Election deniers could win vital races in the midterms. Experts worry that some could refuse to certify the 2024 election if the GOP candidate loses.

Kari Lake
Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake.AP Photo/Matt York
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Election deniers are running in key battleground states during the 2022 midterms.

  • Kari Lake and Mark Finchem are going for two positions that could influence election procedures in Arizona.

  • Experts told the NYT that election deniers could refuse election results in the 2024 presidential race.

As midterms draw near, Republicans poised to win vital races in battleground states are some of the most outspoken critics of American election integrity, and believe that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.

In particular, two GOP candidates in the battleground state of Arizona — Kari Lake and Mark Finchem — could become the state's next governor and secretary of state, respectively.

Midterm races are setting up the battle for 2024, experts told The New York Times, and if Lake and Finchem were to win their elections, they could potentially refuse to accept a presidential election that does not result in a Republican winner.

"It would be completely unprecedented," said Nathaniel Persily, an elections expert at Stanford University. Persily also described these potential legal issues as scenarios that "our system is incapable of handling."

As governor, Lake could refuse to certify the election by signing what is known as an "certificate of ascertainment," the Times reported. The certificate, which would be sent to Washington, DC, with the state's electors, provides a final tally of votes for each candidate.

As secretary of state, Finchem could revise election procedures that would alter rules that deal with everything from voter registration to election certification procedures. Finchem has also expressed interest in abandoning voting machines and using hand-counted ballots during elections. The lengthy hand-counting process could result in more errors.

Both Finchem and Lake could also refuse to canvass the election, which entails preparing official tally results for the state.

Representatives for Lake and Finchem did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

Lake told CNN this month that she would certify the results of a "fair, honest and transparent election," but previously said on the campaign trail that she would not have certified the results of the 2020 election — even though no evidence of widespread fraud was ever uncovered.

Finchem also told PBS via text message this month that he would certify the election "as long as all lawful votes are counted and all votes cast are under the law" on October 20. Finchem has also expressed doubt about the results of the 2020 election.

Former president Donald Trump has endorsed both Finchem and Lake.

An NBC analysis found that 60% of Republican candidates in five key battleground states, including Arizona, deny that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election.

Dozens of states, many of which are Republican-led, have introduced 229 bills since January 2021 that would interfere or alter election procedures, with 50 bills passed since January 2021, according to a report from the States United Democracy Center. In one of these introduced laws, proposed in Arizona in January, state legislators would have the power to change the election results.

The bill, HB 2596, would also get rid of most early and absentee voting, and require that state lawmakers meet after the election to review and potentially reject the results of the election. HB 2569 is currently sitting in the state House, but has not progressed since February.

Read the original article on Business Insider