RNC, Trump Campaign Challenge Nevada Mail-In Ballot Rules
RNC, Trump Campaign Challenge Nevada Mail-In Ballot Rules

By Austin Alonzo

The most powerful voices in Republican politics are seeking to prevent Nevada from accepting mail-in ballots received up to four business days after Election Day.

On May 3, the Republican National Committee, Donald J. Trump For President 2024 Inc., and Donald Szymanski filed a three-count complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada against Nevada Secretary of State Francisco Aguilar, and other parties, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief.

The complaint identifies Mr. Szymanski as a registered Nevada voter and a resident of Clark County, Nevada.

The RNC, President Trump’s principal campaign committee, and Mr. Szymanski are seeking a judgment declaring Nevada’s mail-in voting law violates the 14th Amendment, injunctions prohibiting the state from counting ballots received after Election Day or, alternatively, postmarked after Election Day, and recovery of legal fees related to the case.

The complaint alleges Nevada contravenes federal law by counting ballots up to four business days after Election Day. Furthermore it incorrectly, according to the complaint, presumes ballots received up to three days after the election are postmarked on or before the day of the election.

“The state effectively extends Nevada’s federal election past the Election Day established by Congress,” the complaint says. “Timely, valid ballots are diluted by untimely, invalid ballots, which violates the rights of candidates, campaigns, and voters.”

In a statement provided to The Epoch Times by the Nevada Secretary of State’s office, Mr. Aguilar said his state runes some of the most secure, transparent, and accessible elections in the country.

“The key for that accessibility is allowing working Nevadans to vote using the method that works best for them, including voting by mail,” Mr. Aguilar said. “Our office will not comment on ongoing litigation, but I hope the RNC is putting as much time and energy into educating voters on how to participate in elections as they put into suing the state of Nevada.”

Nevada, a state with a growing population and shifting demographic makeup, is a coveted battleground state in national politics.

In November, along with assigning six votes in the Electoral College, Silver State voters will decide whether Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) will serve another term in the upper chamber. The vote will be critical to the balance of power in Washington.

In a statement, RNC Chairman Michael Whatley said Nevada’s law undermines the integrity of the state’s election.

“Ballots received days after Election Day should not be counted,” Mr. Whatley said in a release. “The RNC and our partners are suing to secure an honest election, support Nevada voters, and oppose unlawful schemes.”

A release from the RNC said this is the party committee’s 83 active election integrity suit. It is pursuing similar litigation in 25 states.

The RNC, which is now operating in concert with the Trump campaign, is promising to prioritize election integrity ahead of the November vote. On April 19, it announced plans to field more than 100,000 election integrity workers on Election Day and beyond.

The RNC and Trump campaign complaint said a similar suit was filed, and ultimately dismissed, in 2020 that challenged an earlier law on mail-in ballots.

In 2021, the complaint said, Nevada’s state legislature enacted a new law governing mail-in ballots. Along with reducing the competitiveness of elections, the complaint says, Nevada’s law forces the diversion of resources to conduct election activities even after election day.

Michael Whatley, speaks before former President Donald Trump’s arrival for a rally in Greensboro, N.C., on March 2, 2024. (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)

The complaint is directed against various local election officials and county officials in Washoe County, Nevada, and Clark County, Nevada. Mr. Aguilar, a Democrat, is the main defendant. He was elected in 2022 after beating out Republican candidate Jim Marchant.

There is a partisan angle to the mail-in ballot issue, too. In the 2022 national election, according to Massachusetts Institute of Technology Election Lab data cited in the complaint, 46 percent of all Democrat voters mailed in a ballot, while only 27 percent of Republicans did.

In Nevada, the division is broader. The complaint cites statistics collected by the Nevada Secretary of State’s office showing about 60 percent of Democrat voters cast a ballot through the mail in 2020. In comparison, only about 37 percent of Republicans did the same. Similar trends were observed in the 2022 election and the state’s 2024 Presidential Preference Primary.

The complaint also alleges that last-minute votes exceedingly skew Democrat because the party tends to maximize its get-out-the-vote efforts in the final days of the campaign. It goes on to say Democrat ballots are more likely to be rejected because they are not filled out correctly.

“Counting mail ballots received after Election Day doesn’t just dilute the valid ballots—it specifically and disproportionately harms Republican candidates and voters,” the complaint says. “These harms are irreparable.”

The complaint is signed by Alicia Ashcraft, a partner at Ashcraft & Barr LLP of Las Vegas. Ms. Ashcraft is representing all three plaintiffs. Additionally, the complaint said various members of Dhillion Law Group Inc. are serving as counsel for Donald J. Trump For President 2024 Inc.

Representatives of the Nevada Republican Party and the Nevada State Democratic Party did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times.

According to the Nevada Secretary of State’s office, President Joe Biden beat former President Donald Trump in Nevada by about 33,500 votes in 2020. About 1.4 million ballots were cast in that race.

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