Trump, Republicans sue to stop invalid ballots from being counted in Nevada

 June 4, 2024

President Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) are suing Nevada to prevent invalid mail in ballots from being counted past Election Day.

Nevada made a permanent shift in 2021 to COVID-based voting rules. The state automatically sends mail ballots to every registered voter and has flexible rules for when they can be returned.

Republicans allege that Nevada "routinely" accepts non-postmarked ballots past Election Day, in violation of the state's own laws.

"Nevada law clearly requires mail ballots to be postmarked on or before Election Day to ensure that ballots received after the Election are not counted," The RNC said.

"Yet we have discovered that Nevada election officials routinely count non-postmarked mail ballots received after Election Day, in violation of the law."

Nevada ballot practice challenged

Nevada's laws allow mail ballots to be accepted four days after Election Day as long as there is a postmark on or before Election Day. Ballots with unclear postmarks are also acceptable up to three days after Election Day.

The Republicans' lawsuit cites testimony from a top election official in the state, Deputy Secretary of State for Elections Mark Wlaschin, who told the Nevada Legislature that ballots without a postmark are counted if they are received within three days of Election Day.

"Dilution of honest votes, to any degree, by the counting of late-cast votes violates the right to vote and prevents the holding of a free and fair election," the lawsuit states.

The Trump campaign previously sued Nevada in May to challenge its post-pandemic voting rules, alleging the extended deadline to accept mail ballots after Election Day violates federal law.

Election integrity focus

Nevada experienced a massive shift in 2020, when the percentage of voters casting ballots by mail rose from roughly 8% to 48%.

The following year, the state's Democrats made the shift to mail-in voting permanent, over the objections of Republicans.

Trump is leading Biden in Nevada in a number of polls. The swing state's heavily Hispanic population has voted for the Democrat in every presidential election since 2008.

The RNC has focused on ballot integrity ahead of November, with the specter of the 2020 mail-in election continuing to cast its shadow.

“Counting ballots received after Election Day without a postmark creates a concerning and potentially fraudulent impact on Nevada’s elections. We are filing this lawsuit to ensure that Nevada law is followed and promote election integrity in the Silver State," RNC chairman Michael Whatley said.

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