RNC, Election Deniers Have a Midterm Strategy

It reportedly involves training volunteers as poll workers, connecting them with lawyers
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2022 11:57 AM CDT
RNC, Election Deniers Have Hatched Plan for the Midterms
A voter enters the polling location to cast a ballot in the Pennsylvania primary election on May 17 in Harmony, Pa.   (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

As the midterms are starting to take shape, a pair of stories about 2020 election deniers who are coming together with the RNC to form an "organized cavalry" of volunteers determined to suss out and shine a light on what they believe will be Democratic wrongdoing during the 2022 races:

  • The New York Times' story has at its heart Cleta Mitchell, a Republican lawyer whom the Times calls "one of the key figures in a failed scheme to overturn Donald J. Trump's defeat." She's been holding seminars where she instructs volunteers across the country how to do the job that she believes needs to be done: monitoring voting places, surveilling election offices, filing information requests, and more. The Times writes that she's working with both "influential groups" (including the RNC) and "fringe figures," and explains how her efforts dovetail with the RNC's own return to "widespread election-work organizing," after the 2018 lifting of a decades-old consent decree that limited its ability to monitor polling activities. The RNC has hired state "election integrity" lawyers and directors, some of whom have collaborated with Mitchell. (Read the full story.)

  • Politico's story makes no mention of Mitchell, but it treads a similar line. It writes of GOP operatives and grassroots activists who are collaborating in hopes of "potentially overturn[ing] votes in Democratic precincts"—particularly in swing states—by training volunteers to work at polls and connecting them with GOP attorneys. Its story comes by way of video recordings of meetings between the two groups. For instance, it quotes comments from the RNC's election integrity director for Michigan in two fall meetings: "Being a poll worker, you just have so many more rights and things you can do to stop something than [as] a poll challenger," said Matthew Seifried. "It's going to be an army. We're going to have more lawyers than we've ever recruited, because let's be honest, that's where it's going to be fought, right?" (Read the full story.)

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