In a hyper-partisan poll-watching case, a federal judge denied a Democratic Party bid to sanction the Republican National Committee on the eve of Election Day.
U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez ruled in New Jersey that there was no evidence the RNC was working in concert with Donald Trump’s campaign on activities that might constitute voter intimidation.
Since 1982, the RNC has been prohibited by a consent decree from coordinating poll watchers and other vote-monitoring efforts with its presidential candidates.
The court decree allows the Democratic Party to coordinate its own poll-monitoring activities nationally while requiring the Republicans to request preclearance from the DNC.
Based on a review of RNC submissions, Vazquez ruled on Saturday that he found no violations by the national party.
Catherine Englebrecht, president of True the Vote, a nonpartisan election-integrity organization based in Houston, called it “high season for courtroom theatrics between the DNC and the RNC.”
“We face very real problems in our elections, but the histrionics on display by party operatives aren’t about finding solutions or serving voters. It’s just more political muckraking,” Englebrecht told Watchdog.org. “Cases like these, that stoke headlines and rack up attorney fees, clearly demonstrate the need for engaged citizens to take back their elections.”
Vazquez said he would allow for additional arguments after the election to decide whether the consent decree slated to expire next year should be extended.
Kenric Ward writes for the Texas Bureau of Watchdog.org. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @Kenricward.