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Mark Amodei, R-Nev., during an editorial board meeting with The Nevada Independent on Monday, Aug. 6, 2018. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)

Republican Rep. Mark Amodei disagreed Monday with President Donald Trump that Democrats are trying to steal the election in the Silver State and said that the tweet in which the president made the accusation earlier in the day was unhelpful.

“I don't think those words are helpful, speaking only for myself,” Amodei, the lone Republican in the state’s congressional delegation, said in an interview.

Trump had said on Twitter that “in an illegal late night coup, Nevada’s clubhouse Governor made it impossible for Republicans to win the state. Post Office could never handle the Traffic of Mail-In Votes without preparation. Using Covid to steal the state. See you in Court!”

Amodei, who has said he dislikes the partisan saber-rattling that takes place on social media, also said that the bill passed Sunday by the Legislature, led by Democrats, to mail ballots to all active registered voters was purely political and showed that Democrats are not confident in their presumed nominee Joe Biden’s ability to carry the state. He also believes that the bill allows more opportunity for fraud.

The Legislature’s actions came only a few months before the election — timing that Amodei said he finds questionable. 

“We're having a policy special session of the legislature within 90 days of an election," Amodei said. “Oh, and by the way...in case there's any doubt in anybody's mind, front and center, number one priority is we're going to change the election law so that the that the Secretary of State doesn't get to run this election,” Amodei continued.

“The timing is smelly as heck,” Amodei said, adding “Am I going to say they're trying to steal the election? No.” 

Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, the only statewide Republican office holder, led the state to holding a mostly mail-in primary. She announced the change on March 24 and the primary was June 9. 

He said that the Legislature’s move reflected poorly on Biden, and the congressman dismissed the Democratic rationale that they sought to expand mail-in voting in order to allow people to vote safely during a pandemic and in future emergencies. Trump lost Nevada to Hillary Clinton by about two percentage points in 2016.

“I'm saying you mustn’t have an overwhelming amount of confidence in your guy in a state that the present guy lost by a point and a half,” Amodei said. “If you think this is another arrow in your quiver, then guess what, you're taking it, but don't tell me it's about we're trying to enfranchise disenfranchised voters.” 

Amodei said that there already exists several ways to vote to accommodate varied personal situations, including absentee voting and same-day registration.

“With all those things available that require a minimum, by the way, of effort. I'm not buying,” he said.

Amodei said he is investigating the effect on his congressional district. He believes that the bill will likely add to the district’s number of potential voters. He plans to speak to Washoe County officials to get information about the effect of the change.

“I expect my voter base will change some,” he said. 

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