While there has been a great deal of early voting already, GOP lawmakers are dispatching dozens of election observers to each of several tight races around the country to ensure that Democrats don't engage in some of the same ballot shenanigans as in 2020, when Donald Trump was obviously deprived of a second term.
The effort led by Rep. Rodney Davis, the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, includes investigating how federal agencies are implementing President Joe Biden's executive order instructing the U.S. government to expand voter registration, along with the training and deployment of House staff as observers under the authority of Congress.
Davis wrote at least one state election chief that the effort preserves the right for a candidate who feels his or her race was wrongly counted to contest it in Congress.
"As in past elections, the House will use this legal authority to credential and deploy trained congressional staffers to serve as official House election observers in close, or particularly cumbersome congressional elections, in the coming weeks," the Illinois Republican noted in a letter to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose last month, describing his plans. "This allows us to prepare for the possibility that a candidate could later contest the race in the House of Representatives.
"The Committee takes seriously its responsibility regarding federal elections, and we are committed to making sure all lawful ballots in congressional races are counted fairly, accurately, and according to law," the letter added.
He also noted that House staff who have been deployed were "trained by experts in election observation and instructed that they play no formal or advocacy role in the administration of the election or the vote counting process; they are to function exclusively as observers."
He also pointed out that congressional observers cannot be denied access to voting sites, at least not legally.
"The House's constitutional authority in this area supersedes state law, and House observers operate solely under this authority and must be granted access to view the process even if state law credentialing, partisan quota, or access requirements exist to the contrary," he said.
The House Administration Committee has had oversight responsibility for federal elections for some time. Congressional staffers have been deployed in the past to observe elections, especially in races expected to be close.
That said, House Republicans noted that the 2022 effort is the most comprehensive oversight operation in recent history. Davis' general counsel Caleb Hays has taken a primary role in coordinating and organization the operation, as well as following up on requests for investigations.
“The faith in elections initiative is an important effort by House Republicans to hear directly from state and local election officials on what the best practices are in administrating elections; calling out practices and efforts that undermine faith in our elections by not having necessary checks and balances in place,” House Administration Committee staff director Timothy Monahan told Just the News.
”This initiative has not only resulted in the federalist-first American Confidence in Election Act (ACE act) but also prepared trained election observers to have a front row seat for all competitive races that will ensure proper oversight occurs,” he added.
Davis and Republicans are already engaged in election integrity efforts.
For instance, he sent a letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton last week demanding that he investigate voter registration mailers sent by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke and Planned Parenthood that may have violated state law.
"It is deeply troubling that Planned Parenthood and Mr. O'Rourke's campaign sent voter registration forms that may not conform to state law to individuals who, in some cases, have been deceased for over a decade," Davis wrote. "It goes without saying: Situations like this have a negative effect on voter confidence at a time we can least afford it. Texas voters must be assured not only that their vote will count, but that all — and only — legal votes will be counted.
"I understand you have launched your Election Integrity Division to investigate instances like this, and I encourage you to direct them to pursue this with all due haste," the letter added.