Many of this year's anti-voter fraud efforts -- which critics say can suppress minority turnout -- come from disjointed, independent groups like Tea Party organizations and conservative websites.
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But there's one establishment organization that appears to be putting forth a major anti-voter fraud effort this year -- the Republican National Lawyers Association. To be clear, there's no evidence thus far that what is being said in RNLA training sessions is improper.
But RNLA leadership has clearly been involved in the exaggeration of the threat that voter fraud poses to the election process, raising fears over an issue that most voting rights experts say has been overblown. In 2002, for instance, the RNLA was running "ballot integrity programs in select locations around the country" in "targeted districts and areas where voter fraud is a concern or has historically been a problem," according to their newsletter at the time (and quoted in a story in the Baltimore Sun). They had 1,500 members of their organization ready for cases of voter fraud, the Christian Science Monitor reported in 2002.
Fast forward to 2010, when "RNLA's election education efforts this year have been unprecedented," Charles Bell, Jr. wrote in a message to members of the organization, "These election education efforts aid the recruitment of volunteer lawyers to assist the more than twenty governorships, ten U.S. Senate seats and seventy U.S. House seats that are up for grabs in November."