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Trump campaign, RNC aim to deploy 100,000 volunteer vote-counting monitors for presidential election

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The Republican National Committee and former President Donald Trump's campaign announced a new initiative Friday to deploy thousands to monitor vote counting in battleground states during the presidential election. 

The Republican Party aims to recruit 100,000 volunteers to observe the voting process and report irregularities, as well as lawyers to provide rapid-response services if there are issues in the vote counting. 

"The RNC is hiring hundreds of election integrity staff across the map – more than ever before because our Party will be recruiting thousands of more observers to protect the vote in 2024,"  said Lara Trump, RNC co-chair, in a press release. "These campaign officials in states are tasked with recruiting, training, and when possible, shifting poll watchers and poll workers day in and day out."

The operation plans to set up an "Election Integrity Hotline" in every battleground state and create a command center for lawyers to respond to reports from volunteers. 

There will also be monthly training sessions on monitoring voting sites and ballot counting centers, according to the release. 

The Trump campaign and RNC are calling it "the most extensive and monumental election integrity program in the nation's history." 

Every jurisdiction in the country allows people to observe, but not interfere, with the voting and counting process, says David Becker, CBS News election law contributor and the founder of the Center for Election Innovation and Research. 

Becker doubts that Republicans will be able to attract as many volunteers for the effort as billed. "Transparency in elections is a good thing," Becker said. "But I don't recall a single presidential election in recent memory where there weren't promises of recruiting an army of thousands of poll watchers, and those have never materialized."

The program was designed by the Trump campaign, along with newly installed RNC Chairman Michael Whatley, Lara Trump and RNC chief counsel Charlie Spies. Before Trump selected him to be RNC chair, Whatley worked on election integrity initiatives as the chair of the North Carolina Republican Party. 

His history with these efforts was a motivating factor for Trump when he selected him to succeed Ronna McDaniel as party chair. 

The announcement underscores an effort by the former president to refocus the RNC on election integrity, which Trump felt previous party leaders failed to accomplish during the 2020 election. 

Despite Trump's focus on the issue, there was no evidence of widespread fraud during the 2020 election. Trump is currently facing federal and state charges related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. 

The Democratic National Committee accused the Trump political operation of trying to undermine the results of the 2024 presidential election. 

"Donald Trump knows he's running a losing campaign, so he's working with his handpicked team of election deniers at the RNC to once again lay the groundwork to undermine our democracy and spread baseless lies about a rigged election," said DNC Rapid Response Director Alex Floyd in a press release. 

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