Attorneys for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign are urging a federal judge in Las Vegas to block a state law and prevent mail-in ballots from going to all active Nevada voters amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The campaign argues in documents filed Tuesday that it is hurt by the state law passed in July by the Democrat-led Legislature because it forces Republicans to divert resources to “educating Nevada voters on those changes and encouraging them to still vote.”
Thea McDonald, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, declined to comment Thursday about the lawsuit. Attorneys for the state did not immediately respond to messages.
The Trump campaign argues that sending ballots to nearly 1.7 million active voters in Nevada will impede Republicans’ ability to elect candidates “because the law will ‘confuse’ their voters and ‘create incentive’ to stay away from the polls.”
Mail-in ballots are due to be sent out in the next few weeks.
The 16-page U.S. District Court filing was an answer to Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske’s motion last month to throw out the lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign, Republican National Committee and state Republicans.
Cegavske, also a Republican, opposed the law as unaffordable before it passed. The lawsuit targeted her as the state’s top elections official.
The office of state Attorney General Aaron Ford, a Democrat, is defending the law in court.
Nevada argues that the Trump campaign and Republicans don’t have legal standing to take the case to court and have failed to explain how they’d be harmed.
The state also argues that Republicans do not support their “nebulous argument that [the state law] increases the likelihood of voter fraud.”
The Democratic National Committee and state Democrats are seeking to join the lawsuit, and attorneys from around the country on both sides have applied to take part.
Defenders of the vote-by-mail plan note that another federal judge in Nevada rejected a challenge against the use of mail-in ballots during Nevada’s primary elections in June.
Trump has criticized mail-in voting as unsafe and a soft target for fraud and interference.
Sending out 80 MILLION BALLOTS to people who aren’t even asking for a Ballot is unfair and a total fraud in the making. Look at what’s going on right now!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2020
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