The buffet chain is advocating for several changes to federal election guidelines.
Pizza Inn on Tuesday released a statement saying it believes widespread voter fraud with the 2020 Presidential Election was “probable,” but added that it “can’t say for certain,” which is “what concerns us most.”
In the wake of President-Elect Joe Biden winning the election in November, President Donald Trump and a host of Republicans have baselessly alleged voter fraud in key battleground states. Court cases challenging Biden’s win have been dismissed, including the Supreme Court rejecting a lawsuit from Texas to overturn the election. Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr said in December that he found “no voter fraud that could overturn the election.”
When Congress certifies the results Wednesday, many Republicans are expected to object. Trump falsely suggested on Twitter that Vice President Mike Pence could block certification of Biden’s victory, but media outlets later reported that Pence told the president that he doesn’t have the power to do so.
Pizza Inn said it’s not advocating to overturn the election, nor does it think “hastily certifying the results in Congress [Wednesday] is appropriate.” Instead, the brand said the best course of action is to conduct a 10-day audit of the vote to make sure the count is correct. Many states already conduct an audit after elections, no matter the size of the victory.
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"Like most Americans, we are alarmed by the uncertainties and resulting lack of faith in our election system," CEO Brandon Solano said in a statement. "We have a right to fair elections with unchallenged legitimacy, and that begins with a system that is both transparent and secure. Whether your candidate won or lost, we should all have confidence in a process that helps us celebrate, or at least accept, the results. The current election system is dangerous for our democracy, breeding uncertainty, unrest and in some extreme cases, political violence. This has to stop.”
To provide more election security, Pizza Inn is advocating for the following changes to federal election law:
- Requiring valid identification of all voters
- Matching signature, address, and identification on all ballots
- Eliminating electronic voting machines until they have the ability to be audited
- Exclusively using paper ballots, for audit and recount purposes
- Eliminating mail-in ballots, in order to “not prioritize voter convenience over election integrity"
- Restricting absentee ballots, with exceptions for military, college students, disabled persons and the elderly
Pizza Inn said it understood the risk of engaging in heated political discussions, but claimed it couldn’t “stand by silently” on America’s election integrity. In addition, Pizza Inn said it respects others’ rights to agree or disagree and to boycott or join the company in solidarity. The brand asked that people remain “civil in our discussions, confident in the knowledge that we all love our country and want what's best for it.”
"We will no doubt be vilified by some for these reasonable and responsible suggestions," Solano said. "We may even be accused of supporting voter suppression for recommending solutions that we believe would advance the cause of election integrity. But pursuing this worthy, non-partisan goal is not suppression; it's democracy in action.”
"We feel that we have a responsibility as a proud and patriotic American company to go on-the-record with our concerns, and our recommendations," he continued. "We believe in the United States of America and have confidence that God will see our country through this troubling time. We leave our thoughts and next steps in the hands of our elected officials…whoever they may be."
Pizza Inn shed 11 units (five domestic and six international) in the first quarter, which ended September 27. Domestic same-store sales fell 22 percent for Pizza Inn and 23 percent at sister chain Pie Five. Publicly traded Rave Restaurant Group’s income before taxes was $78,000 compared to $310,000 last year. Earnings per share were $0.00 versus $0.01 in Q1 2019. Revenues decreased 34 percent, year-over-year, in Q1 from $2.9 million to $1.9 million.