Veterans and law enforcement team up to volunteer as poll workers as part of Election Integrity Initiative

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A group of military and law enforcement veterans who have sworn to protect the Constitution regardless of the commander-in-chief are trying to recruit 30,000 poll workers and poll watchers for the midterm elections in 2022.

The effort comes despite attempts by groups and the media to portray conservative groups providing poll workers and poll watchers as ‘organizations with nefarious intent’ to interfere in the election and cast doubt on the results. , in the words of the Bipartisan Policy Center Election Task Force.

Politico, in an article published this week, quoted David Levine, election integrity expert at the German Marshal Fund, as saying that there is “a global effort by purveyors of election myths and disinformation to try to sabotage future American elections”.

But the organizers of One More Mission, a group looking for military and law enforcement veterans to help organize and observe the polls, have dismissed the claims.

“They’re sowing the seeds right now to challenge the election, which is ironic, given that they’ve launched disinformation campaigns about how the right wing believes the [the previous election] has been corrected,” said Kyle Reyes, executive director of Law Enforcement Today (LET).

LET, Warfighter Overwatch, Alpha Elite, Performance Outdoors, Heroes Media Group and the National Coalition of Frontline Workers have teamed up to help recruit people to ensure the organization and monitoring of free and fair elections now and in the future,” the group said in a statement.

Recruitment campaign

Organizations recruit people through social influencers and boots on the ground in the veteran and law enforcement community, and emails to their networks requesting volunteers for survey observation and survey work , the group’s organizers said.

They also have materials for veterans of foreign wars, American legions, and other veteran military auxiliaries.

“And Law Enforcement Today is a partner, so they’re going to push hard starting next week,” Reyes said.

Recruiting on social media is also happening, Reyes said, but noted that it was not a primary channel “because anything related to election integrity seems to be banned on social media.”

Poll workers include election officers and volunteers who assist voters and are usually employed by the government. The electoral affiliation of electoral agents plays no role in their functions. Poll watchers, on the other hand, tend to be partisan observers, associated with political party, campaign or civic groups, and are there to make sure there are no problems with the process.

Each state has its own requirements for election officials, which for most states include certified training. Qualifications for observing polls are a little looser and also vary by state.

Reyes said the campaign wanted to provide a practical solution to a political issue that has left people divided, and some wary of recent election results.

“All my friends and family who were conscripted [in the military] they weren’t sworn to a Democratic president or a Republican president: they were sworn to serve, protect and uphold the Constitution of the United States,” Reyes said, adding that if we entrust these people with our defense national and our safety and security, we can trust them to work in the elections.

The Conservatives are playing catch-up

Conservatives have argued that for decades Democrats have done a good job of installing their own poll workers in major urban centers in swing states. The Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) cited Detroit, Michigan, as an example where Democratic poll workers outscored Republicans by up to 32 to one.

“Democratic poll workers vastly outnumber Republican poll workers in virtually every major urban area,” the RNLA said in a June statement.

“For example, only 170 of Detroit’s more than 5,400 election officials were Republicans in 2020. Voters cannot have confidence in elections when 97% of poll workers belong to a party,” the group added.

Conservatives are catching up in states like Michigan, where elections will be decided by narrow statewide margins by precincts in which one party dominates the poll.

A Republican Integrity Election Agent tells The Epoch Times that left-leaning skeptics may simply consider the success of the GOP’s poll-watching and polling operation in Virginia’s 2021 election as evidence that Republican observers in the polls add to electoral confidence.

This election, although it was held on the wire, was held without controversy.

“It was a huge success,” Fairfax, Virginia GOP election integrity trainer Christine Brim told The Epoch Times.

“We only had a handful of incidents during the election, and those were mostly about masks,” Brim added.

Brim said the program covered about 90% of polling shifts statewide with poll watchers who had to go through extensive training sessions and sign a code of conduct that included following legal procedures.

“They are trained to observe, report and climb. If something goes wrong, take it to the attorneys and let them deal with it,” Brim said of the system in Virginia, which is rolling out nationwide this year.

Impartial

A military veteran who served in the Navy as a corpsman, training special operations with the Marine Corps, said the purpose of One More Mission was to rid partisan fear and restore peace. confidence of the American people in elections.

“So it’s regardless of your political affiliation, regardless of your views on any part of the right or left side,” veteran Tony Sabio told The Epoch Times.

Sabio was recently featured in People Magazine after helping a teenager flee war-torn Ukraine.

“We’re just looking to stabilize elections based on the Constitution, making sure we bring integrity back to elections, honor back to elections, trust back to elections on both sides of the aisle,” he said. .

Sabio did not reveal his electoral affiliation, but said he grew up in a Democratic family and believed in certain Democratic policies, but in the military the only color they know is green.

The military, he said, are comfortable operating as apolitical people in politically charged situations.

“We come in as an impartial third party, with no affiliation, and really come from our roots in the military dealing with protecting the Constitution and the freedom of free elections, trying to protect that and protecting the rights of every individual. to their opinions and their agreements and even their disagreements,” said Sabio, who was in the military in 2005 when they helped administer Iraq’s first democratic elections since 1958.

Such experience, combined with the organizational skills honed by the military and law enforcement over the years, make veterans uniquely qualified for the task of restoring confidence in elections in a low-key manner.

“I mean, everyone involved in the election has something to add to ensure electoral confidence. This is not just the responsibility of poll watchers. He also monitors election officials,” Reyes said.

“So for us, we don’t care how people vote if you vote Democrat or Republican. It doesn’t matter which team you play for. We just want every team to have the same equal chance of winning this game,” he added.

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John Ransom is a freelance journalist covering US news for The Epoch Times with offices in Washington, DC and Asia.

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