RNC Files Suits in MI and AZ

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has filed multiple lawsuits this week in Michigan and Arizona seeking to defend the integrity of our elections. In Michigan, the RNC joined the Michigan Republican Party in suing Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Director of Elections Jonathan Brater for issuing "a new set of rules" regarding election challengers without following the proper procedure:

Those new rules, however, are directly inconsistent with the plain language of the Michigan Election Law, prior guidance issued by the Secretary of State, and current common practice. And despite the fact that this Court has held on at least two recent occasions that Secretary Benson issued rules in violation of Michigan’s Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”), see Davis v Benson, No. 20-000207-MZ, 2020 WL 7033534 (Mich. Ct. Cl. Oct. 27, 2020); Genetski v Benson, No. 20-000216-MM, 2021 WL 1624452 (Mich. Ct. Cl. Mar. 09, 2021), none of the new rules set forth in the 2022 Election Challenger Instructions were promulgated in accordance with the APA.

As The Federalist reported, the guidance issued by the Democrat officials is far reaching and includes:

  • Creating a last-minute new credential form for poll challengers, adding another barrier to citizen oversight.
  • Creating an artificial deadline for when poll challengers can be appointed, i.e., challengers can be appointed up until Election Day, but not on the day itself. This means same-day election challengers could be rejected by election officials, despite Michigan law imposing no such requirement.
  • Restricting which poll workers the challengers can communicate with (under Michigan law, election challengers can speak with any election inspector) and restricting the potential grounds for challenges. 
  • Prohibiting the possession of certain electronic devices — “capable of sending or receiving information” — in absentee ballot counting areas, despite no such prohibition in Michigan election law.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time Benson has come under fire for controversial election policies.

In Arizona, the RNC joined the Republican Party of Arizona in filing two lawsuits against Maricopa County after several weeks of negotiations:

  • The first lawsuit challenges Maricopa County’s lack of transparency and its refusal to turn over public records regarding their statutory duty to ensure that both parties have equal representation in the number of poll workers.
  • The second lawsuit challenges the burdensome requirements Maricopa County has placed on election workers. These requirements have resulted in an unequal amount of Republican election workers in previous elections.

The RNC has had success with a similar lawsuit in Nevada, where Clark County will be required to release the partisan breakdown of poll workers.

RNLA applauds the RNC for their commitment to the integrity and transparency of our elections.