This report was given at the October 2 State Central Committee meeting by Barb Sutter, National Committeewoman.
As your National Committeewoman I’ve now attended three RNC meetings, and one mid-west regional workshop. What I’ve determined, is that this is truly all about learning, making connections, and then translating those into benefiting us here in Minnesota.
I’m a member of the RNC Rules Committee, and I was one of 28 people selected to serve on the Election Integrity Committee. (That report was released at the end of August, and I’ll be covering some highlights for you.) I work with our Faith Group, and I’m most interested in pursuing contacts with our Strategic Initiatives Program, which deals with the RNC Coalitions — a term I really like — and which we refer to as ‘Affiliates’ in Minnesota. The RNC learned from President Trump, that we need to broaden our base, and make those contacts ongoing and lasting ones, as well as make them meaningful. Just 2 weeks ago Chair Ronna McDaniel opened yet another Hispanic Community Center in Wisconsin.
These efforts cannot just be made at election time. Nationally, we now have Asian Pacific and Black American Groups, along with GOP Latinos, RNC Women, Veterans & Military Families, Young Leaders, and our Faith Group. And the list is growing! As I always like to point out, we may not win the Metro areas, but we have to be about being a presence, and we must move the needle a few more percentage points in every cycle. I continue to believe that these groups can make a significant difference. With that, in Minnesota I look forward to welcoming back the College Republicans, bringing back our Hispanic Assembly, and renewing our efforts with other groups, as well! Let’s let the leaders of these various groups become some of the spokespeople for our Party, as they are at the national level. Let’s prove, that when we talk about outreach, we mean it!
Election Integrity: The RNC spent $40 million on election integrity in the 2020 cycle. This investment funded lawsuits protecting ballot security, recounts, and poll watching. While these efforts were unprecedented, Chairwoman McDaniel recognized the need to evaluate and to recommend policies to avoid a repeat of the election administration failures in 2020. So she established the temporary Committee on Election Integrity, which as I indicated, adopted an exhaustive report covering these issues. Chief among these recommendations is that the Republican Party transform its integrity operations from a temporary ad hoc structure to a permanent and year-round operation covering all aspects of the elections process.
Our Committee made the following policy recommendations to states:
• Clean up their voter rolls
• Eliminate same-day and automatic voter registration
• Enact ID requirements for all voting methods
• Only use voting systems that produce a paper record of a voter’s selections that is both reviewable & auditable
• Prohibit ballot harvesting
• Enact standards for rejecting and accepting absentee ballots
• Enact reforms to increase transparency and access to the voting process, public records, and voting information
• Enhance cybersecurity requirements for voting systems, including that they have no wireless, network, or internet connectivity at any stage of the election process
In addition to just some of these established goals -- which polling shows the majority of the American people support -- the Committee recommended the RNC set up a year-round election integrity operation. This includes hiring in-state Election Integrity Directors, monitoring state and county-level election processes to ensure laws are being followed, training thousands of poll watchers, and continuing to engage in lawsuits that protect and promote election integrity. We in Minnesota must also ensure that we significantly increase the number of election judges. In 2020 we were “out-judged” 20,000 DFL to 3,000 Republicans! The current RNC plan is to send and fund up to two Election staffers to Minnesota.
Polling shows that the public overwhelmingly supports these recommendations. The RNC will do its part to continue the mission to ensure all Americans have confidence that our elections are secure and transparent. While some states are already adopting some of these recommended policies, this should be a huge added incentive for us to WIN our elections in 2022, because our hands have been tied legislatively in Minnesota…
Finally, let me assure you, that the RNC is squarely behind us as we move ahead as a Party. We are not isolated, and we have the opportunity to develop better working relationships with the RNC than we’ve ever had before. Let me share just one recent example…
As we faced our School Board & City Council candidates these past weeks with little or no staff to be of help with data or walk books, one call from me to our RNC Regional Director, Andrew Iverson, brought us the DC Data Team — who are exceptional! Within hours they organized a 2-hour training session, and repeated it the following week for our candidates, BPOU Chairs, and tech types. This training enabled them to then turn around and help those in their respective areas. The feedback I got was terrific, and they’re willing to repeat these sessions if you just reach out to us. This is a good example of how building relationships can be of value to us here in our state. And this is really just the beginning of possibilities we’ve become aware of recently…
Following the challenges of the past few weeks, it’s now up to all of us to right this ship and turn it around. As we face significant changes in our State Party, we have many new opportunities ahead. It’s time for us to roll up our sleeves again, get back to work, and make good things happen!