Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, claimed on Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast that her organization has now trained at least 79,000 poll workers and watchers throughout the country. She said the RNC’s efforts had gotten a “jump” after she previously appeared on the show to call for volunteers.
“We now have 79,000 poll workers and watchers,” McDaniel said. “And I will say, Steve, when I was on your show last time we saw a jump.”
“We do have a hundred percent coverage in poll watching in all these states,” she added. “But we’re always looking for more volunteers.”
McDaniel appeared on War Room at least three times in October, each time discussing so-called election integrity and issuing calls to action to Bannon’s audience. On October 11, she claimed the RNC had trained about 30,000 poll watchers and roughly the same number of poll workers, though neither those numbers nor her current count have been independently verified.
The RNC’s efforts to recruit poll volunteers and workers comes amid a surge in threats and harassment targeted at officials who are charged with administering elections. The FBI has warned officials in several battleground states that election officials are at an increased risk of violence. In states including Colorado and Pennsylvania, right-wing media personalities are pushing conspiracy theories about voter fraud and rigged elections that contribute to the threat officials are facing.
McDaniel also alluded to “software” and “tools” that RNC volunteers and workers would use to document allegations of voter fraud, but she stressed that they would not be made publicly available.
“We do have some software and some tools that we’re using. We’re not making it — out — totally public, because it’ll be inundated by Democrats,” she said.
“So our poll watchers, and the people who know, and the lawyers, they all know how to report” allegations of voter fraud, McDaniel said. “And we can get affidavits and we can quickly adjudicate issues as they come online through this tool that we have, but we’re not going to put it out to everybody because we need it to be for the people who are in the know.”
Although McDaniel didn’t name the tool she was referencing, right-wing media have been pushing a supposed voter fraud documentation app called “VotifyNow” for months. Bannon himself has promoted the app, as has conspiracy theory junk site The Gateway Pundit. Election denial candidates have pushed it as well, including Mark Finchem, who is running for secretary of state in Arizona.