RNC Has Filed 73 Lawsuits in the 2022 Election Cycle, With More to Come

The Republican National Committee has filed dozens of election-related lawsuits in 2022, largely in state courts, as a part of an aggressive authorized strategy to ensure what it calls “election integrity” within the upcoming midterms.

Emma Vaughn, an RNC spokesperson, informed OpenSecrets that the committee has made a $30 million funding in election-related efforts starting from litigation to recruiting and coaching ballot staff.

“We’re working to make sure that states observe the legal guidelines that they’ve on the books,” Vaughn mentioned.

On Oct. 20, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel tweeted that the RNC has filed 73 “election integrity” lawsuits within the 2022 election cycle, “with extra to return.”

RNC Communications Director Danielle Alvarez informed OpenSecrets that the get together may proceed to file new litigation within the days main as much as the election “as issues come up,” pointing to an ongoing dispute in Pennsylvania over counting undated mail-in ballots and a latest authorized problem alleging underrepresentation of Republican ballot staff in Maricopa County, Arizona.

The RNC says it has recruited over 70,000 ballot staff and ballot watchers, filed lawsuits in 20 states, and employed 37 state-based “election integrity counsels,” who’re attorneys employed to speak with ballot watchers and advise them.

Vaughn described the 2022 cycle because the “most litigious” for Republicans and emphasised that the RNC is not restricted by a decades-old consent decree limiting its means to problem voters’ {qualifications}. The consent decree was declared to have expired by a federal decide in 2018.

The lawsuits declare state election officers violated guidelines associated to voter registration, mail-in ballots, early voting and granting entry to partisan ballot watchers. The RNC has mentioned its mission is to “make it simpler to vote and tougher to cheat.”

Election legislation scholar Richard L. Hasen, a professor and director of the Safeguarding Democracy Venture at UCLA Regulation Faculty, informed OpenSecrets that a number of the Republican lawsuits are supposed “to create the looks that state and native election officers are usually not taking part in by the principles,” feeding into the narrative of malfeasance in election administration.

“This helps to again up the ‘rigged’ rhetoric, although there isn’t any indication of something apart from contested interpretations of sure election provisions,” Hasen mentioned.

RNC Challenges Election Administration in Key Swing States

The RNC has lately filed election-related lawsuits in battleground states reminiscent of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Arizona, alleging violations of state laws by each Democratic and Republican election officers.

In a single authorized victory for Republicans in Michigan, a court docket of claims decide threw out a handbook regulating the duties of election challengers that was issued by the Democratic secretary of state’s workplace.

In Pennsylvania, the RNC and state Republican Occasion are in search of to disqualify mail-in ballots with incorrect or lacking dates on their return envelopes.

The RNC has additionally received authorized challenges in Wisconsin limiting entry to absentee poll drop packing containers, and in Nevada requiring the general public launch of data on ballot staff.

The variety of pre-election lawsuits in federal courts has dropped since 2020, however election-related litigation in state courts has elevated in 2022, in keeping with the research of Miriam Seifter and Adam Sopko, attorneys with the State Democracy Analysis Initiative on the College of Wisconsin Regulation Faculty.

Republicans have additionally undertaken a nationwide effort to recruit and train poll workers to watch elections and use reporting software program to submit their findings to attorneys skilled in election legislation. These state-based “election integrity counsels” have been employed to make use of that data as the idea for lawsuits alleging voter fraud or different election violations.

The RNC commissioned a Committee on Election Integrity in 2021 after a sustained marketing campaign by former President Donald Trump to overturn his defeat within the 2020 presidential election.

In an August 2021 report to the nationwide get together chair, the Committee on Election Integrity really useful that the RNC implement an election integrity plan that “consists of the recruitment, coaching, and group of volunteers at each section of the election course of.”

“The RNC ought to search for offensive litigation alternatives each time potential,” the committee additionally really useful.

The report additionally requires Republicans to ascertain a “conflict room” that’s staffed with “trial attorneys who can discern and establish potential litigation alternatives.”

For many years, a consent decree restricted the power of the nationwide Republican Occasion to watch voting after the get together was sued for allegedly intimidating voters of coloration within the 1981 gubernatorial election in New Jersey. The consent decree expired in 2018.

The RNC dedicated $20 million to 2020 election efforts to problem lawsuits by Democrats and voting rights activists to develop voting entry in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the three weeks following Trump’s loss to President Joe Biden, Trump and the RNC raised more than $200 million whereas claiming election fraud and fundraising off of “election protection” funds.

Democrats have additionally made massive investments in voting-related initiatives. Final yr, the Democratic Nationwide Committee introduced it might commit $25 million to voter registration and election litigation efforts this election cycle in response to what Democrats have known as “unprecedented voter suppression efforts” by Republicans.