“Trump campaign says it will deploy thousands of election workers to monitor poll sites”


Former President Donald Trump’s political operation said Thursday that it plans to deploy more than 100,000 attorneys and volunteers across battleground states to monitor — and potentially challenge — vote counting in November.

The initiative — which the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee described as “the most extensive and monumental election integrity program in the nation’s history” — will include training poll watchers and workers as well as lawyers.

Most states have rules regulating activities at polling sites. That includes laws prohibiting voter intimidation, obstructing voters from casting their ballots, loitering and advertising. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, partisan poll workers are allowed to monitor elections but can’t interfere in the electoral process except to report issues.

Those involved in the drafting of the program included RNC Chair Michael Whatley, RNC co-chair Lara Trump, who is Trump’s daughter-in-law, and the RNC’s general counsel, Charlie Spies.

In a statement, Spies said, “In 2024 we’re going to beat the Democrats at their own game and the RNC legal team will be working tirelessly to ensure that elections officials follow the rules in administering elections. We will aggressively take them to court if they don’t follow rules or try to change them at the last minute.”

This story reminds me of what occurred in Ohio in 2004: the GOP planned to undertake a similar effort of potentially challenging voters at the polls on Election Day, but had to back down at the last minute after litigation over the effort when all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, with Justice Stevens issuing a warning to the state at around 3 am on Election Day. In response, Governor Taft ordered Republicans in the state to abandon their plans for aggressive challenging of voters. There were still extraordinarily long lines at many polling places in Ohio that day, but not attributable to the challenging campaign that the GOP had planned. As Justice Stevens’s opinion reflecting, this issue calls for careful balancing of the right to monitor the voting process in order to maintain transparency and thus public confidence in its integrity, while at the same time refraining from practices that would interfere the right of eligible voters to cast their ballots.

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