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Coronavirus | Election 2020 | State Government

Judge rejects conservative group’s attempt to block planned all-mail primary

A couple walks past a voting sign during primary election day at Sahara West Library on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)

A federal judge has ruled against a conservative group’s lawsuit that sought to block the state’s planned all-mail primary election in June.

Judge Mirandu Du issued the order on Thursday evening rejecting the request by True the Vote, a Texas-based voting monitoring group, to block the planned all-mail election over concerns of voter fraud, saying the motion lacked standing and that Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske’s office was well within its rights to move to an all-mail election in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Court finds that Defendants’ interests in protecting the health and safety of Nevada’s voters and to safeguard the voting franchise in light of the COVID-19 pandemic far outweigh any burden on Plaintiffs’ right to vote, particularly when that burden is premised on a speculative claim of voter fraud resulting in dilution of votes,” Du wrote in the order.

True the Vote filed the lawsuit on April 21 on behalf of several Nevada voters challenging the state’s plans to switch to an all-mail election, citing concerns that mail-only voting violated state law and would lead to an increase in voter fraud. 

In terms of legal standing, Du wrote that the group’s argument was “difficult to track and fails to even minimally meet the first standing prong.”

“The theory of Plaintiffs’ case, and which is the only alleged injury driving all of their claims, is that the Plan will lead to an increase in illegal votes thereby harming them as rightful voters by diluting their vote,” she wrote in the order. “But Plaintiffs’ purported injury of having their votes diluted due to ostensible election fraud may be conceivably raised by any Nevada voter. Such claimed injury therefore does not satisfy the requirement that Plaintiffs must state a concrete and particularized injury.”

Du also wrote that the assertion of an all-mail election more susceptible to voting fraud “seems unlikely” given the steps taken by the secretary of state’s office to ensure election integrity. She also dismissed all claims and alleged state law violations made by the organization, saying that many of them were either non applicable or were already allowed under Nevada’s election law.

Du also ruled that issuing an injunction would likely cause even more harm and confusion against the state’s planned election process, and that the plan to “protect the public during a public health crisis tips the scale of equity in favor” of the secretary of state’s office.

“It is clear that as triggered by the uncertainties of COVID-19, the public’s interests align with the Plan’s all-mail election provisions,” Du wrote in the order.

The lawsuit isn’t the only legal action filed against the planned all-mail election; several state and national groups affiliated with the Democratic Party filed a separate lawsuit earlier this month seeking additional in-person voting locations and the suspension of several election laws, including a prohibition on “ballot harvesting” or allowing non-family members to collect and turn in absentee ballots.

Paher v. Cegavske Injuction… by Riley Snyder on Scribd

Paher v. Cegavske Injuction… by Riley Snyder on Scribd

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