Nevada mailed ballots to all voters ahead of its primary election in June and encouraged residents not to risk in-person voting [File: John Locher/The Associated Press]
President Donald Trump has threatened to sue Nevada after Democratic politicians passed a bill that would send mail-in ballots to every voter ahead of November’s presidential election in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump, who has claimed without evidence that voting by mail will lead to rampant fraud, wrote on Twitter on Monday that the legislation approved on Sunday was an “illegal late night coup”.
“Using Covid to steal the state,” he added. “See you in Court!”
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! https://t.co/cNSPINgCY7
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2020
If Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak signs the bill as expected, Nevada would become the seventh state to send ballots to all registered voters for the November 3 election.
Utah, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington already conduct their elections entirely by mail, while California and Vermont have decided to do so this year due to the pandemic.
The continuing public health crisis has prompted litigation in dozens of states between Democrats and Republicans over issues like absentee ballots, postmark deadlines and signature requirements.
Most states have sought to expand mail-in voting to avoid spreading the coronavirus at polling places on election day.
Nevada mailed ballots to all voters ahead of its primary election in June and encouraged residents not to risk in-person voting. Most of the state’s polling places were closed, leading to waits of as many as seven hours in Las Vegas and Reno.
Nevertheless, 1.6 percent of residents voted in-person during the state’s primary, a tiny share compared with the 34.2 percent in the state who voted in-person in the November 2018 election.
Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske told lawmakers last week that she was not aware of any fraud in the June primary.
Election experts say voter fraud of any kind, including incidents related to mail-in ballots, is rare.