Trump's recruiting his "army": Why the RNC is training Republicans for the next election

The RNC is hosting a website along with workshops on how to challenge voters in Democratic-majority at precincts

By Jon Skolnik

Published June 3, 2022 10:58AM (EDT)

U.S. President Donald Trump | Judge Robert Rosenberg of the Broward County Canvassing Board uses a magnifying glass to examine a dimpled chad on a punch card ballot November 24, 2000 during a vote recount in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Getty Images/Salon)
U.S. President Donald Trump | Judge Robert Rosenberg of the Broward County Canvassing Board uses a magnifying glass to examine a dimpled chad on a punch card ballot November 24, 2000 during a vote recount in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Getty Images/Salon)

Republicans are gearing up to wage an electoral war at the polls in future elections, hiring scores of trained recruits to challenge voters in Democratic-leaning precincts and connecting them with a vast network of district attorneys who could theoretically stall election proceedings indefinitely. 

This broad-ranging campaign, reported by Politico, is primarily being organized by the Republican National Committee (RNC), which is set to host "workshops" directing prospective poll workers to a hotline for reporting voting irregularities in swing states like Michigan. The committee is also reportedly developing a website dedicated to opening a line of communication between poll workers and district attorneys on Election. 

RELATED: Trump's Big Lie lawyer quietly recruits army of election conspiracists to challenge next election

Matthew Seifried, the RNC's election integrity director for Michigan, has described the would-be recruits as "an army."

"Being a poll worker, you just have so many more rights and things you can do to stop something than [as] a poll challenger," said Seifried in a recording of a training session. "We're going to have more lawyers than we've ever recruited, because let's be honest, that's where it's going to be fought, right?"

According to recordings obtained by Politico, Tim Griffin, legal counsel to The Amistad Project, an "election integrity watchdog," has already met with multiple district attorneys who would be open to blocking the vote count in future elections. 

"Remember, guys, we're trying to build out a nationwide district attorney network. Your local district attorney, as we always say, is more powerful than your congressman," Griffin said during a September 21 meeting from last year. "They're the ones that can seat a grand jury. They're the ones that can start an investigation, issue subpoenas, make sure that records are retained, etc."


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RELATED: So far, Trump's "army" of poll watchers looks more like a small platoon

Nick Penniman, founder and CEO of Issue One, an election watchdog group, told Politico that the Republican effort might allow the GOP to wholly reject the electoral results in certain precincts. 

"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 said. "It looks like now the Trump forces are going directly after the legal system itself and that should concern everyone."

The effort appears to be animated by concerns around election integrity following the last presidential election, when former President Donald Trump spread the baseless conspiracy that President Joe Biden won by virtue of widespread and systematic voter fraud. In recordings obtained by Politico, numerous would-be poll workers are heard calling the 2020 election "corrupt." Several grassroots groups aligned with MAGA-verse are also reportedly helming the recruitment effort. 


Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, and The New York Daily News.

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Donald Trump Elections 2022 Elections 2024 Gop Republicans Rnc Trump's Big Lie