Republicans in Congress, determined to use their oversight authority to keep tabs on midterms, have deployed dozens of trained observers to key races around the country.
The effort is being led Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Il), who is the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, and includes the training and deployment of House staff as observers under the authority of Congress and investigating how federal agencies are implementing Joe Biden’s executive order to expand voter registration.
Davis has so far written to at least one state election chief that the effort preserves the right for a candidate who feels his or her race was wrongly counted to contest it in Congress.
“As in past elections, the House will use this legal authority to credential and deploy trained congressional staffers to serve as official House election observers in close, or particularly cumbersome congressional elections, in the coming weeks,” the Illinois Republican wrote Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose on Oct. 20, laying out his plans. “This allows us to prepare for the possibility that a candidate could later contest the race in the House of Representatives.
“The Committee takes seriously its responsibility regarding federal elections, and we are committed to making sure all lawful ballots in congressional races are counted fairly, accurately, and according to law.”
Davis wrote that House staffers who will deployed have been “trained by experts in election observation and instructed that they play no formal or advocacy role in the administration of the election or the vote counting process; they are to function exclusively as observers.”
In addition to the observers, Davis and other ranking Republicans on committees have been peppering state, local and federal agencies with questions about tactics they are using and disputes that have already arisen early in the midterms.
For instance, Davis sent Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton a letter Wednesday demanding an investigation into voter registration mailers sent out by Planned Parenthood and Democrat candidate for governor Beto O’Rourke that he said might not have complied with state law.
“It is deeply troubling that Planned Parenthood and Mr. O’Rourke’s campaign sent voter registration forms that may not conform to state law to individuals who, in some cases, have been deceased for over a decade,” Davis wrote. “It goes without saying: Situations like this have a negative effect on voter confidence at a time we can least afford it. Texas voters must be assured not only that their vote will count, but that all — and only — legal votes will be counted.
“I understand you have launched your Election Integrity Division to investigate instances like this, and I encourage you to direct them to pursue this with all due haste.”
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Letter to AG Paxton (PDF)
Likewise, earlier this month Davis sent a letter to Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold asking to be briefed on an investigation into how voter registration notices were sent out to 30,000 non-citizens who aren’t legally allowed to cast ballots.
“As you know, situations like this have a negative effect on voter confidence in elections at a time we can least afford it,” the Illinois lawmaker wrote. “Colorado must ensure that its voter registration lists are well-maintained and accurate and hold itself to the highest standards for all registration notices. The fact that roughly 30,000 names and addresses ‘accidentally’ slipped through the process is deeply concerning.”
Letter to Colorado SOS (PDF)
The effort stretches all the way back to the spring, when House Administration Committee Republicans were flabbergasted by what they witnessed at Atlanta voting centers in Fulton County during the spring primaries. Davis said the problem observed, including polling locations that could not operate at full capacity, “do real damage to voter confidence in our election systems and outcomes at a time when we can least afford it.”
“I write today to express my concern about information my staff received during their trip regarding last minute security and other software updates that were made to the county’s electronic pollbooks (EPBs), which caused polling locations to open at less-than-full capacity, and request an explanation on how you will ensure that all of the county’s devices will be updated in time for the polls to open in November, specifically ensuring that minority and majority polling locations are not disproportionately affected,” Davis wrote the chairwoman of the Fulton County Elections Board on June 3.
Davis and other GOP colleagues in the House have also been investigating how federal agencies have been responding to Biden’s executive order to use tax dollars to expand voter registration across the country.
Rep. Glenn Thompson (Pa.), the top Republican on the House Agriculture Committee, was able to confirm that the U.S. Agriculture Department is helping collect voter registrations when poor Americans seek food stamps and other welfare benefits.
USDA believes the National Voter Registration Act 1993 requires it “to offer voter registration opportunities to any person who applies for or renews an application for public assistance, which includes the acceptance of the completed voter registration form and transmittal to State election officials,” the agency wrote recently.
Davis wrote several agencies this summer expressing concern that Biden’s order to agencies “goes beyond the power of the President and the statutory authority given to federal agencies” by Congress and digging into the tactics they are using to encourage voter registration.
Ryan DeLarme is a disillusioned journalist navigating a labyrinth of political corruption, overreaching corporate influence, high finance, compromised media, and the planned destruction of our constitutional republic. He is also a Host and Founder at Vigilant News. His writing has been featured in American Thinker, Winter Watch, Underground Newswire, and Stillness in the Storm. He also has written scripts for television series featured on Rise.tv. Ryan enjoys gardening, creative writing, and fighting to SAVE AMERICA