MAGA Lawyer Cleta Mitchell Will Prevent Vote Fraud By Keeping Those Pesky Kids Away From The Polls

MAGA Lawyer Cleta Mitchell Will Prevent Vote Fraud By Keeping Those Pesky Kids Away From The Polls
Apr 2023

Cleta Mitchell (image from the old Foley & Lardner site)

Lord save us from the scourge of young people voting!

That was the message Trumpland lawyer Cleta Mitchell delivered to a roomful of Republican donors in Nashville last weekend, urging them to fight against the liberals who cheat by making it easier for young people to vote.

"What are these college campus locations?" she scoffed on audio obtained by independent journalist Lauren Windsor. "What is this young people effort that they do? They basically put the polling place next to the student dorm so they just have to roll out of bed, vote, and go back to bed."

Haw, haw, get it? See, the kids are lazy, and that means it's "cheating" to put the polling station some place they can walk to. So weird that young voters favor Democrats by wide margins!

EXCLUSIVE AUDIO: Trump coup attorney Cleta Mitchell wants to "combat" voting on college campuses, citing North Carolina and Wisconsin, and says that when Republicans win the state Senate in Virginia, they can eliminate 45 days of early voting and same day voter registration. pic.twitter.com/qXTNhrTfwF

-- Lauren Windsor (@lawindsor) April 20, 2023

Mitchell, a former partner at Foley & Lardner, was shown the door by the firm in 2021 after the Washington Post published a recording of her on the perfect, perfect phone call where Trump pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state."

They did not, in fact, win the state, although Mitchell made sure to namecheck Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams, while warning that she was coming into North Carolina -- which comes perilously close to saying the quiet part out loud. But Mitchell wasn't focused on that particular subgroup last weekend, although she did call for "oversight" of Fulton County's election apparatus. Instead she was there to discuss ways the GOP could ensure "A Level Playing Field for 2024." And by "level" she means "maximally advantageous for Republican constituencies."

After being defenestrated from Biglaw, Mitchell found a soft landing at the Conservative Partnership Institute alongside other MAGA faithful such as Mark Meadows. The CPI helped launch Mitchell's current project, the Election Integrity Network, an organization which scaremongers about non-existent voting fraud as a reason to suppress the vote, and they're not particularly subtle about it. Why would making it easier for students to exercise their franchise contribute to vote fraud? What possible correlation could there be between so-called "election integrity" and allowing 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote before their 18th birthdays?

Nonetheless, Mitchell protests that the EIN's work "is NOT about winning campaigns," as if that needed clarification. A party whose main platform seems to be throwing a hissy fit because Anheuser-Busch was nice to a trans person one time is clearly not trying to win over an age cohort which is broadly supportive of LGBTQ rights. Plus there's that whole abortion thing.

But Mitchell has a plan to win elections without appealing to anyone under 35. It involves curtailing voting on campuses in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Also, something about ... Alaska?

Because if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Or barring that, make sure they can't vote.

Top GOP lawyer decries ease of campus voting in private pitch to RNC [WaPo]

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics and appears on the Opening Arguments podcast.