Recordings show 'unprecedented' RNC plan to install an 'army' of poll workers in Democratic precincts: report

Recordings show 'unprecedented' RNC plan to install an 'army' of poll workers in Democratic precincts: report

With President Joe Biden continuing to suffer from weak approval ratings and voters expressing considerable frustration over inflation, Democratic strategists fear that the 2022 midterms could bring a major red wave like the red waves of 1994 and 2010. To make matters worse, Republicans have been ramping up their voter suppression campaign. And according to reporting from journalist Heidi Przybyla in Politico, part of the GOP game plan is looking for ways to challenge votes in Democratic-leaning areas.

Politico, Przybyla reports, has obtained “video recordings” of “Republican Party operatives meeting with grassroots activists” that “provide an inside look at a multi-pronged strategy to target and potentially overturn votes in Democratic precincts.” The plan, according to Przybyla, is to “install trained recruits as regular poll workers and put them in direct contact with party attorneys.”

Przybyla writes, “The plan, as outlined by a Republican National Committee staffer in Michigan, includes utilizing rules designed to provide political balance among poll workers to install party-trained volunteers prepared to challenge voters at Democratic-majority polling places, developing a website to connect those workers to local lawyers and establishing a network of party-friendly district attorneys who could intervene to block vote counts at certain precincts.”

The RNC staffer in Michigan that Przybyla is referring to is Matthew Seifried. In a recording of a training session held on October 5, 2021, Seifried told his colleagues, “Being a poll worker, you just have so many more rights and things you can do to stop something than (as) a poll challenger…. 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?”

Seifried, according to Przybyla, “also said the RNC will hold ‘workshops’ and equip poll workers with a hotline and website developed by Zendesk, a software support company used by online retailers, which will allow them to live-chat with party attorneys on Election Day.”

Przybyla notes that “election watchdog groups and legal experts say many of these recruits are answering the RNC’s call because they falsely believe fraud was committed in the 2020 election.”

Nick Penniman, founder and CEO of the election watchdog group Issue One, told Politico, “This is completely unprecedented in the history of American elections that a political party would be working at this granular level to put a network together. It looks like now, the Trump forces are going directly after the legal system itself — and that should concern everyone.”

Penniman believes that the RNC strategy is to “create massive failure of certification” in Democratic precincts.

“The real hope is that you can throw the choosing of electors to state legislatures,” Penniman told Politico.

Law professor Rick Hasen, an expert on election law who also teaches political science professor at the University of California, Irvine, is quite critical of the RNC plan to install poll workers in heavily Democratic precincts.

Hasen told Politico, “You shouldn’t have poll workers who are reporting to political organizations what they see. It creates the potential for mucking things up at polling places and potentially leading to delays or disenfranchisement of voters.”

That is especially true, Hasen added, “if (the poll workers) come in with the attitude that something is crooked with how elections are run.”

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