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Nevada judge likely to deny injunction against exit polling group associated with Trump adviser

Posted at 7:01 PM, Nov 07, 2016

A federal judge in Nevada is not likely to order an injunction against a Super PAC promoted by longtime Donald Trump advisor Roger Stone over allegations of voter intimidation after the group agreed to send an email to volunteers promising not to interfere with voters on Election Day.

District Court Judge Richard Boulware didn’t issue a final ruling Monday, but made it clear that he would reject a request from Nevada Democrats to file an injunction against the group provided it sends an email to supporters detailing proper conduct at the polls for volunteers and goes through with a planned conference call reiterating the rules.

Stop the Steal” is a group attempting to recruit volunteers in Nevada and other swing states in the election supposedly for the purpose of conducting unbiased exit polling of voters, but Democrats alleged in court filings that the group wasn’t conducting scientific polls and was being used as a front to incite voter intimidation.

The decision comes after more than a week of hearings prompted by a lawsuit filed against the group, Stone, the Nevada Republican Party and Trump’s presidential campaign and similar to lawsuits filed in Ohio, Arizona and other swing states by national Democrats.

Boulware separately heard allegations raised against the state Republican Party and the Trump campaign last week, and declined to issue an injunction against either group based on lacking evidence of purposeful attempts to intimidate voters.

Bradley Schrager, an attorney for the Nevada Democratic Party, argued that “Stop the Steal” should be considered differently because the combination of the group’s rhetoric combined with the lack of training made their volunteers ripe for possible voter intimidation or interference.

“This is an exercise, simply by the way it is set up, is likely to interfere with other voters,” he said. “The likelihood that this is going to lead to interference of the polls is quite high.”

Stone, in a declaration to the court, said he was only a volunteer with the group and pledged that he had “no intention whatsoever of violating any law or regulation, nor do I have any intention of targeting minority-majority precincts or of contacting individual voters based on their race or color.”

Adam Fulton, the group and Stone’s attorney, argued that “Stop the Steal” was taking steps to train their volunteers and that the Democrats failed to provide any evidence that planned voter intimidation was specifically happening in Nevada.

“You can’t just come in here and infer that something is going to happen,” he said.

Attorneys also questioned Travis Irvine, a Stop the Steal volunteer from San Diego in charge of the group’s training efforts. Irvine testified that the group had about 65 volunteers registered in Nevada and about 3,000 nationwide, but that the group didn't have any direct control over where the volunteers went or how long they planned to poll voters.

Boulware set a tentative hearing for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, but said he would cancel it and issue an order denying the injunction request if the email was sent and confirmation that the conference call with supporters went through.

Schrager said that although an injunction was unlikely, he was pleased that the lawsuit forced the group to engage in better training efforts for their volunteers.