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I’m not an alarmist, and I tend to see bottles half full. Still, the votes coming in from key states this week and last are getting me nervous.

Last week, Minnesota Republicans nominated for secretary of state — Minnesota’s top election official — Kim Crockett, a Big Lie conspiracy theorist. Crockett claims the 2020 election was “rigged” and agreed with an interviewer that Biden’s victory was “illegitimate.” (She has also questioned whether people with disabilities should be allowed to vote. She has made Islamophobic comments about Somali asylum-seekers. And during the Minnesota GOP convention, she played an antisemitic video attacking her opponent.)

In neighboring Wisconsin, Republicans nominated for governor Tim Michels, who pledged to consider legislation that would overturn Trump’s defeat in Wisconsin and withdraw the state’s 10 electoral votes — none of which is legal. Wisconsin Republicans also nominated for secretary of state Amy Loudenbeck, another proponent of Trump’s Big Lie. (While Wisconsin’s secretary of state does not currently have authority over elections in that state, Republican state legislators are pushing legislation to change that.)

In Arizona, Republicans have nominated Kari Lake for governor. Lake has said she would not have certified Biden’s 10,000-vote victory in her state. They also nominated Mark Finchem for secretary of state. Finchem marched at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to protest Biden’s victory. And they nominated Abraham Hamadeh for Arizona attorney general. Hamadeh called his opponents and other Republicans “weak-kneed” for supporting certification of the 2020 election.

Michigan Republicans have nominated Tudor Dixon for governor. Dixon has falsely claimed that Trump won the state in 2020 (he lost it by more than 150,000 votes). They also nominated Kristina Karamo for secretary of state. Karamo has called the 2020 election “fixed” and claimed without evidence that Dominion voting machine software flipped votes to Biden. And they nominated Matthew DePerno for state attorney general. DePerno played a central role in the 2020 election challenges and has pledged to investigate current state officials. And they nominated

Nevada Republicans have nominated Jim Marchant for secretary of state. Merchant has said he would not have certified the 2020 election and wants more sheriffs at the polls.

Pennsylvania Republicans have nominated Doug Mastriano for governor. Mastriano led the push to overturn the state’s 2020 results. (If he wins, Mr. Mastriano would appoint Pennsylvania’s top elections official.)

Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. All are swing states whose voters could go either way — and whose election officials will decide how and whether their citizens vote. Based on recent polling and historic trends, all these candidates have a reasonable chance of winning their general elections.

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My friends, defeating these candidates is essential, but it won’t be easy. Most voters pay little or no attention to races in their state. Most have no idea about their secretary of state, and might not bother voting or skip the line on the ballot. So between now and November, please alert your friends, neighbors, and acquaintances — everyone in every one of our communities — about what's at stake. And remember to alert young people, who tend to vote less in midterm elections.