LAS VEGAS — President Donald Trump's campaign has sued the state of Nevada over a new bill that expands mail-in voting in the state 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.
Trump, who has voiced his opposition to expanded mail-in voting, has denounced the Nevada bill several times on Twitter this week.
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 other ineligible voting inevitable."
Several studies have indicated mail-in voting does not lead to widespread voter fraud.
Additionally, the Republican Party voice concerned about several provisions of the bill that they claim could upend voting in the state.
- They say 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.
- They claim the law will guarantee most rural counties only one in-person polling place for early voting and on Election Day, while urban, counties may receive 35 or more early voting locations and over 100 Election Day polling places. Republicans say the bill treats rural voters differently than urban voters simply based on where they live.
- Republicans say the law also fails to provide uniform safeguards for processing and counting ballots and allows the county or city clerks to establish these procedures, which they say could lead to voters being treated differently depending on where they live.
- The party says the law 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 they claim invites fraud and ballot manipulation.
Cegavske did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
While Trump has voiced his opposition to Nevada's new law, he said Tuesday that he supports mail-in voting systems like Florida's. The two states' mail-in systems function in similar ways with one distinction — Florida requires residents to request a mail-in ballot, while Nevada will automatically send ballots to registered voters. Trump himself has voted by mail several times.
Five states have regularly held their elections through the mail in recent years: California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Utah.
This story was originally published by Joyce Lupiani on KTNV in Las Vegas.