LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — President Donald Trump’s campaign has sued the state of Nevada over a new bill that expands mail-in voting for the 2020 general elections.
Assembly Bill 4, which was signed into law on Monday during Nevada’s special session, specifies that election officials will send all active registered voters a mail-in ballot if there is a statewide emergency or disaster directive.
The state’s Republican Party believes Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak and the Democrat-led Legislature used the cover of the COVID-19 pandemic to introduce and pass AB4 in less than 72 hours, and with little public notice, according to their press release.
The lawsuit was filed late Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Nevada against Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske.
President Trump has mentioned Nevada severe times since May, even threatening to withhold funds from the state.
State of Nevada “thinks” that they can send out illegal vote by mail ballots, creating a great Voter Fraud scenario for the State and the U.S. They can’t! If they do, “I think” I can hold up funds to the State. Sorry, but you must not cheat in elections. @RussVought45 @USTreasury— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2020
The lawsuit asks a federal judge to stop the implementation of the bill, saying it “upends Nevada’s election laws and requires massive changes in election procedures and processes, makes voter fraud and ineligible voting inevitable.”
Nevada has ZERO infrastructure for Mail-In Voting. It will be a corrupt disaster if not ended by the Courts. It will take months, or years, to figure out. Florida has built a great infrastructure, over years, with two great Republican Governors. Florida, send in your Ballots!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2020
Additionally, the Republican Party is concerned about several provisions of AB4, including:
- The newly enacted law not only requires election officials to accept and count ballots received after Election Day but creates a loophole that allows votes to be cast after Election Day.
- The law will guarantee most rural counties only one in-person polling place for early voting and on Election Day, while urban, Democrat-leaning counties may receive 35 or more early voting locations and over 100 Election Day polling places. These provisions clearly treat rural voters differently than urban voters simply based on where they live.
- The law also fails to provide uniform safeguards for processing and counting ballots and allows the county or city clerks to establish these procedures. This will inevitably lead to voters being treated differently depending on where they live.
- The law even allows county or city clerks to count ballots that are marked by voters who failed to comply with the signature-verification process, including situations where two ballots are folded together and sent in a single envelope--a loophole that invites fraud and ballot manipulation.
"Assembly Bill 4 opens Nevada up to be the hotbed now of the opportunity for election fraud," said Jenna Ellis, senior legal advisor to the Trump 2020 campaign.
Ellis also says the new law threatens election integrity.
“President Trump has been clear over the last several months that he is committed to protecting election integrity for all Americans. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” she said.
Nevada Democratic Party chair William McCurdy II calls the lawsuit “a sham."
“This is a blatant attempt at voter suppression from Trump and his allies,” he said.
McCurdy says the state was able to conduct the June primary predominantly through mail-in ballots successfully and says it only expands democracy for voters in a way that could assure safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They should be able to safely and securely exercise their right to vote and indeed it’s a right,” McCurdy said.
The case will be heard in Las Vegas court with a date still to be determined. The office of Barbara Cegavske, the secretary of state and the top election official, says it has no comment on pending litigation.