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2024 Election

Lara Trump Slammed After Claiming RNC Operatives Will 'Handle The Ballots' On Election Day

The new RNC co-chair, who also happens to be the GOP nominee's daughter-in-law, sparked immediate concern after claiming on Newsmax that election operatives would include 'people who can physically handle the ballots.'

Screenshot of Lara Trump

Former President Donald Trump's daughter-in-law Lara Trump, the new co-chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC), was widely criticized after she told Newsmax host Eric Bolling that the RNC's 2024 election operatives will include "people who can physically handle the ballots."

She said:

"We now have the ability at the RNC not just to have poll watchers—people standing in polling locations—but people who can physically handle the ballots."

When Bolling asked her whether those tasked with handling ballots will be stationed directly inside polling locations, she referred to a consent decree that restricted Republican poll watcher activity for nearly 40 years:

"So there was a moratorium for about 40 years on the RNC actually training people to work in these polling locations. And last year, the judge who implemented that passed away, so that gives us a great ability, heading into what I assume everyone understands is the most important election of our lifetimes."

You can hear what she said in the video below.

Lara Trump's comments came shortly after the RNC announced a significant "election integrity" initiative, pledging to deploy 100,000 volunteers and attorneys to key battleground states to "protect the vote and ensure a big win" in the upcoming election.

According to a press release, the volunteers and legal teams will be assigned to oversee various stages of the electoral process, including logic and accuracy testing, early voting, ballot counting, mail ballot processing, Election Day voting, and post-election canvasses, audits, and recounts. The statement hints that they might also aim to recruit poll workers.

RNC spokesperson Anna Kelly echoed Lara Trump's remarks in a statement released following the Newsmax interview:

"This election cycle, Republicans will beat Democrats at their own game by leveraging every legal tactic at our disposal based on the rules of each state. That includes ballot harvesting in states like California and Nevada and nominating Republican poll workers in states like Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona, and Michigan to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat."

However, poll watchers are usually designated by political parties to oversee election administration and sometimes monitor voter turnout. They are tasked with reporting issues or irregularities to authorities and election officials.

State-specific regulations guide their actions, but poll watchers are generally forbidden from disrupting the electoral process, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Between 1982 and 2017, the Republican National Committee (RNC) was bound by a court order limiting its poll watcher activity after Democrats filed a lawsuit alleging voter intimidation tactics against minorities in 1981. In 2018, a judge decided not to renew the consent decree—a decision that Lara Trump suggests now allows the RNC to do whatever it wants.

Many condemned Lara Trump's statements, saying her own words betray a GOP plan to interfere in the 2024 election.

The RNC's recent decision to approve Trump's choices for new leadership, including Michael Whatley as the new RNC chair, his daughter-in-law as co-chair, and Chris LaCivita as the chief operating officer, further solidifies Trump's control over the party. Despite ongoing primaries, the move indicates the party's acceptance of Trump as the de facto GOP presidential candidate.

The shake-up at the RNC follows the private announcement by Ronna McDaniel, who had led the committee since 2017, that she would be stepping down.

McDaniel found herself under mounting pressure both within and outside the committee to step down, driven by lackluster fundraising and criticisms of the GOP's unexceptional performance in the 2022 elections.

Several of Trump's allies accused McDaniel of not providing adequate support to the former president. They pointed to her neutrality during the Republican primary and her reluctance to accede to Trump's proposal to cancel a series of debates he had refused to participate in.

Lara Trump previously vowed to spend “every single penny” of RNC funds to re-elect her father-in-law, an admission many perceive as further evidence that the Trump family would continue to funnel money normally allocated to other GOP candidates to Donald Trump's campaign.