QAnon scammer who claims she can time travel runs for office in Ohio

Untangling viral misinformation and explaining where it comes from, the damage it causes and what we should do about it.

A QAnon influencer and convicted crook Who claims she can time travelwho led a campaign for replace elected officials with QAnon supportersand who misrepresented his expertise in a electoral trial before the Supreme Courtnow wants to become Ohio’s next secretary of state.

And Terpsehore Maras doesn’t even try to hide his QAnon affiliation.

Launching his official YouTube and Facebook campaign pages this week, Maras, known to his followers simply as Tore and also known by many other aliases, uploaded a logo, replacing the “o” in “Secretary of State by a Q.

Terpsehore Maras

But then again, Maras, who didn’t respond to questions from VICE News about his campaign, isn’t one to be subtle.

“As Ohio SOS, I will get rid of EVERY VOTING MACHINE,” Maras wrote on Telegram this week. “Humans will be paid to count votes live on camera. Paper ballots and PEN ONLY. I will do it on the first day.

Maras then referred a widely debunked conspiracy theory about Venezuela impacting the US election.

Maras is seeking the Republican nomination and will face incumbent Frank LaRose and former state legislator John Adams in the May primary.

LaRose insisted Ohio’s 2020 vote went fairly, but at the same time declined to say former President Donald Trump lost the presidential election, in an open attempt to curry favor with the man who still controls the Republican Party. Adams, meanwhile, is a die-hard Trump supporter and has openly shared conspiracy theories on the 2020 ballot.

Maras has no previous experience in public office, but has spent the past 18 months tirelessly spreading conspiracy theories online, claiming the 2020 election was stolen, even though Trump won Ohio by 8 points. and that no lawsuits have been filed against the results in the state.

So while it may seem like Maras is a complete outsider with no chance of winning the Republican nomination, she joins a growing group of QAnon believers and election truthers who feel emboldened by the Republican Party’s rightward shift and its embrace of conspiracies regarding the 2020 election.

Indeed, Maras is already the fifth secretary of state running in next November’s election to have expressed support for QAnon, according to a tracker maintained by Media Matters for America. This trend is part of a much broader campaign to replace existing election officials with those who believe Trump won the 2020 election.

And Maras has the backing of major figures in the MAGA world, including former CEO Patrick Bryne, who has become one of the loudest voices of the “Stop the Steal” movement.

Maras’s Telegram posts and podcasts are also widely shared among grassroots groups who claim to work on “election integrity” issues and view her as someone with insider knowledge.

Last year, Maras used his newfound fame to orchestrate a national campaign to oust the elect and replace them with QAnon believersleveraging game streaming platform Twitch and encrypted messaging app Telegram to do so.

But Maras’ track record shows she repeatedly inflated her experience and sometimes outright lied about her credentials.

When attorney Sidney Powell asked the Supreme Court to annul the results of the 2020 elections in December of the same year, as part of its Kraken trials widely derided, she quoted an unnamed source described as “a private contractor with experience in foreign intelligence collection and analysis.” The anonymous source claimed to have knowledge of a plot to rig the election by a foreign entity.

weeks later, the Washington Post unmasked Maras as this sourcerevealing that the sum total of his military experience was equivalent to a single eight-month Navy training course that ended in August 1997.

In 2018, a judge in North Dakota, where she lived at the time, ordered her to pay $25,000 after raising money to fund homeless shelters and wreaths for elders’ graves. fighters, but instead used it to shop for herself at McDonald’s, QVC, and elsewhere.

North Dakota lawyers in the case said that Maras falsely claimed be a doctor and hold both a doctorate and an MBA.

But those obvious red flags haven’t stopped her from building loyalty. She now has more than 23,000 subscribers on the Twitch streaming platform, which has earned him tens of thousands of dollars. The platform has also made Maras a verified partner, which means it can keep 70% of all subscription fees.

And a crowdfunding campaign launched with the supposed aim of raising money to buy Maras a new car, after she claims hers was stolen, has just surpassed the $100,000 mark. He’s still accepting donations even though Maras once bought a Tesla with the money she raised.

The crowdfunding campaign organizer did not immediately respond to VICE News’ request for comment on the current use of the money.

Despite his scam record, Maras appears to be basing his campaign for Ohio secretary of state, at least in part, on integrity and transparency.

“Fundamentally, all social and political issues are economic,” Maras wrote in a comment posted to his campaign Facebook account this week. “Even your vote is about money, you are essentially the consumer but you are also consumed, like a hamster on a wheel that politicians spin.”

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