Fri. May 24th, 2024

Trump campaign, RNC pledge to deploy 100,000 attorneys and volunteers to monitor the vote

By 37ci3 Apr19,2024

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee announced Friday a massive “election integrity” operation, pledging to send 100,000 volunteers and advocates to the battleground in November to “protect votes and ensure a big win.”

In a press release, officials said they are asking volunteers and lawyers to oversee logic and accuracy checks, early voting, ballot tabulation, mail-in ballot processing and Election Day voting, as well as post-election investigations, audits and vote recounts. The release suggests that they may be looking to hire survey workers as well.

“Having the right people to count the ballots is as important as voter turnout on Election Day,” Trump said.

“The RNC is hiring hundreds of election integrity workers across the map — more than ever before, as our party will hire thousands more observers to protect votes in 2024. These campaign officials in the states are tasked with recruiting, training and, where possible, poll watchers and poll watchers. employees change day by day,” added RNC Co-Chair Lara Trump.

Vote tracking is a normal part of elections – both parties do it – but experts warn that unruly operations can cause problems. As Trump and his allies continue to make false claims about the 2020 election, some experts worry that empowering such observers at the polls could interfere with normal election operations or intimidate voters.

The GOP release notes that they plan to work with “passionate local coalitions deeply invested in fighting voter fraud.”

The planned operation will double what the RNC promised 50,000 man operation As of 2020, some experts say both figures are aspirational and unrealistic. The RNC did not respond to a request for information on how many people volunteered or staffed the last election.

“I’ve actually done a program like this with real people,” said Justin Levitt, a former Democratic adviser in the Biden White House who previously worked on voting issues at the Justice Department. “We did really well and made tens of thousands.”

Recruiting individuals, especially to monitor voter fraud, is more difficult than training poll workers, he said.

“They’re recruiting people to stand there and watch something that’s not going to happen. Can you please come and see, wait 15 hours for the UFO?” he said.

Marc Elias, a leading Democratic election lawyer, acknowledged the 100,000 figure was unrealistic but said he was still concerned about the plans.

“I think they’re going to have a massive voter suppression operation that’s going to involve a very, very large number of people and a very, very large number of lawyers,” he said. “I think we should take the RNC literally and seriously — except for their numbers.”

Lauren Groh-Wargo, executive director of Fair Fight PAC, the political advocacy arm of the Georgia voting rights group of the same name, said the effort would hurt the election administration.

“The Republican National Committee’s new voter suppression division is just the latest version of their brazen playbook to divide and intimidate voters and steal the American vote by building an operation based on the lie of voter fraud,” he said.

Until 2018, the RNC’s poll-tracking plans were restricted by a consent decree, which required it to seek court approval to prove any poll-tracking was non-discriminatory.

The order came after Democrats sued and accused the RNC of sending armed, off-duty police officers to patrol polling stations in minority neighborhoods in 1981. The decree required them to obtain prior court approval for election monitoring operations, but it has expired. End of 2017 after 35 years.

David Becker, executive director of the nonpartisan Center for Election Innovation and Research, which helps support election officials, said election observers are a normal and useful part of the election process when they are well trained and do not interfere with the work of administrators. He said the 100,000-strong army would present a different dynamic, but noted that election workers were prepared to handle unruly observers if they encountered them.

“They will protect their constituents’ right to vote without intimidation. If observers act against the interests of voters or interfere with poll workers, they will be dealt with under state law,” he said.

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By 37ci3

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