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Trump Lawsuit to Stop Mail-In Vote Counting in Nevada Condemned as 'Obvious' and 'Desperate' Suppression Attempt

"This suit is nothing but a sham."

A Clark County election worker scans mail-in ballots at the Clark County Election Department on October 20, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

In a move the Nevada Democratic Party denounced as a "desperate play" to suppress votes just ahead of the November 3 election, the Trump campaign on Friday filed a lawsuit seeking to stop officials from tallying mail-in votes in the Silver State's most populous county on the basis of alleged problems with ballot observation and processing procedures.

"This lawsuit from Trump and Republicans is nothing more than an obvious attempt to impede record-breaking momentum in Clark County, the most diverse county in the state," Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II said in a statement. "The demands articulated in the GOP's lawsuit amount to voter suppression, plain and simple... this suit is nothing but a sham."

Late Friday, a judge denied the Trump campaign's request for a temporary restraining order to stop the counting of mail-in votes. "That doesn't mean the legal battle is over, though," the local Nevada Independent reported. "Carson City District Court Judge James Wilson has scheduled an evidentiary hearing for Wednesday morning."

"We will always protect the right to vote, and we won't let it be suppressed. Keep counting, Clark."
—Aaron Ford, Nevada Attorney General

The lawsuit (pdf) against Nevada's Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske and Clark County Registrar of Voters Joseph Gloria—just one of many election-related suits the Trump campaign and Republicans have filed across the nation in recent months—alleges that Nevada officials are not providing adequate accommodations for ballot observers.

"Notably, observers are often located more than 25 feet away from certain processes, and cannot see the computer screens or monitors of individual workers," the complaint reads.

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The suit also claims that Gloria lowered the "tolerance level" of a machine used to match signatures, allegedly opening the door to "fraudulent and improper ballots... being tabulated by Clark County."

In a statement responding to the lawsuit, the Clark County Election Department said the Trump campaign's complaint "contains many misleading or inaccurate claims."

"Perhaps most notably, the judge commented during a hearing today that the County Election Department is complying with state statute regarding observation requirements," said department spokesperson Dan Kulin.

In a pair of tweets late Friday, Nevada's Democratic Attorney General Aaron Ford rejected the lawsuit's assertion that a "proper" vote-counting procedure is not in place in Clark County and denounced the Trump campaign's "illegitimate efforts."

"We will always protect the right to vote, and we won't let it be suppressed," Ford wrote. "Keep counting, Clark."

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