It’s no secret by now the 2020 election was fraught with complete chaos and confusion. In addition to leftist billionaires pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into local election offices to alter election operations, the contest was marred by Democrat-backed groups’ orchestrated legal campaign to change state election laws in their favor.
Regime-approved media were even running stories months before the election forecasting such a strategy. In February 2020, for instance, Politico ran an article detailing how “a constellation of left-leaning groups” were “spending millions of dollars” to launch “an avalanche of voting-rights lawsuits against state laws they say suppress participation in elections.” The lawsuits were widespread in nature, targeting provisions related to voter ID requirements, voter-roll maintenance, ballot signature verification, and more. Whether it was Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania, or Michigan, states all over the country were barraged with Democrats’ legal blitz.
In order to prevent similar chicanery from continuing in future electoral contests, an election integrity group known as Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections (RITE) is launching its counterstrategy ahead of the 2024 election. While speaking with The Federalist, RITE President Derek Lyons described how his organization is employing a three-pronged game plan to halt the left’s legal jihad, the first of which involves protecting existing statutes to ensure states have “the best election[s]” possible.
Their goal is to “protect the integrity of the ballot box from dilution, mismanagement, errors, [and] fraud,” Lyons said. They also want to make sure election integrity laws “are well defended and that they’re in place and operational for the upcoming election.”
Earlier this year, RITE was instrumental in helping two Ohio residents and the Ohio GOP in their bid to uphold the state’s recently enacted voter ID law. As The Federalist previously reported, HB 458 requires Ohioans to provide an unexpired “Ohio driver’s license, state identification card,” or other valid form of identification in order to cast a ballot. In January, leftist attorneys filed a lawsuit against Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose over the statute, claiming it represents “a sweeping attack on Ohioans’ fundamental right to vote.” Following RITE’s involvement in the case, a federal court granted the two aforementioned Ohioans and the Ohio Republican Party permission to intervene in the lawsuit in April.
RITE’s presence has also been felt in Georgia, where earlier this year it was revealed that DeKalb County — one of the state’s most populous localities and a Democrat stronghold — had skirted Georgia law and accepted a $2 million grant from a collation of left-wing nonprofits to fund the county’s future election administration. This prompted RITE to file a legal complaint with Georgia’s state election board, in which the group argued the county’s evasion of state law “undermines democratic self-governance.” The Georgia board has since launched an investigation into the matter.
“I think we are partially a defense organization, which isn’t that sexy, but I think it is needed,” May Mailman, RITE’s vice president for legal, strategy, and communications, told The Federalist. “We’re helping to try and make good legal arguments that can carry across the 50 states. There are a lot of good state AGs offices, but they have their own politics going on [and] can only make certain types of arguments. … So, we are there to help bring those arguments to state courts, make sure that they are consistent across the 50 states, and accumulate those wins.”
While RITE plays a defensive role in protecting existing statutes from Democrat-backed lawsuits, one aspect of the group’s 2024 strategy involves going on offense to ensure election officials are properly following and enforcing these laws. In March, for example, RITE filed a lawsuit in Arizona alleging then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, violated state law “by authorizing an illegal expansion of the database of signatures used to verify ballots.” According to a RITE press release, the organization is asking the court to “enforce state law” by making sure election officials validate mail ballots using “only signatures that are part of the voter’s registration record” and not “any ‘loop, jot, or tiddle’ in any signature that happens to be in their possession.”
“They’re just using signatures that they’re not supposed to be using to validate absentee ballots that over time will just result in more and more ballots coming in that are … not sufficiently verified,” Lyons claimed.
According to Lyons, the final prong of RITE’s election integrity game plan involves “taking tools” out of leftist attorneys’ toolboxes so they don’t have “as many litigation options when it comes to elections.” Specifically, the strategy is aimed at limiting “abuse” of the “materiality provision” of the Civil Rights Act, which according to Lyons, has become Democrat lawyers’ new “favorite tool to get into federal court to try and dismantle state election laws.” Cases involving the provision normally deal with absentee ballot issues, such as witness certification, signature matching, and the dating of ballots, according to Lyons.
“At the end of the day, elections are a critical component to our democracy,” Lyons said. “It’s the instrument that normal, everyday Americans have at their disposal to try and shape the outcome of this country and it’s vitally important that they believe that it’s an effective tool for doing that.”
Additional information on RITE’s ongoing election litigation can be found here.