The Republican National Committee (RNC) slammed the cities of Kalamazoo and Flint, Michigan, after city officials appointed significantly fewer Republican election inspectors than Democrats, according to two letters exclusively obtained by Breitbart News.
Under Michigan law, local election commissions must hire an equal number of Republican and Democrat poll workers. However, Kalamazoo and Flint officials significantly deviated from this requirement.
For example, while Kalamazoo hired 132 Democrat election inspectors ahead of the state’s August primary elections, the city only hired 60 Republicans. In Flint, the ratio was worse, with 442 Democrat election inspectors compared to just 27 from the Republican Party.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the party is “weighing all its legal options to restore Michiganders’ faith in their elections.”
McDaniel told Breibtart News:
Voters want bipartisan transparency at the ballot box, but Democrat officials in Michigan don’t want that to happen. Michigan law clearly states that cities must hire an equal number of Republican and Democrat election inspectors, and yet Democrat-run cities are refusing to do so and shutting Republicans out of the process. The RNC is weighing all its legal options to restore Michiganders’ faith in their elections.
In a pair of letters sent Friday, RNC Michigan Election Integrity Director Matthew Seifried explained they provided both cities with “a significant number of Republican applicants” interested in working as election inspectors for the city.
Flint even “assured” the RNC they would reach out to the recommended Republicans one month before the state’s primaries. Even though the RNC recommended 122 Republicans for service as election inspectors, Flint only ended up with 27 Republican poll workers.
The RNC explained that 2022 is not the first time the city of Kalamazoo has stacked the polls with Democrat inspectors. In 2020, Kalamazoo city officials hired 238 Democrats, but only 41 Republicans, despite the legal mandate to have the same number, or as close a number as possible, from each party.
This cycle, the RNC provided Kalamazoo election officials with 188 Republican names, and the county Republican Party also nominated over 100 names. However, out of the combined 304 Republican applications submitted, Kalamazoo only picked 25 candidates, bringing the total to just 60 Republicans compared to 132 Democrats.
“While we appreciate your willingness to work with us and the Kalamazoo County Republican Party to identify some potential Republican Election Inspectors, it does not negate the obligation the City of Kalamazoo has to hire an equal number of Democrat and Republican Election Inspectors as stated in MCL 168.674,” Seifried wrote.
Although local election commissions have until October 18 to finalize the list of inspectors for the November midterm elections, the RNC requested city officials reach out to more Republicans by September 14 “as a sign of good faith.”
“We recognize the amount of work it takes to recruit and train high-skilled Election Inspectors, and our efforts are intended to lighten the burden,” the letters concluded. “We hope that the list of individuals we provided will be beneficial to you not only in closing the disparity gap, but also in conducting a free, fair, and smooth election.”