The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

State Senate hopeful shoots mock Dominion voting machine in campaign ad

A Dominion Voting Systems machine in Atlanta in 2019. (John Bazemore/AP)
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Standing about three feet from a printer placed in a sunny field, Oklahoma state Senate hopeful Jarrin Jackson aimed a rifle at the machine. On the side, in bold black letters, read “DOMINION,” referring to the voting machines that have been central to election conspiracy theories.

Six loud pops rang out as Jackson, a Republican, fired the rifle in rapid succession, blasting pieces of the printer into the air. He then turned and walked toward the camera.

“America!” he said, as Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played in the background.

The video is the latest in a string of political messages showing candidates in attention-grabbing displays. Last month, a U.S. Senate candidate in Louisiana lit a Confederate flag on fire as he denounced what he called systemic inequality. The same candidate smoked marijuana in an ad released about a month prior. Another ad showed a Colorado Democrat who’s running to unseat Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) cleaning up feces he said is being slung across his state.

Jackson, who said he plans to run for the open seat in Oklahoma’s District 2, in his campaign ad repeated several baseless claims about Dominion Voting Systems and the 2020 presidential election. Dominion has filed several defamation lawsuits against those it alleges spread false claims about the company changing votes for former president Donald Trump to favor Joe Biden.

In a statement to The Washington Post, a Dominion spokeswoman said Jackson’s video could put employees at risk.

“Election misinformation is dangerous on its own, but violent demonstrations directly endanger our employees and customers who have been targets of ongoing harassment and threats,” the statement said.

Jackson, who did not respond to The Post’s request for comment, ran in the 2nd Congressional District for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016 and 2018. He lost both Republican primaries. The State Election Board will begin accepting declaration of candidacy forms for the June 28 primary election for Oklahoma Senate starting April 13, according to a spokesperson.

Jackson uploaded the video to Rumble, a social media site supported by Trump and other conservatives, on Friday. The recording, posted on Twitter by Right Wing Watch, shows him “inspecting” the printer, which he labeled to mimic a Dominion voting machine.

“This is how they stole the 2020 election,” he said, with “Bad Boys” by Inner Circle as the soundtrack. “Let’s just investigate this.”

Jackson later turned the camera on himself, telling the viewer that the Dominion voting machine “represents major threats to my life … my way of life, my family, my future.”

He went on to repeat debunked myths about Dominion — that the company committed treason, bought off politicians and bypassed the legislative process.

“I just checked the Constitution, and most Dominion voting machines aren’t honest,” he said.

Misinformation about Dominion spread after the 2020 election as Trump and his allies pushed unfounded theories that the presidential race was stolen thanks to rigged voting machines. Rudy Giuliani, who served on Trump’s legal team, also made erroneous claims that the company was connected to Venezuela and helped elect former president Hugo Chávez in a fixed election there. Dominion has repeatedly debunked the claims.

Dominion has filed defamation lawsuits against Giuliani; Sidney Powell, another Trump attorney; and Mike Lindell, an outspoken Trump supporter and the chief executive of MyPillow, seeking more than $1.3 billion in each. Fox News, Newsmax and One America News also face defamation lawsuits. Dominion alleges the networks purposely broadcast false claims about the election and allowed guests to spread falsehoods freely.

With Pitbull and Kesha’s song “Timber” playing in the background of his campaign ad, Jackson said it was his mission to stop the machines.

“I guess they just think they can get away with it, but we caught this one,” he said. “We’re going to dispense with some justice, about the only way you should be handling these things.”

He then put on protective glasses and earmuffs and grabbed his rifle.

“We’re just going to take care of this real fast. Don’t tell anyone,” he said before firing at the printer.