Conservative group again asks federal court to block mail-only election plan, says no established link between in-person voting and COVID-19 exposure
A right-wing advocacy group is filing another legal challenge against Nevada’s planned mail-only primary election, asking a federal judge to block the election plan over fears of vote fraud.
True the Vote, a Texas-based voting monitoring group, filed an amended complaint in federal court on Wednesday that now challenges several aspects of an agreement made between state and national Democratic groups and Clark County election officials to mail ballots to inactive voters and several other concessions.
Although the group’s previous lawsuit seeking to block the mail-only election (with several options for in-person ballot drop offs) was blocked by a federal judge, the amended complaint now cites the new election plan agreed to by Clark County as additional violations of voting rights afforded plaintiffs in the case — several Nevada voters and the anti-abortion group Nevada Right to Life.
“The rule of law may not be ignored, even amidst diminishing COVID-19 concerns,” attorneys wrote in the complaint. “To the extent measures need to be taken to protect public health, those may not alter the legislative mandate.”
The complaint echoes many of the previously rejected arguments made by the organization as to why Nevada’s planned primary election process violates constitutional norms and laws designed to protect the rights of voters. It also cites a variety of news stories showing issues with the sudden ramp-up of mail ballots, and claims that there is “no established causal link between in-person voting and the contracting of COVID.”
“Expanding mail balloting is unnecessary to combat COVID-19,” they wrote. “The same social distancing and good hygiene practices—which are effective for preventing the spread of the virus when going out for essential services, like grocery shopping and other essential services—are also an effective way to prevent the spread of the virus for in-person voting.”
Specifically, attorneys for the group are asking the federal court to declare the plan invalid and require election officials tell every registered voter by telephone and mail that mailed ballots will not be counted as valid if returned. Already, some 44,500 ballots have been cast by mail in Clark County.
Federal District Court Judge Miranda Du set a hearing on the motion for next Friday (May 22), but said it may be vacated if the Court deems it unnecessary after reviewing the briefs.
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