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Lara Trump says RNC must use ‘legal ballot harvesting’ for first time to stay competitive against Democrats

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Lara Trump, recently elected co-chair of the Republican National Committee, said the GOP must use ‘legal ballot harvesting’ to stay competitive against Democrats ahead of November. 

‘We’ve been playing checkers, and the Democrats have been playing chess,’ Trump, daughter-in-law to former President Trump, said in a recent interview with the Washington Examiner. ‘Unfortunately, we don’t have one day of voting, we don’t have paper ballots, we don’t have voter ID everywhere. So we have to play the hand that we’re dealt.’ 

She emphasized the importance of early voting and mail-in voting where possible.

‘That way, we have votes banked as we head into Election Day, and we’re not playing catchup on Nov. 5 with the Democrats,’ she said. 

‘We need to be doing legal ballot harvesting – something that has never been done by the RNC, but I can promise you will be a huge part of what we’re planning to do,’ Lara Trump told the Examiner. ‘And then come Election Day, and you’ll see that, I think, it’s not just about having poll watchers. It’s about having trained poll watchers and lawyers at locations around the country as necessary. And these are people who will be trained and able to physically count how many ballots are coming in. And how many ballots are going out.’

Explaining her vision for the RNC after longtime chair Ronna McDaniel stepped down on Friday, Trump said her goal is to ‘have people’s trust restored in our electoral process.’ 

‘Truthfully, people have felt like they don’t know if/when they donate their money to the RNC, it will ultimately go to the causes that they care about,’ Lara Trump said. ‘I hope to be there as someone who will ensure that, indeed, every single dollar donated goes to making sure we win on Election Day – at the top of the ballot and down the ballot.’

The Republican National Committee voted Friday to install Donald Trump’s handpicked leadership team, as the former president closes in on a third straight presidential nomination.

Michael Whatley, a North Carolina Republican, was elected the party’s new national chairman in a vote Friday morning in Houston. 

Lara Trump, who is married to the former president’s son Eric Trump, was voted in as co-chair.

‘The RNC is going to be the vanguard of a movement that will work tirelessly every single day to elect our nominee, Donald J. Trump, as the 47th president of the United States,’ Whatley told RNC members in a speech after being elected.

Lara Trump is expected to focus largely on fundraising and media appearances. She emphasized that shortly after she was voted in, taking time in her inaugural speech as co-chair to hold up a check for $100,000 that she said had been contributed that day to the party. 

The functional head of the RNC will be Chris LaCivita, who will assume the committee’s chief of staff role while maintaining his job as one of the Trump campaign’s top two advisers.

McDaniel was handpicked by Trump to lead the committee seven years ago, but she fell out of favor with Trump’s MAGA movement following GOP losses over the last few years. She alluded to that in her goodbye speech Friday, telling the members that she worries most about ‘internal cohesion’ heading into the election.

‘We have to stop attacking other Republicans,’ she said. ‘If we spend our time attacking each other, we guarantee the Democrats are going to win.’

She also told the party that it needs to engage independent and swing voters, warning: ‘We don’t win if we only talk to each other.’

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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