A federal judge has ordered the RNC to explain and detail all agreements they have with the Trump campaign about poll watching and voter intimidation…or as Trump and his surrogates call it, “ballot security.”
A federal judge has ordered the RNC to explain and detail all agreements they have with the Trump campaign about poll watching and voter intimidation…or as Trump and his surrogates call it, “ballot security.” Because of an old consent decree, the GOP is banned from those activities.
In 1981, Democrats filed a lawsuit against the Republicans over a New Jersey gubernatorial election. The Repubs were accused of using off-duty cops to intimidate minority voters. And they used a shady mailer campaign to target African Americans and Hispanics.
According to the lawsuit, the GOP sent out mailers to minority voters. They then made a list of every voter who did not return the mailer. The Republican poll watchers used that list to challenge those voters even though they appeared on the voter rolls. The goal was to suppress the minority vote that traditionally votes Democratic.
In 1982 the Repubs settled the lawsuit, agreeing to “refrain from undertaking any ballot security activities … directed toward districts that have a substantial proportion of racial or ethnic minority populations.”
The consent decree is in effect until 2017. If the Repubs violate the decree it could be extended to 2025.
But, because of the rhetoric coming from Trump and his campaign, the Dems believe the Republicans are indeed in violation. So last week they filed papers asking the court to step in and stop the behavior Trump is encouraging, and they asked the court to extend the consent decree.
The court is now ordering the RNC to explain why Kellyanne Conway and Mike Pence have been saying they are working hand-in-hand with the RNC on assuring there is no voter fraud on election day. The court gave them until 5PM on Tuesday to comply.
The problem is, the RNC is insisting they’re not working with the Trump campaign on “ballot security.” But the words of Trump’s campaign manager and the Republican Vice Presidential candidate say the opposite.
In August Pence said,
“The Trump Campaign and the Republican National Committee are working very, very closely with state governments and secretaries of state all over the country to ensure ballot integrity.”
And just recently, Kellyanne Conway told The Washington Post that the campaign was “actively working with the national committee, the official party, and campaign lawyers to monitor precincts around the country.”
So now, N.J.-based U.S. District Court Judge John Vazquez has demanded the RNC to produce “[a]ll agreements in any form between Defendant and the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump (the ‘Trump Campaign’) regarding voter fraud, ballot security, ballot integrity, poll watching, or poll monitoring.”
The order continues,
“The affidavit(s) shall set forth all material terms of any such agreement, including any geographic areas which are being targeted for the voter fraud, ballot security, ballot integrity, poll watching, or poll monitoring efforts and the reason(s) those areas are being targeted.”