POLITICAL ROUNDUP: Most have confidence in state's election process

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Jun. 24—In Washington, the Jan. 6 House select committee continues to present findings from President Donald Trump's involvement in the attempt to overturn the 2020 election, which has locals — including party leaders — questioning its relevance in the upcoming election.

A recent ABC News/Ipsos poll shows almost six in 10 Americans want Trump to be criminally charged for his role in the attempted coup that took place on Jan. 6, 2021. That number includes nearly 20 percent of Republicans.

In the hearings, the committee revealed that multiple congressmen asked Trump for pardons, including Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Alabama; Matt Gaetz, R-Florida; Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; and Andy Biggs, R-Arizona. The committee has mounted evidence that Trump repeated false claims of election fraud; that he was involved in assembling an alternative slate of electors in key states; and that he pushed Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to "find" votes.

State Rep. Bob Ed Culver, R-Tahlequah, is confident in the electoral system, and doesn't believe there is any reason to question election results.

"The State of Oklahoma runs the best elections in the entire nation. I feel very confident in their track record," he said.

When asked about other states, he said he thinks most of the country does a good job.

Yolette Ross, Cherokee County Democratic chair, said these hearings provide an important public service.

"They provide the facts leading up to and immediately after the insurrection. Committee members are not prosecutors, but fact-finders disseminating information that hopefully holds the former president accountable for his actions leading up to the assault on our capitol — accountability that could very well lead to criminal sanctions," said Ross.

She said it isn't appropriate for sitting presidents to apply pressure to government officials to "find" votes or manipulate electoral systems with the goal of winning.

"His corrupt 'campaign of pressure' against DOJ officials, secretaries of state and multiple governors is a blemish on our democratic process. As Americans, Oklahomans are directly impacted by these tragic events. The divisive nature by which the former president governed has shattered the confidence of many who have lost faith in our democracy," she said.

Dell Barnes, vice chair of the Cherokee County Democratic Party, has been following the proceedings, and he said he feels Congress needs to do its job to protect the integrity of America's democracy.

"If we want to have faith in these institutions, this is the kind of work that we need to see in the House," said Barnes. "Whether Americans want to see criminal charges or not has no bearing. It is Congress' decision."

But Shannon Grimes, chair of the Cherokee County Libertarian Party, described the Jan. 6 committee as "partisan hackery."

"I'm not saying there are things that should not be investigated and dealt with accordingly, particularly those that were violent. Those individuals, however, were the vast vast minority," said Grimes.