EXCLUSIVE: The Republican National Committee is “aggressively engaging” with state and local election officials, requesting information about what states are doing to clean up their voter rolls as part of the GOP’s broader effort to “restore confidence” in election systems and promote “transparency and election integrity.”
The RNC launched a new initiative to bolster election integrity and will begin issuing public records requests to election officials across the country, inquiring on a variety of election administration practices in states like Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, California and Georgia.
“We must do everything in our power to ensure that future elections are run free, fair, and transparent, and that includes holding election administrators accountable,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Fox News. “Voters across the country are keenly interested in knowing that their states and localities are doing everything they can to clean up their voter rolls and faithfully administer their states’ election laws.”
McDaniel added: “This is critical for restoring confidence in our elections systems and putting everyone on notice that the voters are watching.”
The RNC told Fox News that in the 2020 election tens of thousands of mailed ballots or absentee ballot applications in states were returned as “undeliverable,” and the RNC is questioning whether states are attempting to contact those voters “who may have moved or died.”
The RNC is also asking whether states and counties are removing inactive voters from their roles and how long that process takes. Republicans are also inquiring on whether states are working with each other to detect potential double voting.
The requests come after the RNC announced the formation of a new temporary RNC Committee on Election Integrity to push to ensure poll watchers are allowed to properly observe counting processes and support voter ID laws.
Pointing to the 2020 election cycle, when dozens of states allowed for greater use of absentee balloting due to health concerns of in-person voting at polling stations amid the coronavirus pandemic, McDaniel argued that “what we saw this past election – states undoing important safeguards, bypassing the proper legislative processes, and changing election laws in the eleventh hour – was deeply troubling and brought chaos and uncertainty to our sacred democratic processes.”
McDaniel last month was reelected to a third two-year term steering the national party committee.
The RNC said it ran its most comprehensive legal strategy to date, spending more than $30 million during the 2020 cycle on election protection efforts in battleground states across the country.
It backed former President Donald Trump, who spent months leading up to November’s general election slamming the push to expand voting by mail and then contested Joe Biden’s election victory. More than 60 lawsuits filed by Trump, his reelection campaign and allies in half a dozen states where Biden narrowly edged Trump were shot down, and Biden’s Electoral College victory was certified by Congress
The RNC says the new committee will be chaired by Florida Republican Party chair Joe Gruters, with national committeewoman from the District of Columbia Ashley MacLeay serving as co-chair. Party officials add that the full temporary committee will consist of 12 men and 12 women, representing the RNC from 21 states and the District of Columbia.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.