It’s safe to assume that our next election period will bring some more “voter fraud prevention” foolery. However, some GOP members in Michigan have gone beyond just election poll police. They plan to take the polls into their own hands. According to a POLITICO report, video recordings of GOP members and grassroots activists were released, exposing their strategy to target and possibly overturn votes in Democratic voting precincts.
Matthew Seifried, a Republican National Committee staffer, explained the plan as “providing political balance among poll workers” and installing “party-trained” volunteers ready to challenge voters in Democratic polling areas. Per the recordings, the plan also involves connecting these “volunteers” to lawyers so that they could potentially block vote counts in certain precincts.
Seifried promised to recruit an army of lawyers. Making it “easy to vote and hard to cheat,” is the goal for the RNC Seifried said via POLITICO.
More on the tapes from POLITICO:
“Democrats have had a monopoly on poll watching for 40 years, and it speaks volumes that they’re terrified of an even playing field,” said RNC spokesperson Gates McGavick. “The RNC is focused on training volunteers to take part in the election process because polling shows that American voters want bipartisan poll-watching to ensure transparency and security at the ballot box.”
A central theater for the party’s “election integrity” organizing, Michigan is among a number of battleground states where party loyalists are being groomed to serve as inspectors in the next presidential election. Seifried estimated the RNC is committing $35 million to election integrity efforts nationwide, similar to what it spent in the last cycle in battleground state efforts. He is one of 16 state directors.
Michigan in particular has a history of conflict at the polls. Poll workers were accused of bullying voters during the 2020 election and volunteer challengers created a ruckus causing the police to show up, per POLITICO. Yet, after all the Republican strategies, Biden still won the state. Now, Seifried has come up with a literal template on “how to challenge a voter” which is basically inspecting whether a person is eligible to vote or not…like there aren’t plenty of legislative challenges that do so already.
Nick Penniman, CEO of election watchdog group Issue One, and Rick Hasen, professor at University of California’s Irvine School of Law said a domino effect could come from this scheme.
“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,” especially “if [the poll workers] come in with the attitude that something is crooked with how elections are run,” said Hasen via POLITICO.