05/18/2024

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Inset: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a caucus night rally in Las Vegas, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)/Background: An election worker prepares mail-in ballots at the Clark County Election Department on Nov. 8, 2022, in Las Vegas. AP Photo/John Locher.)

RNC, Trump campaign sue to overturn law that allows counting of ballots up to four days after Election Day

Inset: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a caucus night rally in Las Vegas, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)/Background: An election worker prepares mail-in ballots at the Clark County Election Department on Nov. 8, 2022, in Las Vegas. AP Photo/John Locher.)

The Trump 2024 presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee have filed a lawsuit — it is the RNC’s 83rd such lawsuit in the last six months — to stop the legal counting of ballots in Nevada up to four days after Election Day, even if the ballots have the correctly-timed postmarking.

The four-day rule has been state law since 2021. It states that all ballots received up to four days after Election Day must be accepted so long as the envelopes are postmarked by the end of that business day.

The 18-page lawsuit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief and was first reported by the Associated Press. It asks Cari-Ann Burgess, the official registrar for Washoe County,  Jan Galassini, the Washoe county clerk, Lorena Portillo, the Clark County registrar of voters,  Lynn Marie Goya, Clark County clerk and Francisco Aguilar, Nevada’s Secretary of State, to take swift action.

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    At its core, the complaint alleges that the law passed by Nevada in 2021 is unconstitutional because it “dilute[s]” ballots submitted on Election Day. The RNC and the Trump 2024 campaign say the law causes “competitive electoral harms” and requires the committee to “divert resources to conduct election activities beyond Election Day.”

    The party tried a similar challenge during the 2020 election by arguing the law inhibited the committee’s ability to “educate voters” and “combat voter fraud.” They lacked standing, though, and the case was tossed. But this time, they insist it is different because the mail ballot deadline “forces the RNC to divert resources from in-person voting activities and election-integrity measures and instead spend money on mail ballot chase programs and post-election activities.”

    “The mail ballot deadline also specifically and disproportionately harms Republican candidates,” wrote attorneys Thomas McCarthy, David Warrington, Sigal Chattah, Michael Columbo and Alicia Ashcraft. Ashcraft and Columbo each represent Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.

    “Dilution of honest votes, to any degree, by the casting of fraudulent or legitimate votes violates the right to vote. Nevada’s voting system permits illegitimate votes and therefore violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” the complaint states.

    The Nevada GOP represents about 550,000 Republican voters, according to the RNC and as the AP reported, the state is just one of 19 that allow ballots to be counted even if they come in after Election Day. A representative for state secretary Aguilar did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday but told the AP he hoped the RNC was “putting as much time and energy” into educating state voters as it was to suing state officials.

    Meanwhile, Charlie Spies, a senior lawyer for the Republican Party who was hired by Trump allies within the committee, has reportedly resigned his post. The Washington Post reported Saturday that sources familiar with operations disclosed that Spies’ resignation was the byproduct of Trump hearing that Spies did not agree with his claims that the 2020 election was “stolen.”

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