State Sen. Kim Thatcher addresses a Timber Unity rally on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 where she first announced she was running for secretary of state. (Photo courtesy of Kim Thatcher)

Earlier this month, state Sen. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer, joined 138 Republican state legislators from multiple states in signing a letter “to the American people” that called for a 50-state audit of the 2020 election.

“If every fraudulent claim in the 2020 election were allowed evidentiary hearings by the courts or at least had meaningful media coverage by curious journalists, Americans would not have a reason to doubt who is sitting in the Oval Office,” Thatcher wrote in an email to the Keizertimes. “The doubt is enough of a reason to audit our elections and preserve trust moving forward.”  

Thatcher has served since 2014 as the state senator for District 13, which encompasses Keizer, Newberg, St. Paul, Sherwood, Wilsonville, King City and parts of four other cities. In 2020, she ran unsuccessfully against Shemia Fagan in the Oregon secretary of state race.

After initially agreeing to do a phone interview with the Keizertimes to discuss the letter, Thatcher canceled five minutes before the scheduled call and opted instead to send written answers.

“It is evident that there is a coordinated effort to belittle anyone who has questions about the November 2020 election,” wrote Thatcher. “This story will likely be no different and use typical media convention like ‘false’ and ‘disproven’ and I will be pleasantly surprised if that is not the case.”

When asked if she believed there was also fraud in the 2016 election, Thatcher said the claims that Donald Trump conspired with Russia have been "disproven."

Thatcher was joined by two other Oregon legislators, state Sen. Dennis Linthicum (R-Klamath Falls) and state Rep. Lily Morgan (R-Grants Pass), in signing the partisan letter that was posted on social media by Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers. The letter claimed that an audit of 2.1 million ballots in Maricopa County earlier this year proved there was “a corrupted election” and that all 50 states needed to be “forensically audited.” The letter also called for voter rolls to be scrubbed in every state. 

Thatcher's call for a 50-state audit contrasts with what she said following last year's general election when she lost in the Oregon secretary of state race.

"A few of you have indicated that you do not trust the results of elections here in Oregon," Thatcher said on Facebook on Nov. 6, 2020. "Please know that I have faith in our county clerks to run elections which are accurate. While disappointed that I did not win, I trust our election results. I hope you will as well."

In response to the letter's requests, Fagan tweeted, "Not happening. Can confirm."

The Maricopa County audit was conducted by Cyber Ninjas, a firm that has never conducted an election audit, after it was ordered by the Republican majority in the Arizona Senate. 

The audit’s findings were presented to the Arizona Senate on Sept. 24 and found only small variations. Their findings showed that Biden received an additional 99 votes and Trump received 261 fewer votes than the official election results reported.

“The auditor’s final hand count - which quadruple-checked every single one of the 2.1 million ballots - matches Maricopa County’s official machine count. This is the most important and encouraging finding of the audit,” said Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, who is a Republican.

Thatcher, however, said that the Cyber Ninjas report included “votes not properly authenticated” and that there are “50,000-plus votes still in serious question.” Biden won Maricopa County by 45,000 votes.

Thatcher also said there were issues with election transparency in Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Georgia and that these states “amount to 56 Electoral votes. Joe Biden was declared president by a margin of 36.” The results were certified in all four of these states. 

Thatcher could not provide specific examples of fraud in the 2020 election but said there were “irregular ballots, statistical anomalies and voting laws changed without legislation.” 

In response to a question asking if she believed Biden won the 2020 election, Thatcher said, “This question is irrelevant. I do believe there are inconsistencies that need to be addressed.”

The Cyber Ninjas’ audit, which only looked at 2.1 million votes, was reported to have cost $6 million. In response to a question asking if an audit of 159 million votes would be worth the cost to taxpayers, Thatcher said, “Congress has been willing to invest in the elections of foreign nations, and it is fitting to invest taxpayer dollars in public trust by thoroughly auditing our own elections.”

When asked if she was planning on running for secretary of state again, Thatcher said that she is weighing her options "but no decision at this time."

News tip? Contact reporter Joey Cappelletti at [email protected] or 616-610-3093.