Republicans gearing up to contest midterm elections via poll workers, attorneys: report
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Republicans are ramping up efforts to place party-aligned officials inside the US election system ahead of the 2022 midterms, according to a Wednesday report from Politico.
The report details efforts at the state and local level to install Republican poll workers and connect them with attorneys who would be readily available to issue challenges to votes on Election Day. Critics argue that many of the would-be poll workers deny the result of the 2020 election, and therefore should not be trusted to handle elections.
« 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, » Nick Penniman, CEO of election watchdog group Issue One, told Politico. « It looks like now the Trump forces are going directly after the legal system itself and that should concern everyone. »
The Republican National Committee (RNC) argues it is simply catching up to what Democrats have already been doing for years.
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« Democrats have had a monopoly on poll watching for 40 years, and it speaks volumes that they’re terrified of an even playing field, » RNC spokesman Gates McGavick told Politico. « 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. »
Former President Donald Trump led a nationwide effort to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election, and his supporters stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to stop congressional certification of the results.
Central to Trump’s effort was the idea that former Vice President Mike Pence could refuse to certify President Biden’s election win and allow state legislatures to send new batches of electors to hand the victory to Trump.
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Pence quashed the attempt, saying vice presidents hold no such authority. Nevertheless, Democrats fear that Republicans could overturn results if enough Trump loyalists obtain election leadership positions.