RNC Report Claims Democrats Used COVID-19 to Influence 2020 Election, Warns Against Federalizing Elections

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Election personnel sort absentee ballot applications for storage at the Gwinnett County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections offices on November 7, 2020 in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Several counties in Georgia continued to count ballots even as news outlets have declared Joe Biden the winner of the race for President. (Image: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

A newly released report by the Republican National Committee (RNC) reveals that Democrats used the COVID-19 pandemic to implement changes to the 2020 presidential election in a way that helped Joe Biden assume power at the White House. The 23-page report, published after a seven-month-long investigation, was created by the RNC’s Temporary Committee on Election Integrity led by Chairman Joe Gruters and co-chair Ashley MacLeay.

“The RNC established an election integrity committee to examine how Democrats attack election integrity — and more importantly, to lay out a blueprint for protecting our elections from the far-left… Republicans believe in making it easier to vote and harder to cheat, and we’re building a historic election integrity operation to do just that,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told the Washington Examiner.

The RNC report acknowledges that some changes to voting procedures were “unavoidable” due to the impact of the pandemic. It “applauds” poll workers and election officials who performed their duties while risking their lives amidst the viral outbreak. 

However, the report criticized Democrats, including some public officials, for using the epidemic “as a pretense to achieve long-sought policy goals.” Some of these goals include expansion of mail voting and eliminating voting safeguards, specifically for absentee voting, like ID and witness requirements.

In states like Nevada and New Jersey, which do not have a tradition of heavy absentee voting, mail ballots were automatically sent to voters who had not even requested them. Some state courts ignored legislature-enacted laws like ballot delivery deadlines. Election officials were “far too aggressive” in restricting access to poll watchers and other observers. Though this is a longstanding issue, COVID-19 “exacerbated it considerably.” Officials also “watered down” verification standards for absentee ballots, including lowering standards for counting ballots.

Some of the problems discovered by the report have to do with the election process itself and are not specifically caused by COVID-19. Prime among them includes the failure to clean up voter rolls as well as security vulnerabilities in voting infrastructure and systems. Key election records and data are not accessible by the public despite the fact that officials have “no good reason to withhold” such information. 

In states like Ohio, Iowa, and Florida, election officials “fended off Democrat legal challenges” and maintaining the integrity of elections. The committee also found it encouraging that some states have enacted reforms to strengthen integrity and improve the administration of elections. The report identified communication problems when it came to educating people about election integrity.

“The media does not portray election integrity issues fairly or accurately, so the RNC must look for opportunities to create the message and be on offense. It is abundantly clear that the American people, including many Democrats, agree with the Republican Party’s policies on election integrity,” the report said. It cited data from an RNC poll which found that over 80 percent of voters support voter ID and 87 percent are against ballot harvesting.

Recommendations

As part of its recommendations on voting systems and election infrastructure, the report called for auditable paper records to be maintained for all ballots, banning internet connectivity in voting systems, limiting administrative access to election systems to a few local election officials, upgrading state voter registration systems to allow for real-time reporting of voter registration statistics, using voting hardware and software that are only manufactured in the United States, and so on.

The Committee took a stand against same-day voter registration and automatic registration of voters. It asked states to implement “vigorous identification requirements” for people at the time of voter registration. Third-party organizations that carry out voter registration campaigns must register with the Secretary of State or other relevant local election officials.

The report recommended that states ask for a government-issued photo ID during in-person voting. It opposed a universal mail voting system that automatically mails out ballots to voters who had not requested it.

With regard to drop boxes, the committee recommended that they be set up at least 30 days prior to the start of early voting and election day. “Drop boxes should be emptied daily by a bipartisan team of at least two election workers and on election day immediately after polls close… All ballots returned at drop boxes should be separated from the rest of the ballots received,” stated the report.

The RNC committee also asked states to ban the acceptance of non-government funding in election administration. 

Federalizing elections

The report took a strong stance against attempts by Congress and the Executive Branch to “displace the states’ constitutional and traditional responsibility” of administering their elections. The committee noted that decentralized elections are a “natural deterrent” to a central point of attack. State-administered elections also allow for experimentation with various election processes to determine which works best.

“Democrats should learn from their failures in trying to pass H.R. 1/ S. 1 that the American people prefer states to set their own election policies. The Republican Party will do everything in its power to prevent a federal takeover of our elections,” the report said. 

H.R. 1, also known as “For The People Act,” is a Democrat-supported bill that seeks to give the federal government the authority to administer elections. It contains several other proposals like automatic voter registration, doing away with witness signatures for absentee ballots, banning state voter ID laws, allowing same-day voter registrations, allowing illegal immigrants and felons to vote, legalizing nationwide mail-in voting without photo ID, etc. 

Writing for The Epoch Times, Robert G. Natelson, a former constitutional law professor, warned that H.R. 1 would create so much chaos that it would require a constitutional amendment to “clean up the mess.” H.R. 1 was passed by the House of Representatives 220-210 along party lines on March 3. The bill then went to the 50-50 split Senate and was unable to garner the 60 votes necessary to pass to the next stage. 

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