Election denier Cleta Mitchell appeared on Steve Bannon’s War Room: Pandemic to once again call on the audience to become poll watchers for the 2022 election, this time suggesting viewers volunteer in counties where they do not live.
During an appearance on the October 10 edition of War Room, Mitchell laid out her recruitment efforts to get conservatives to volunteer at polling places across the country, including Maricopa County, Arizona; DeKalb County, Georgia; the Detroit area precincts; Washoe County, Nevada; Wake, Durham, and Mecklenburg Counties in North Carolina; and Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.
Most concerning is her call to action in DeKalb County, Georgia, and Maricopa County, Arizona, as those jurisdictions were previously targeted in 2020 election fraud conspiracies. During her appearances, she informed the War Room audience: “You can be from anywhere in the state in Arizona or anywhere in the state in Georgia and you can go to DeKalb County or you can go to Maricopa County — you don’t have to be from that county.” Mitchell also listed precincts around Detroit as needing more volunteers and stated, “Look, these are not great places to be, but we need to be there.”
DeKalb County, Georgia, is one of four counties that make up the metropolitan Atlanta area and has the second largest population of Black voters in the state behind Fulton County. The county was one of many that former President Donald Trump targeted with accusations of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election, though no evidence of fraud was discovered. In 2021, DeKalb sued Trump for legal fees over his unfounded objections to the 2020 election, which the county recovered.
Maricopa County has also been the focus of election fraud-related conspiracy theories since the 2020 election. The conspiracy theories led to a baseless audit of votes in the county promoted by right-wing media and QAnon-connected influencers. The results of the audit not only reaffirmed President Joe Biden's victory in the county, but showed that he won by a larger marginal than originally recorded.
During a previous appearance with Mitchell, Bannon labeled the efforts a “call to arms” for conservatives.
On October 11, Bannon brought up Mitchell’s recruitment efforts in a conversation with Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who then promoted the RNC’s recent lawsuits against Maricopa County, which have angered state level officials who claim the RNC is promoting misinformation about the upcoming election.
Mitchell is a right-wing lawyer who worked to overturn the results of the 2020 election. She has since begun an effort called the Election Integrity Network, a part of the Conservative Partnership Institute, training and mobilizing conservatives to monitor elections across the country. Mitchell has described her work as creating “a volunteer army of citizens.” The Conservative Partnership Institute, where Mitchell is a senior legal advisor and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is a senior partner, has received $1 million in donations from Trump’s super PAC Save America. CPI has also been linked to Jim Marchant, a QAnon-connected candidate for Nevada Secretary of State.