Joe Gruters to lead RNC ‘election integrity’ committee

Joe Gruters
The Republican Party of Florida chair wants Florida's best practices shared nationwide.

The Republican National Committee tapped Sen. Joe Gruters to chair a committee on election integrity nationwide.

In addition to serving in the Florida Legislature, Gruters chaired the Republican Party of Florida ahead of the 2020 election. He just won a second term running the state party.

As he tackles the massive nationwide effort, the Sarasota political leader expressed enthusiasm at the opportunity.

“Florida is the gold standard of election integrity,” Gruters said. “We want to make sure every legal vote counts and make it as easy as possible to vote and as hard as possible to cheat. Here in Florida, with Gov. [Ron] DeSantis’ leadership, we showed the country and the world that elections can be fair, free, transparent as well as convenient while results were calculated and reported in the Sunshine and expeditiously.”

Thanks in large part to strong turnout and registration efforts by the state party, Republican President Donald Trump won Florida’s electoral votes even while faltering nationwide and losing to Democrat Joe Biden. In fact, Florida was one of three states where Trump improved his performance compared to 2016 when he defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton.

But Republicans nationwide complained about voting practices in other states that led to days of tabulation and uncertainty about the outcome.

Trump challenged election results in court, and more than half the Republicans in Florida’s congressional delegation challenged several states’ slates of electors on the grounds those states ignored standard election practices during the pandemic.

Those objections will be tied by some eternally to Trump supporters rioting and attempting to overthrow the results. But several lawmakers have maintained problems such as Pennsylvania counting ballots received by mail after Election Day constituted objecting to the results.

On Tuesday, Florida’s Secretary of State Laurel Lee testified in the Florida Senate that Florida’s requirement ballots to be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day played a key role in voters’ confidence in results.

Gruters said he plans to use his new position with the RNC to back similar election practices to Florida across the country.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


2 comments

  • Sonja Fitch

    February 17, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Is this a joke? Florida was hacked by the Russians in 2016. So now all is perfect? Vote Democrat up and down ballot for the elections in 2022!

  • Teri M

    February 17, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    It is a joke that The Zombie Lemming Republicans say they care about Election Integrity! It’s more like Election Suppression! They KNOW when voter turnout is low they are more likely to win! THEY KNOW THAT! Which is why they are bringing and backing all these election bills on the state level! For them it is all about Power and they don’t care how or where they get it from. trump has brought out the worst in Republicans and turned them into a bunch of violent, selfish, whiney people who lie ALOT!

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