Trump and GOP Groups File New Lawsuit Targeting Nevada’s Mail-In Ballots

It’s the second time Nevada’s election laws have been subjected to a lawsuit in recent weeks.

Republican groups filed a second lawsuit targeting Nevada’s mail-in ballot law, arguing that a provision that seeks to block the counting of mail-in ballots without a postmark is against the law.

The Republican National Committee, Nevada Republican Party, former President Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign, and a Nevada state resident filed the lawsuit in Carson City against Nevada’s secretary of state and a variety of county clerks on Monday, according to court documents.

“We are committed to ensuring the integrity of Nevada’s elections and inspiring voter confidence,” Nevada GOP Chairman Michael McDonald said in a statement. “Allowing ballots without postmarks to be illegally counted undermines both. We will continue to fight for fair elections for all Nevadans where only legal votes are counted and the system is secure.”

The practice of counting ballots that are received after Election Day without any postmark is “concerning” and “potentially fraudulent,” he added in the statement.  “We are filing this lawsuit to ensure that Nevada law is followed and promote election integrity in the Silver State.”

Under state law, mail-in ballots can be sent up to four days after Election Day if they are postmarked on or before the day. Officials can count mail-in ballots that are received up to three days after an Election Day if the postmark date can’t be determined.

The GOP news release, however, argued that there is a “significant risk that mail ballots lacking a postmark were not in fact mailed by Election Day, thus creating the potential for fraud and the illegal counting of ballots.”

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Mark Wlaschin, a deputy secretary of state in Nevada, had testified in April that the reason why the Nevada law is in place is to allow for more time to count mail-in ballots.

“We have already gathered the numbers of ballots across certain counties that were postmarked by Election Day but simply got to the county election official too late. Those ballots were not counted, even though they were cast legally by a voter within the timelines that the statues allow,” Mr. Wlaschin said in April.

Nineteen states, including Nevada, allow ballots to be tallied if they’re received after Election Day. Supporters of those rules say they make it easier to vote and ensure that those who cast ballots by mail have as much time to make up their minds as those who vote on Election Day. Opponents contend they slow election results, undermine trust in the system, and can be exploited.

Last month, Republican groups filed a similar lawsuit that seeks to block Nevada officials from counting mail-in ballots after Election Day. At the time, Mr. Whatley said that the deadline law “clearly violates federal law” and that ballots received after election day “should not be counted.”

“I hope the RNC is putting as much time and energy into educating voters on how to participate in elections as they put into suing the state of Nevada,” the state’s Democratic secretary of state, Francisco Aguilar, said in a statement after the GOP’s lawsuit was filed last month.

A spokesperson for the Biden campaign, Charles Lutvak, told the Nevada Independent last month that it will fight the first lawsuit, adding that “like in every lawsuit in every state, we will fight these efforts to sow distrust and defend the right to free and fair elections by defeating Republicans in court and Donald Trump at the ballot box.”

In the upcoming presidential election, Nevada—like in 2020—is considered a swing state. In 2022, Republican Joe Lombardo defeated incumbent Democrat Gov. Steve Sisolak by more than 1 percentage point, while Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) defeated Republican Senate challenger Adam Laxalt by fewer than one point in the same election.

In other states like North Dakota and Mississippi, Republicans have filed similar lawsuits in recent months to overturn laws that permit the tallying of ballots received after Election Day. They have also argued that those state laws can be easily exploited and can result in more fraudulent votes being cast.

President Trump, who has been an opponent of mail-in balloting, recently released a video saying that he would back GOP-led initiatives to increase early voting and ballot harvesting initiatives in states that permit the practice. According to an accompanying news release, the program was called “Swamp the Vote.”

“Whether you vote absentee, by mail, early in-person, or on election day, we are going to protect the vote. We make sure your ballot is secure and your voice is heard. We must swamp the radical Democrats with massive turnout,” he said in the release. “The way to win is to swamp them, if we swamp them with votes they can’t cheat. You need to make a plan, register, and vote any way possible. We have got to get your vote.”

The Epoch Times contacted the Nevada secretary of state’s office and the Biden campaign for comment on Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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