“Wisconsin Republicans recruiting legion of monitors to observe polls, set stage for lawsuits”

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

The Republican National Committee and Trump campaign plan to deploy tens of thousands of volunteers and attorneys to monitor and challenge voting processes in battleground states, including Wisconsin — an effort rooted in the former president’s false election claims, characterized as safeguarding from “Democrat tricks from 2020.”

GOP officials say they plan to recruit 100,000 people nationwide to observe election processes and voting, an expansion of typical activities for political parties in election years. The party’s rhetoric surrounding the plans, however, describes the program as a solution to former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss that has been confirmed in Wisconsin by judges, recounts, studies and audits.

“The Democrat tricks from 2020 won’t work this time. 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,” Charlie Spies, RNC chief counsel, said in a statement….

In a recent training session conducted by state GOP officials, the party’s election integrity director Mike Hoffman said a focus would be placed on Democratic population centers like Eau Claire, Madison and Milwaukee, and recounted telling one clerk the party would be “keeping a close eye on you,” according to the New York Times.

A spokesman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin did not answer questions about whether the party’s monitoring efforts would extend to non-Democratic-leaning areas.

Clerks in Madison and Dane County, where Trump sought to throw out tens of thousands of ballots in 2020, said they have not been contacted about the party’s effort to monitor election processes.

Claire Woodall, executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission, said she hosted Hoffman and GOP attorneys for a 90-minute tour of the city’s absentee ballot tabulation center, known as Central Count, on the night before the April presidential primary election….

“We are always happy to answer questions about process, procedure, and ensure open lines of communication between our office and both major political parties,” Woodall said. “As you know, we strictly follow state statute and there were no sudden changes or deviations from the rules in 2020. We were taken to court in 2020 multiple times, including by President Trump, and have always prevailed. I am confident our administration will continue to withstand scrutiny.

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