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Trump campaign, RNC sue Nevada over bill expanding mail-in voting

Trump ramps up false attacks on mail-in voting
Trump ramps up false attacks on mail-in voting 08:37

Washington — President Trump's reelection campaign is suing Nevada over a newly passed bill that expands mail-in voting for the November general election, marking the president's latest attack on efforts to broaden the use of mail ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and the Nevada Republican Party against Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, a Republican, on Tuesday takes aim at Assembly Bill 4, under which all active registered voters in Nevada will be sent mail ballots for the November 3 election. The Trump campaign claims the measure "makes voter fraud and other ineligible voting inevitable."

"Many of AB4's provisions are head-scratching — particularly given the stark irregularities in Nevada's June 2020 primary election, and because AB4 changes so many election laws so close to the 2020 general election," the Republicans said in their lawsuit.

The legal challenge from the Trump campaign and the GOP claims several of the bill's provisions are unconstitutional, including one that requires election officials to count ballots received up to three days after Election Day even if the date it was postmarked is unclear. They are also targeting two sections of the bill that dictate the number of in-person polling places for early voting and day-of voting, claiming the provisions will lead to more polling places for voters in urban counties than rural counties.

In its primary election in June, many Nevada voters waited in line for hours to cast their ballots, leaving election officials concerned for the November election when turnout is expected to be higher.

The Trump campaign is asking the federal court to block enforcement of the measure, which it claims is illegal and "upends Nevada's election laws and require massive changes in election procedure and processes."

"Republicans have always supported efforts to make it easier for voters to cast their ballots," the GOP said in its lawsuit. "At the same time, however, the electoral process cannot function properly if it lacks integrity and results in chaos."

Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II slammed the GOP's lawsuit, calling it a "sham meant to intimidate the states from pursuing voting access expansions."

"As states fill the void of Trump's leadership and begin to step up to the challenge of protecting both voters' health and their constitutional right to vote, Trump and Republicans are throwing a fit," he said in a statement. "That is because Trump does not want to hear from the people, he knows what they will say."

The bill passed along party lines in a special session of the Nevada legislature that convened Friday and was signed by Governor Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, on Monday. The state now joins seven others that will automatically send ballots to active registered voters.

Mr. Trump has mounted attacks on vote-by-mail for the November election as states have sought to expand the use of mail ballots to keep voters safe from the coronavirus, claiming without evidence that it leads to voter fraud. On Monday, the president accused Nevada lawmakers of mounting an "illegal late night coup" that will make it more difficult for Republicans to win the state in the upcoming election.

"Post Office could never handle the traffic of mail-in votes without preparation," he tweeted. "Using Covid to steal the state. See you in court!"

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