Lara Trump Alarms Critics With 'Frightening' Comment About RNC's Election Plans

"Sounds like a perfect authoritarian election plan to me," fascism expert Ruth Ben-Ghiat commented.

Lara Trump said Tuesday that the Republican National Committee has “people who can physically handle the ballots” at election polling sites, alarming critics.

The RNC co-chair made the comment while speaking to Newsmax host Eric Bolling about the GOP’s plans for the 2024 election.

Peddling election fraud falsehoods made famous by her father-in-law, Donald Trump, Lara Trump discussed the RNC’s plans for a major so-called “election integrity” operation.

The RNC recently pledged to deploy 100,000 volunteers and attorneys to polling sites this year as observers to “protect the vote and ensure a big win.”

“We now have the ability at the RNC not just to have poll watchers, people standing in polling locations, but people who can physically handle the ballots,” Lara Trump said.

It’s not clear what she meant by this. The RNC did not immediately return a request for comment.

“Poll observers are NEVER permitted to touch ballots. She is suggesting the RNC will infiltrate election offices,” Marc E. Elias, a leading Democratic elections lawyer, commented on X, formerly Twitter, in reaction to a clip of Lara Trump’s remarks.

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a historian and authoritarianism expert, wrote on X, “What does this mean, they will have thugs to physically take the ballots to make sure they are marked for Republican candidates? Sounds like a perfect authoritarian election plan to me.”

Other prominent social media commentators called it “frightening” and a public display of planned “election interference.”

Poll watchers are typically appointed by both political parties to monitor election administration and, sometimes, voter turnout. They may report issues or irregularities to authorities and election officials.

The specific regulations differ from state to state, but poll watchers are prohibited from interfering with the electoral process in any way, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

From 1982 to 2017, the RNC was under a court order limiting Republican poll watcher activity after Democrats sued and accused the RNC of using voter intimidation tactics on minorities in 1981. A judge declined to extend the consent decree in 2018.

Lara Trump went on to seemingly reference that, albeit inaccurately.

“So there was a moratorium for about 40 years on the RNC actually training people to work in these polling locations and the tabulation centers where the mail-in ballots come in,” she said. “And last year, the judge who implemented that passed away, so that was lifted.”

“And that gives us a great ability as we head into what I assume everyone understands is the most important election of our lifetimes,” she added, telling viewers they wanted to avoid a “repeat” of 2020.

Michael Steele, an outspoken Trump critic who chaired the RNC from 2009 to 2011, honed in on that remark.

“Lara, you know why there was ‘a moratorium on the RNC for 40 years’? Because the RNC was caught cheating,” he posted on X.

The Trump family and its allies have been laying the groundwork to falsely blame election fraud again should he lose to President Joe Biden a second time in the November election.

Trump has been criminally charged in two indictments for his attempts to overturn the last presidential election.

Separately, he is currently on criminal trial in New York for allegedly falsifying business records in a bid to obscure hush money transactions that could have influenced the outcome of the 2016 election.

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