The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit on August 3 against the state of Nevada over its plan to send absentee ballots to all active voters this November in a major expansion of mail-in voting in the battleground state. “The RNC has a vital interest in protecting the ability of Republican voters to cast, and Republican candidates to receive, effective votes in Nevada elections and elsewhere,” the lawsuit, filed by the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and the Nevada Republican Party, said. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread throughout the country, some states have looked to expand mail-in voting options ahead of November’s election. President Donald Trump, however, has falsely claimed that expanded mail-in voting will lead to fraud in the election.
The Democratic-controlled Nevada state legislature passed a sweeping election bill along party lines over the weekend, and Governor Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, signed the legislation on August 2. Sisolak said in a tweet, “I signed AB 4, which ensures protections for Nevadans to vote safely at the November election during the pandemic. During this global pandemic, I made a commitment that we’d do all we can to allow Nevadans to safely cast a ballot in the upcoming November election.” The legislation will allow election officials to send absentee ballots to every “active registered voter” in the state. It will also extend the deadline for when mail-in ballots can be counted after Election Day, so mailed-in ballots can still be counted if they arrive one week after November 3. The legislation will also ease some restrictions for who can legally handle and submit other people’s ballots, a move that Republicans claimed could lead to voter fraud.
Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy called the lawsuit a “sham.” “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. That is because Trump does not want to hear from the people, he knows what they will say,” he said in a statement. President Donald Trump previously criticized Nevada’s plan to expand mail-in voting and threatened a lawsuit. “In an illegal late-night coup, Nevada’s clubhouse Governor made it impossible for Republicans to win the state,” Trump tweeted. “Post Office could never handle the Traffic of Mail-In Votes without preparation. Using Covid to steal the state. See you in Court!” In addition to Nevada, eight other jurisdictions will mail ballots to all voters in November. Hawaii, Colorado, Oregon, Utah, and Washington state had this plan all along. Vermont, California, and the District of Columbia switched to this method this year because of the Coronavirus pandemic.