Message from John Ryder to RNC Members to Avoid Getting Tagged As Engaging in Poll Watching Because of Consent Decree

This is the text of an email that went out to RNC folks (why this matters):

RNC Members,

Please take a few minutes to read this important information.  With early and absentee voting under way and Election Day approaching, I wanted to remind you of the restrictions placed on the RNC by the consent decree in the case Democratic National Committee v. Republican National Committee

The Consent Decree prohibits the RNC – or anyone acting on the RNC’s behalf – from engaging in “ballot security” activity, which includes, but is not limited to, efforts to prevent or remedy vote fraud, unless advance notice is given to the DNC and the U.S. District Court that enforces the Consent Decree grants permission.

The effect is that no RNC employees or RNC members acting in their capacity as members may engage in any way with certain Election Day and pre-Election Day activities.  Examples of things you are prohibited from doing in your role as an RNC member include:

·       Preparing challenge lists

·       Poll watching

·       Recruiting or training poll watchers

·       Making contact with voters at the polls

·       Taking pictures or recording video at poll sites

·       Informing potential voters that vote fraud is a crime

·       Assisting, training or advising others who are participating in any of these activities

·       Recruiting others to participate any of these activities

The prohibition on the RNC’s involvement in these activities also means that no RNC resources may be used for these activities, and that you may not use your RNC title, letterhead, business cards, or other indicia of RNC membership in connection with these activities.

If the RNC is found to violate the Consent Decree, its provisions will extend for another eight years.  Currently, it is set to expire in December 17, and I ask your full cooperation in making sure that it is not extended.  

Given the seriousness of the Consent Decree and the severe consequences of a violation, you are encouraged not to engage in “ballot security” activities even in your personal, state party, or campaign capacity.  If you elect to do so, please be aware that the RNC in no way sanctions your activity.  You are not an agent of the RNC for any such purpose.

Adherence to the Consent Decree is of the utmost importance.  If you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask. 

Best regards,

John Ryder

General Counsel

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