ST. PAUL — On a Monday, May 18 conference call about November 2020 elections and voter integrity, leaders of the Republican National Committee said they have been in contact with the Minnesota Republican Party following suspected "malicious activity" that derailed this weekend's virtual state convention.
On Saturday, the Minnesota GOP was scheduled to conduct its election year state convention online, avoiding the party's traditional large in-person convention out of concern over the novel coronavirus pandemic. The state party was forced to abruptly postpone the convention after too many users logged onto the voting platform, causing the server to crash. State GOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan later said she suspected "malicious activity" was behind the server overload.
On a Monday conference call with reporters, Republican National Committee Chief Counsel Justin Riemer said the RNC has been "in touch" with the Minnesota GOP following the incident, "making sure they have the support that they need to be able to ensure that they complete their convention process and be able to select delegates."
Any other conclusions about the cyber disruption he said would "at this point be speculating," he said.
"We just don't have the information about the specifics of the incident," Riemer said.
RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said she also wasn't aware of specifics, but said the RNC is "going to put all of the safeguards in place" for state Republican parties who hold their conventions online this year, and "help provide them resources for their processes to work out."
McDaniel said even in past years, there have sometimes been discrepancies in state parties' convention processes, and the RNC has a committee on contest to step in and mediate.
Before the technical difficulties, the Minnesota GOP was set to endorse its candidate for U.S. Senate on Saturday, in addition to electing a national delegate and nominating a presidential elector, plus alternates. The party has not yet announced its plans for a newly scheduled convention.