Every election year, the Republican National Lawyers’ Association spends months training lawyers across the country on poll-watching, focusing largely on stemming “voter fraud” that would benefit Democrats. This year is no different, and many of the seminars count as Continuing Legal Education, a requirement for attorneys under most state bars.
In addition to their role as educational seminars, some of the meetings have a political bent. Take an event in Florida this September, billed as a “Florida Election Law Seminar” and held at a Disney World resort. According to a listing for the event, attendees could expect to hear from “noted Florida election law experts” on such topics as election law, campaign finance law, poll watching and electioneering.
They could also expect an appearance by a “Florida Republican leader.” At the Sept. 10 seminar, Rick Scott, the former hospital mogul and current Republican candidate for governor, spoke before the group. So did Pam Bondi, the GOP candidate for state attorney general, according to photos posted to the association’s Facebook page.
The general counsel for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Sean Cairncross, also spoke, about “the outlook for U.S. Senate races across the nation.”
As TPMmuckraker has reported extensively, Republicans have a habit of ginning up fears of voter fraud just before national elections, often focusing on minority areas. This year, tea party groups have taken up the mantle in places like Minnesota and Texas — but that doesn’t mean the big national Republican groups, like the RNLA, have stopped.