular board meeting. Before I explain let me remind everyone of the harassment our county clerk and elections staff endured during the 2022 election cycle and how Rod Taylor refused to take any responsibility for the ill-treatment perpetrated by members of his organization, CRL (Citizens Restoring Liberty). In an NPR interview, Taylor likened his leadership over this mob to “herding cats.”

Taylor is at it again. On July 1 CRL hosted Douglas Frank, a self-professed yet scientifically debunked “election integrity expert” at the Bandon Restoration Worship Center. In attendance were many of the same rabid election deniers that tormented county staff in 2022.

This includes failed commissioner candidate Pam Lewis. Lewis attempted to grift $5,000 on the GiveSendGo fundraising site claiming to be a victim of election fraud. Lewis also participated in several local and state-level lawsuits challenging the elections. All these suits were dismissed for lack of evidence.

Denesa Rains, who followed and chased poll workers in her vehicle and later denied allegedly brandishing a weapon to menace county staff also attended.

Frank, a former high school math teacher with a PhD in chemistry has inserted himself into election offices and right-wing extremist groups around the country since the 2020 election. His claims surfaced in a federal lawsuit joined by Lewis, alleging widespread voter fraud throughout Oregon. The case (Thielman et al. 3 v. Fagan et al. (Case No.: 22 CV 01516)) was dismissed when the plaintiffs failed to show legal standing.

Frank alleges he has done extensive statistical analysis of voter rolls and ballot outcomes. He asserts unnamed nefarious but conspirators inflate voter rolls with “phantom voters”, that US elections employ a secret “key” unique to each state and a special algorithm at the federal level manipulates ballot totals. He also claims he can hack Coos County’s elections from his basement in Ohio.

A peer reviewed study, Evaluating a New Generation of Expansive Claims about Vote Manipulation, co-authored by Justin Grimmer and Matthew Tyler both of Standford University and Michael C Herron of Dartmouth University, analyzes and breaks down Frank’s statistical methodology. The latest draft published a year ago exposes deep flaws in both Frank’s methods and reasoning. In short, the study demonstrates, mathematically why Frank’s methods are statistically useless. The study also reveals some interesting omissions.

… it is useful to note what Frank’s conspiracy theory does not explain. First, in many states county elections are run independently, so it is unclear how his alleged manipulation could occur. Second, Frank provides no guidance on how supposedly fraudulent ballots are actually inserted into the election counts. Third, there is a large literature that shows that there are exceedingly few instances of illegal ballots being cast from ineligible voters who Frank would call “phantom voters”…

Grimmer and Herron served as expert witnesses in election contest court cases. Grimmer served as an expert witness in Washington County v. Tim Sippel (Case No.: 22 CV 07782). The defendants attempted to include Douglas Frank as an expert on elections however the judge found Frank had no credibility.

Considering Frank is effectively an adjudged flim flam man in the voter integrity arena it’s not surprising Taylor decided to surreptitiously slip him in as a triple late agenda item at the July 2 Board of Commissioners meeting. (A feat he could not have accomplished without John Sweet’s cooperation as Bob Main was on vacation.)

Taylor has an ethical responsibility to disclose the information I have provided about Frank. Instead, Frank was introduced as an expert and given an unprecedented 15 minutes to deliver his provably false assertions regarding voter fraud and manipulation in Coos County. He added insult to injury claiming he was personally monitoring our unannounced election results in real-time from his Ohio basement, an assertion quickly disputed by the county’s IT director. The voting tabulators are air-gapped making them impossible to access remotely.

Taylor’s stunt has embarrassed the entire county. Worse, he has once again put the lives of our election workers at risk.

As we are all painfully aware, Coos County is on the verge of insolvency. Nevertheless, Taylor wants to devote time and resources in the form of work sessions to discuss how people like Frank can beat an air-gap and his frivolous voter manipulation claims. This is what happens when we elect unqualified ideologues to our nonpartisan positions.

Taylor is not capable of original thought or concepts and everything he parrots comes from his far-right network and his preferred circle of information. It should be worth noting that he still lists InfoWars as a favored news source.

We are a democracy because we consent to be governed. We are a republic because we elect our leaders to be in service to the people. What Taylor did by “legitmizing” Frank in the people’s house served no one but himself. He betrayed his office and absent a recall or unless he is tried and convicted for his participation on January 6th, we are stuck with him until 2026.

Grimmer offers a detailed explanation of Frank’s methods county by county

Rod Taylor and the entire commission owe the county an equal rebuttal. Please contact them and demand equal time for state and local elections to correct Frank’s false claims. Literally, our election worker’s lives may be at stake.

One of the things Frank says is that people are not satisified with how our elections are run. It’s obvious, of course, but he is part of the problem to the extent that statement is even true.
Please write letters to the editors of local papers exposing Frank for the fraudster he is.

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