The Republican Countrywide Committee (RNC) on Friday launched ProtectTheVote.com, a electronic system that the GOP claims is section of its all-hands-on-deck exertion to “safeguard versus the Democrats’ assault on our elections” as progressives push for sweeping alterations, which includes vote-by-mail and much more ballot harvesting, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The launch comes after the RNC and Trump campaign doubled their authorized finances to $20 million after an initial commitment of $10 million in February, declaring they required to “combat frivolous Democrat lawsuits and uphold the integrity of the elections approach.”
“In battleground states across the state, Democrats are applying the coronavirus as an justification to drive by way of their prolonged-sought partisan agenda, but we are fighting again to secure the vote,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel claimed in a assertion to Fox Information. “The RNC will stop at nothing to make sure the integrity of our elections is upheld in the experience of Democrats’ brazen assaults. Americans are worthy of to have confidence in their elections, and we will not stand idly by when Democrats consider to sue their way to victory in November.”
That was a message echoed by President Trump in a tweet previous thirty day period: “GET RID OF BALLOT HARVESTING, IT IS RAMPANT WITH FRAUD. THE United states of america Should HAVE VOTER I.D., THE ONLY WAY TO GET AN Genuine Count!”
Republican Countrywide Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at Countrywide Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S., February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque – RC19FD634A50
Ballot harvesting, or the practice of making it possible for political operatives and other people to accumulate voters’ ballots and switch them in en masse to polling stations, has drawn bipartisan concerns of fraud from election watchers — even as some states, together with California, leagalize and even inspire the follow.
Mail-in voting has also occur beneath scrutiny. Data from the U.S. Election Help Commission indicates that roughly 28 million mail-in ballots have disappeared in the earlier 10 years. “Elections in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018 saw a lot more than 28.3 million ‘unaccounted for’ mail ballots,” a report from the General public Desire Authorized Foundation lately assessed.
And, Republicans have very long argued that numerous states fall short to sufficiently clear up their voter rolls. Previous yr, California was pressured to remove 1.5 million ineligible voters after a court docket settlement very last 12 months when California’s rolls showed a registration of 112 percent.
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The new RNC web page includes an interactive map showing the place the RNC and Republicans are involved in lawful initiatives across the region, like Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Maine, California, Arizona and elsewhere.
Earlier this 7 days, the RNC, in partnership with the Pennsylvania GOP and the Nationwide Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), intervened in a lawsuit in Pennsylvania to oppose numerous proposed adjustments, which include the suspension of prosecution of ballot harvesters and the elimination of verification treatments for absentee ballots, this kind of as signature matching.
And, in California very last 7 days, the California Republican Occasion, supported by the RNC, sued Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, to clarify the practice of ballot harvesting in the approaching Might 12 Special Election.
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The RNC also lent assistance to Nevada past month, when a prominent attorney who represented Hillary Clinton’s presidential marketing campaign threatened to sue the state of Nevada except if it quickly suspended prosecutions for ballot harvesting before the June 9 principal.
Marc Elias, representing the Nevada Democratic Get together, also referred to as for a considerable expansion of in-individual voting access in the upcoming main — though he previously said it was a “national disgrace” that Wisconsin was shifting forward with in-individual voting amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In equally cases, he cited health and fitness worries. There has been no election-connected spike in coronavirus situations in Wisconsin.
A voter wearing a entire facial area chemical protect to protect from the spread of coronavirus, all through Wisconsin’s major this past April. (Angela Main/The Janesville Gazette by means of AP, File)
Crafting on April 10 to Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, a Republican, Elias 1st took intention at Nevada Revised Statutes part 293.330(4), which prohibited ballot harvesting and permits only certain individuals, like loved ones customers, to return ballots.
At the very same time, Elias called for Nevada to end throwing out ballots when signatures on voters’ ballots seem different from these on voters’ registrations, indicating “lay election officials have never ever experienced the needed expertise” to make an accurate dedication.”
“Making use of the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse, Democrats have sued in state following point out to strip absent essential election safeguards, legalize the exercise of ballot harvesting and press for a universal mail-in ballot technique,” the RNC claimed in a assertion.
The RNC has also touted many election-law victories throughout the nation, and options people wins on its web page.
For example, very last September, a federal judge in California granted the Trump campaign and RNC’s request to block a new regulation that calls for presidential and gubernatorial candidates to release five a long time of tax returns to run in the state’s principal elections.
The regulation signed by Newsom in July would have remaining the sitting president off of the ballot in California’s March 2020 primary unless of course he submitted five years’ truly worth of his tax returns by a Nov. 26 deadline.
Separately in California, the RNC supported a lawsuit by point out Republicans to compel Newsom to “issue current advice admitting that he had granted ballot harvesters a particular exemption from his statewide continue to be-at-residence buy – an exemption that prioritizes partisan political gain over the wellness of Californians.”
In Wisconsin past thirty day period, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal district court docket judge’s ruling enabling individuals voting by absentee ballots an added week to return their ballots. The ruling by the higher court broke together ideological lines, with the five appointed by Republicans overruling the 4 appointed by Democrats.
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The RNC stated it “also worked with the Wisconsin Republican Get together to get a victory for election integrity at the condition Supreme Court docket by thwarting rogue election officials’ illegal assistance regarding identification demands for absentee voters.”
In Florida, the RNC served finance what it called the “defense of a Florida legislation that sought to place President Trump at the leading of the ballot.”
And, in New Mexico, the RNC defended versus a lawsuit it reported was “striving to pressure the condition to instantly mail ballots to all voters with no demanding them to applying for a person first.”