The Republican National Committee (RNC) has launched 73 lawsuits on election integrity issues in 20 states during the 2022 midterm election cycle, an increase from 2020 that has already secured GOP victories in battleground states this year.
The scope of the legal challenges stretches from the rights of poll watchers to observe the counting of votes to the illegal counting of mismarked absentee ballots.This aggressive legal approach is an effort to meet RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel’s vision of making this cycle the RNC’s “most litigious,” according to an RNC spokesperson. The strategy includes offense-minded lawsuits, such as suing Democratic secretaries of state and challenging Democrat-friendly election laws, and defensive actions that include intervening in lawsuits brought by the Biden administration in Republican states.
The strategy comes two years after a cycle that left some Republicans wanting a bigger effort to rein in state election activities and a presidential election result that prompted former President Trump to file dozens of lawsuits. One GOP group welcomed the decision to take aggressive legal steps to make sure states aren’t allowed to stretch their election rules beyond what’s in state law.
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“After the shortcomings of the last election, a proactive and pre-emptive legal strategy is critical to the election integrity voters deserve in 2022, 2024 and beyond,” Michael Bars, executive director of the Election Transparency Initiative, told Fox News Digital. He added that “significant strides” have been made over the last two years to “restore voters’ faith in fair and secure elections.”The lawsuits are the result of a “multimillion-dollar investment into building an election integrity operations infrastructure that draws on its legal, political, data and communications resources,” according to RNC spokesperson Gates McGavick.
In Vermont and New York, for example, the RNC sued to strike down voting laws that would allow non-U.S. citizens to vote. In June, it successfully argued in the New York State Supreme Court to strike down a law that would have added at least 900,000 non-citizens to voter rolls.
On Oct. 16, the RNC sued after Pennsylvania’s decision to dodge state law and a Supreme Court ruling by saying it will count undated absentee ballots.
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Also this month, the RNC won two legal challenges in an effort to ensure that poll workers equally represent both political parties, which forced Nevada and Arizona to produce poll-worker data.
And just last week, the RNC won a legal challenge against Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s Democrat secretary of state, who imposed illegal restrictions on poll challengers, which are people appointed to challenge the eligibility of voters.
“Jocelyn Benson not only disregarded Michigan election law in issuing this guidance, she also violated the rights of political parties and poll challengers to fully ensure transparency and promote confidence that Michigan elections are run fairly and lawfully,” McDaniel said in a statement.
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With the November midterms looming, McGavick told Fox News Digital that the infrastructure in place also puts the party in a position to fight legal battles that may result from close races. But he said the RNC’s “aggressive pre-election litigation efforts in many states have been successful in ensuring the rules of the road are clear ahead of time.”