As we look ahead to Election Day 2018 next week, the RNLA is often asked what we do for elections. Today, we released a statement on the importance of open, fair, and honest elections:
- “Open” means a process in which all sides can have “observers” (commonly referred to as “poll watchers”), and the process is determined by legislatures well in advance. Every state has rules governing the qualification and presence of observers at the polls. Election officials of one party should not hold election processes hostage, nor should lawyers, with last-minute litigation, try to change clearly written rules and procedures enacted to ensure that only legitimate votes are cast and counted. The RNLA strongly opposes any efforts to intimidate election officials, voters, or poll watchers. No voter should feel intimidated at the polls to vote for a particular candidate, party, or cause.
- “Fair” means election officials should be from both parties and they should administer the election process in an orderly, unbiased fashion. Too often, well-intentioned election officials work hard but do not understand changes in the law, are poorly trained, and/or are over-worked, resulting in mistakes that may or may not be corrected when the votes are tabulated. A fair process involves all the parties, candidates, officials, etc., working together to ensure all legal votes are counted. In the past, the RNLA has worked with Democrats and welcomes the opportunity to work with them again.
- “Honest” means free from fraud. Often, fraud is very narrowly defined as impersonation voting at the polls, but fraud includes many other efforts to cast or have counted an illegal vote or to prevent the casting or counting of legal votes. For example, voting by deceased persons, non-citizens, or ineligible felons; voting in one state or precinct while residing in another; and casting an in-person vote in one precinct while submitting an absentee ballot in another all constitute fraud which undermines and dilutes the casting and counting of legitimate votes.
The RNLA seeks to promote open, fair and honest elections at all levels of American society in a non-discriminatory manner and to provide access to the polls to all qualified and eligible voters. It provides election law training from preeminent election law professionals. It responds to requests for assistance from the Republican Party and its candidates by communicating the requests to its members. Through its efforts, the RNLA strives to strengthen the faith and confidence of all citizens of the United States in their government and the electoral process.
Thank you to all RNLA members who have volunteered to help ensure that the elections this year are open, fair, and honest so that all eligible voters can vote and have their votes be counted and ineligible voters are not able to vote or have their votes counted.