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Michigan Republican chair asked to explain party’s Election Day anti-voter fraud plan

RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel holding a microphone
Ronna Romney McDaniel, chair of the Michigan Republican Party.

A federal judge in New Jersey is asking the Michigan Republican Party to explain its Election Day anti-fraud plan.

A 1982 consent decree prohibits voter intimidation as a part of Election Day ballot security programs. But Democrats say the Republican National Committee, may be violating the decree.

They say Michigan GOP chair Ronna Romney McDaniel may be part of that scheme. The order specifically calls for Romney McDaniel to explain the state GOP’s Election Day anti-fraud effort. 

Brandon Dillon is the Michigan Democratic Party chair.


“She has been suggesting that people should be out monitoring polling places to protect against a fictional voter fraud effort and that’s what’s most concerning here,” he said.

But Romney McDaniel’s spokeswoman, Sarah Anderson, says they are not doing anything differently this year. 

“By the way the Democrats do this as well,” she said. “They send poll watchers across the state of Michigan. If any voter is feeling intimidated or if anybody is violating that agreement and speaking with voters or contacting voters, then I encourage voters to report that.”

The federal judge’s order asks the RNC to give all requested documents to the court by 5 p.m. Wednesday. Anderson says Michigan Republicans have not received the order. 

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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