President Donald Trump urged that Republicans take unspecified legal action Aug. 2 hours before Nevadas Democrat-controlled legislature rushed through sweeping changes allowing voting-by-mail and ballot harvesting in the approaching Nov. 3 election.
Nevada is considered a battleground state. The Silver State, which has six electoral votes out of the 270 required to elect the president, was hotly contested in 2016. In that years presidential election, Democrat Hillary Clinton won 47.9 percent of the popular vote in the state, besting Republican Donald Trump, who won 45.4 percent, Ballotpedia reports. The last time a Republican carried the state was 2004.
Republicans claim that states like Democratic-controlled California and Nevada are enacting ballot harvesting laws, which allow organized workers or volunteers to collect absentee ballots from voters and deliver those ballots to a polling place, to make it easier for the votes of illegal aliens and those not interested in the political process to be cast.
Democrats counter that they are trying to make sure that exercising democratic rights should be as easy as possible and that they want everyones vote to count.
Republican Adam Paul Laxalt, former Nevada attorney general and co-chairman of the Trump campaign in the state, gave his take on what was transpiring among state lawmakers in Carson City on Twitter Aug. 1.
“Gov. Sisolak and the NV Dems called a special session with no public present and inside 24 hours are ramming through mail-in balloting and ballot harvesting. They are massively altering our election 97 days out entirely without the SecState. They are working to steal our election.”
Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, a Republican, reportedly said on July 31 that she preferred returning to in-person balloting after some problems erupted during the states recent vote-by-mail primary election. That method of voting was challenged but a federal judge refused to intervene. She added she would need an extra $5 million to be appropriated to cover a second all-mail election.
President Trump weighed in, retweeting Laxalts tweet early on Aug. 2, adding:
“This is outrageous. Must be met with immediate litigation!” He added the Twitter user name @GOPChairwoman to his tweet, which corresponds to Ronna McDaniel, who heads the Republican National Committee.
During the Nevada primaries, Trump also tweeted his displeasure with voting-by-mail, writing May 20:
“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 cant! If they do, I think I can hold up funds to the State. Sorry, but you must not cheat in elections.”
On July 30, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, issued a formal proclamation calling the Nevada Legislature into a special session beginning at 9 a.m. on July 31 to, in the words of a press release, “address significant policy issues that cannot wait until the regularly scheduled legislative session.” One of the agenda items he listed was “ensuring Nevadans can exercise their fundamental right to vote in a way that does not dangerously expose them to inRead More From Source