A 35-year-old federal court order prohibiting the Republican National Committee from engaging in voter verification and other “ballot security” measures is set to expire Friday, something the GOP says is long overdue but voting rights advocates argue is still needed to prevent intimidation at the polls. Lawyers for the Republican National Committee said in court filings that the organization has been in compliance for years, even going beyond what is outlined in the consent decree. It opts against participating in poll-watching activities, for example, even though they are allowed under the order. “The RNC has worked hard to comply with its obligations under the Consent Decree,” lawyers wrote in documents filed with the court.
The filing noted efforts to educate members, employees, contractors and volunteers about the requirements under the order and specifically directing members that RNC resources cannot be used on prohibited activities.
But critics say the landscape of voting rights has shifted under President Donald Trump, a Republican who continues to promote unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud during the 2016 campaign and has launched a presidential advisory commission to investigate. Trump lost the popular vote by about