Biden Creates Legal War Room, Preparing for a Big Fight Over Voting

Biden Creates Legal War Room, Preparing for a Big Fight Over Voting

Mandi Merritt, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, accused Democrats of wanting to “turn our election into an out-of-control all-mail-based election” without sufficient safeguards.

“Republicans have always supported absentee voting with safeguards in place and want to make sure every valid vote is counted and our elections are free, fair and transparent,” Ms. Merritt said. “What we oppose is a rushed and forcibly implemented nationwide vote-by-mail experiment that would eliminate those safeguards, invite fraud and weaken the integrity of our elections.”

The R.N.C. said it was fighting Democratic efforts that would loosen signature-matching requirements for absentee ballots, eliminate witness requirements and allow absentee ballots to be collected and turned in by third parties, a process the Republicans deride as “ballot harvesting.”

“There is a clear difference between what Democrats are pushing this cycle and a typical absentee ballot request process,” Ms. Merritt said.

For the first time in decades, the national Republican Party can mount campaigns against allegations of voter fraud without prior court approval. There had been a court-imposed ban on voter-fraud operations since the early 1980s after courts found repeated instances of the party’s working to exclude minority voters in the name of preventing fraud.

State and local governments administer elections in the United States, but the Biden campaign is watching the federal government’s actions under Mr. Trump closely. Congressional Democrats are investigating changes at the Postal Service put in place by Louis DeJoy, a Republican megadonor installed this year as postmaster general, that could affect mail-in voting.

“I am not engaged in sabotaging the election,” Mr. DeJoy told Congress last month.

Mr. Bauer said that while every incumbent administration uses the government to showcase its accomplishments, there were unique concerns about how Mr. Trump was leveraging the powers of the federal government to his own political ends. Mr. Trump, for instance, held his convention acceptance speech on the lawn of the White House — “We’re here, and they’re not,” he declared — despite a history of past chief executives’ refraining from so explicitly using a symbol of the presidency for politics.

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