WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee announced Thursday that they will spend more than $10 million during the 2020 election cycle to battle Democrats on voting-related lawsuits and to bolster their Election Day operations.
The announcement comes one day after the RNC and the Michigan Republican Party formally requested that a federal judge in Michigan’s Eastern District allow the groups to be added as defendants in a lawsuit filed by the Democratic-aligned super PAC Priorities USA. The super PAC is challenging state laws that prohibit political organizers from helping voters submit absentee ballot applications and bar groups from hiring people to transport voters to the polls.
The Republican promise to dedicate millions to anticipated voting rights fights follows court challenges by left-leaning groups against states that they believe are unconstitutionally suppressing participation in elections.
RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in announcing the new spending on legal efforts that the Republican Party is ready “to aggressively defend” its stake in the November elections.
“Democrats are trying to rig the game with frivolous lawsuits that do nothing but create electoral chaos, waste taxpayer money, and distract election officials in an attempt to advance the Democrats’ voter suppression myth because they know they can’t beat President Trump at the ballot box,” McDaniel said. “These actions are dangerous, and we will not stand idly by while Democrats try to sue their way to victory in 2020.”
Democrats see addressing voting rights in the lead-up to the November elections as crucial after Trump won the White House in 2016 by razor-thin margins in the battleground states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
The Trump campaign and the RNC said they also plan to train thousands of lawyers and volunteers in battleground states on federal rules for early voting, Election Day activities, post-election canvassing, and potential recounts.
Guy Cecil, chairman of Priorities USA, on Twitter called the Trump campaign and RNC effort “shameful” and vowed the group “won’t stop fighting voter suppression until every barrier to the ballot box is torn down.”
News of the GOP legal campaign was first reported by Politico.