Arizona GOP Names MAGA Voter-Challenge Activist Gina Swoboda New Chair

The Arizona Republican Party elected Gina Swoboda its new chair on Saturday. Swoboda, the director of election day operations for former President Donald Trump in 2020, replaces Jeff DeWit, who resigned last week after being targeted by MAGA Senate candidate Kari Lake.

Swoboda’s bid for state party chair was promoted by Lake and endorsed by Trump, Nick Fuentes ally state Sen. Wendy Rogers, and Arizona-based far-right activist Charlie Kirk, head of Turning Point USA. Lake, who has never accepted her loss in the 2022 governor’s race, called Swoboda’s selection a “massive victory” for her campaign and for Trump’s, the Associated Press reported.

Swoboda runs, which is part of a network of MAGA movement projects to enable challenges to voters’ eligibility, which American Oversight reported in December “could be used not just to compromise individual privacy, but also to intimidate voters, cause mass cancellations of voting registrations, and inundate local elected officials with burdensome, time-consuming, and inaccurate challenges.” Swoboda’s efforts have been funded by far-right megadonor Richard Uihlein.

Swoboda has collaborated with Cleta Mitchell, a former Trump attorney who took part in the notorious call on which Trump tried to bully Georgia’s secretary of state into “finding” him enough votes to overturn the election; Mitchell now runs a coalition of right-wing groups that are working to enable voter suppression in the name of “election integrity.”

A Pro Publica investigation of Swoboda’s Voter Reference Foundation in 2022 reported:

ProPublica contacted election officials in a dozen of the states where VoteRef has examined voter rolls, and in every case the officials said that the methodology used to identify the discrepancies was flawed, the data incomplete or the math wrong. The officials, a mix of Democrats and Republicans, were in Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin…Election experts say the type of work being done by VoteRef risks leading to further misinformation or being weaponized by people trying to undermine the legitimacy of the past election or give the sense that voter fraud is a more encompassing problem than it’s proven to be. Or it could be used to harass or intimidate valid voters under the guise of challenging their legitimacy.

People For the American Way supports stronger federal voting rights protections. You can add your voice by signing a petition urging members of Congress to support the Freedom to Vote Act.

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