QAnon Goes Into Meltdown Over Gavin Newsom Win, Desperately Pushes Voter Fraud Claims

A number of leading QAnon advocates are falsely claiming that Governor Gavin Newsom won the California recall election because of voter fraud.

This baseless allegation, which has also been made by GOP figures seeking to cast doubt on the result, comes after a resounding victory for Newsom.

The Associated Press declared the Democrat the winner less than an hour after the polls closed on Tuesday night. More than 64 percent of voters said "no" when asked if Newsom should be ousted as governor, with around 66 percent of the ballots counted so far.

Undeterred by a lack of evidence, several influential figures in the QAnon conspiracy theory movement are continuing to make groundless claims about voter fraud.

Writing on encrypted messaging service Telegram, longtime QAnon advocate Jordan Sather said: "The Newsom Recall election may be even more rigged than the 2020 presidential election, and that's sayin' somethin'."

QAnon John—whose real name is John Sabal and who organizes QAnon conferences, said: "Keep in mind, so far ONLY the mail-in votes have actually been counted with 61% now reporting...That's what I call premium B******T."

Later, as the results were being declared, Sabal added: "ANDDDD Fox News just called it for Newsom with LESS than half than all precincts reporting...Because of COURSE they did..."

Elsewhere Ron Watkins—the former administrator for messageboard site 8Kun, who is thought by some to have played the mysterious figure known as "Q"—put a poll on Telegram asking: "Do you think there will be a 3am drop of vote batches that are 99% to keep Newsom?"

A total of 95 percent of people responding to the poll answered "yes."

Qtah, another influential figure in the radical movement, also wrote: "Do I believe there is heavy voter fraud in California? Absolutely

"Do I believe that it is still ongoing? Absolutely. My key takeaway here is 1/3 (with rigged #'s) are waking up from Commiefornia. This is a strong show of force heading into the 2022 midterms that the D's must face now. Their tactics and fear mongering are no longer working. Big surprises await them in the coming months as well."

As with the so-called "big lie" about the 2020 election, suggestions of voter fraud are not only being made by fringe conspiracy theorists.

Donald Trump, who still falsely claims that President Joe Biden "stole" the 2020 election, made unsubstantiated claims that mail-in ballots would be used to rig the recall election in the Democrats' favor.

"Does anybody really believe the California Recall Election isn't rigged?" Trump said in a statement before the polls closed.

"Millions and millions of Mail-In Ballots will make this just another giant Election Scam, no different, but less blatant, than the 2020 Presidential Election Scam!"

Larry Elder, one of the leading Republican candidates who had hoped to replace Newsom, had previously suggested there could be "shenanigans" during the election, but has now removed a section of his campaign website called "Stop Fraud."

Last week, Newsom accused Elder of attempting to carry out an "extension of the big lie."

"The election hasn't even happened, and now they're all claiming election fraud. I think it's important to highlight that," Newsom told reporters in Sacramento, according to Politico.

Elder did not repeat any such suggestions after conceding on Tuesday night, telling his supporters to "be gracious in defeat." He added: "And by the way, we may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war."

Michael Latner, an associate professor of political science at California Polytechnic Institute, told The New York Times that Republican cries of voter fraud could now be "baked into the playbook" in order to sow doubts about results—especially in races that GOP candidates look like they could lose.

"You already started to see stories and individuals on social media claiming that, you know, they received five ballots or their uncle received five ballots," Latner said.

qanon California voter fraud
A worker sorts ballots at the Santa Clara County registrar of voters office on September 14 in San Jose, California. QAnon advocates are falsely claiming that the recall election was tainted by voter fraud. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images