According to video evidence, the Republican Party is forming a grassroots “army” to target and potentially overturn election results in Democratic precincts.
The alleged scheme includes the installation of party-trained volunteers ready to challenge voters at Democratic-majority polling places, the creation of a website to connect these workers with local lawyers, and the establishment of a network of district attorneys who could intervene to block vote counts.
Many Republicans continue to believe Donald Trump’s lie that he lost the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden due to widespread voter fraud. The party has passed laws that make it more difficult to vote at the state level, while pro-Trump candidates are running for positions that would give them control over future elections.
Politico obtained recordings of Republican meetings from the summer of 2021 to May of this year.
It said one from November shows Matthew Seifried, the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) election integrity director for Michigan, urging party activists in Wayne county to get official poll worker designations.
“Being a poll worker, you just have so many more rights and things you can do to stop something than [being] a poll challenger,” Seifried says.
Some would-be poll workers claim that fraud occurred in 2020 and that the election was “corrupt.”
Seifried promises support for such workers at another training session last October: “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?”
Politico also obtained Zoom recordings of Tim Griffin, legal counsel to the Amistad Project, a self-described election integrity organization that Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani once described as a “partner” in the Trump campaign’s legal efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Griffin is seen meeting with activists from various states and discussing strategies for identifying friendly district attorneys who could stage interventions in local election disputes.
“Remember, guys, we’re trying to build out a nationwide district attorney network,” he says at one meeting in September. As we always say, your local district attorney is more powerful than your congressman.
“They have the authority to appoint a grand jury.” They are the ones who can initiate an investigation, issue subpoenas, ensure that records are kept, and so on.” According to Politico, the Republican strategy also includes putting party loyalists on the board of canvassers, which is in charge of certifying election results.
The revelations are certain to heighten fears of new attacks on American democracy in 2022 and 2024.
“This is completely unprecedented in the history of American elections that a political party would be working at this granular level to put together a network,” Nick Penniman, founder and CEO of Issue One, an election watchdog group, told Politico. It appears that Trump’s forces are now targeting the legal system directly, which should worry everyone.”
The RNC insisted that it is only attempting to restore balance to election oversight in heavily Democratic cities like Detroit. “Democrats have had a monopoly on poll watching for 40 years, and it speaks volumes that they’re terrified of an even playing field,” said Gates McGavick, an RNC spokesperson. Because polling shows that American voters want bipartisan poll-watching to ensure transparency and security at the ballot box, the RNC is focusing on training volunteers to participate in the election process.”