RNC Joins Opposition to Lawsuit Demanding Ballot Harvesting in Florida

King County Election workers collect ballots from a drop box in the Washington State primary, Tuesday, March 10, 2020 in Seattle. Washington is a vote by mail state. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
AP Photo/John Froschauer

The Republican National Committee (RNC), the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), and the Republican Party of Florida intervened in a Florida lawsuit lodged by progressive activists, who are calling for ballot harvesting and other vote-by-mail provisions in the Sunshine State.

Progressives are attempting to use the coronavirus pandemic to challenge voting rules in Florida. They, in Neilsen v. DeSantis, are suing the state and 67 County Supervisors of Elections over what they consider unfair restrictions on vote-by-mail. Their demands include forcing officials to count ballots that are received after Election Day and authorizing ballot harvesting — the process of allowing organizers to go door-to-door, collecting ballots and returning them in lieu of the voter.

Per Democracy Docket, created by Marc Elias, former attorney for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the figure behind a slew of the progressive cases seeking to use the court system to upend voting laws ensuring election integrity:

Ahead of Florida’s August primary, we sued the state and all its 67 County Supervisors of Elections over vote by mail restrictions that unfairly burden elderly, low-income, and student voters. On behalf of Priorities USA, the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans, Alianza for Progress, and individual voters, we challenged the State’s refusal to count ballots that are not received by 7:00 PM on Election Day, prohibition on paid organizers helping voters return their completed and sealed mail ballots, and lack of pre-paid postage for vote by mail ballots. All of these restrictions make it harder to vote by mail, and are exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Notably, Democrats cite coronavirus-related concerns as a reason the controversial practice of ballot harvesting is necessary, but the RNC contends that their reasoning is fundamentally flawed.

“Despite their fear mongering over the dangers of voting in person in Wisconsin, Democrats are happy to facilitate the spread of coronavirus and jeopardize the integrity of the ballot through door-to-door ballot harvesting if it will help them politically,” the RNC noted in a press release, detailing its intervention in the lawsuit.

“Democrats never let a crisis go to waste, and they are using a pandemic to completely destroy the integrity of our elections,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.

“Their latest attempt to circumvent election law in Florida would allow paid operatives to go door-to-door to collect and deliver thousands of ballots, as well as allow votes to be counted after Election Day,” she continued, warning that the practice “unnecessarily exposes Florida to potential fraud.”

“Republicans will not sit on the sidelines while Democrats try to sue their way to victory in 2020 because they know they cannot beat President Trump in November,” she added.

NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer concurred, stating that Democrats are continuing to “try and use every trick in the book to unfairly tilt the election in their favor. ”

RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters also slammed Democrats for attempting to overhaul election law by using the court system — a practice mastered by Elias, who has seeded lawsuits across the country as part of a greater effort to implement the left’s radical attempt to fundamentally transform the way Americans vote in elections.

“Once again national Democrats are coming into Florida trying to change our election laws by judicial fiat right before the 2020 election in an attempt to steal as many votes as possible in President Trump’s home state,” Gruters said.

“We will do whatever we can to defeat this partisan lawsuit and ensure that every eligible voter in Florida has the opportunity to vote safely and securely,” he added.

Per the RNC’s press release:

The RNC continues to fight back against the Democrats’ assault on the integrity of our elections by intervening in left-wing backed lawsuits across the country. On Wednesday, Chairwoman McDaniel demanded Nevada’s Attorney General investigate election chaos brought on by a similar Democrat lawsuit. Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed us a big victory, throwing out a left-wing lawsuit to allow ballots to be counted after Election Day. Similar radical lawsuits are being fought in states like Michigan, New Mexico, and Arizona. The RNC recently doubled its legal budget to $20 million to fight these efforts, and you can learn more about them at www.ProtectTheVote.com.

The RNC this year launched “Protect the Vote,” a digital platform designed to fight the left’s vote-by-mail push, which has exponentially increased during the weeks of the coronavirus pandemic. The website shows the various states the GOP is fighting legal challenges lodged by Democrats and includes its latest action in Florida.

“Intervened, along with the NRCC and Florida GOP, to defend Florida’s ban on ballot harvesting and absentee ballot safeguards against a challenge by Marc Elias and liberal groups,” the website states.

The far-left’s collective call for vote-by-mail has been growing in the weeks during the pandemic, as Democrats seize on fear to promote what has remained a major Democrat Party agenda item.

“Make no mistake: voting at home is not only a matter of protecting our democracy – it’s also a question of protecting Americans’ health,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Thursday:

Several Democrats, Pelosi included, have tried to use the in-person election in Wisconsin to justify their vote-by-mail agenda, despite the fact that the data does not warrant their proposals.

Out of 413,000 individuals who showed up to Wisconsin polls on April 7, just over two dozen later tested positive for the coronavirus. Furthermore, those who tested positive indicated other ways they may have been exposed to the virus, meaning the number of infections directly tied to election day activities could be even less than the 52 reported. But as it stands, the infection rate for the election — the election frequently cited by progressives peddling the vote-by-mail initiative — remains below two-hundredths of one percent.

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