Nevada's Republican secretary of state fights Trump campaign's mail-in ballot lawsuit

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Barbara Cegavske is defending a new law that would send mail-in ballots to all active voters in the state.

Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske asked a federal court on Monday to toss out a Trump campaign lawsuit over a new law making it easier to vote in Nevada.

Cegavske is the latest Republican state official to push back against Trump's voter suppression tactics in the run-up to the 2020 election.

The Trump campaign, joined by the Nevada Republican Party and the Republican National Committee, sued Nevada on Aug. 4 over a new law that requires the state to send all active voters a ballot for the November election, claiming it would make fraud "inevitable," according to the Nevada Independent.

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Monday's motion to dismiss, filed by Attorney General Aaron Ford, who represents Cegavske, argued that the Trump campaign failed to demonstrate that the law would cause any harm. Further, Ford noted that several other states, including Colorado, Hawai'i, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, also planned to mail citizens ballots for the November election and the Trump campaign had not sued those states.

For months, Trump has engaged in voter suppression tactics, falsely claiming that mail-in ballots substantially increase incidents of voter fraud.

Allowing people to cast mail ballots, by contrast, especially in the middle of a pandemic, would expand access and keep voters from congregating in large crowds at polling centers, risking infection

As the Brennan Center for Justice notes, "The coronavirus has made congregating in small, enclosed spaces dangerous. At many polling places, voters — particularly of color and from poorer communities — already wait in long, crowded lines to vote. During a pandemic, such lines would force citizens to choose between their health and their right to vote."

Claims about mail-in ballot fraud have been repeatedly debunked by numerous outlets, including Politifact, NPR, the Associated Press, FactCheck.org, and Fox News. Trump himself has voted by mail numerous times in the past.

"With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history," Trump tweeted on July 30. "It will be a great embarrassment to the USA."

There is no substantive difference between voting by mail and absentee voting, though Trump and his allies have repeatedly tried to claim otherwise.

Several other state-level Republican officials in charge of elections have criticized Trump's voter suppression efforts.

There is no "rampant voter fraud" in Washington, which largely votes by mail already, Secretary of State Kim Wyman told NPR on Aug. 1.

By making such false statements, Trump "really shatters peoples' confidence in the process," she added.

Frank LaRose, Ohio's Republican secretary of state, told CNN in July that it was "irresponsible — whether it's a Republican or Democrat — for people to create a sense, incorrectly, in the minds of voters that they can't trust their elections."

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican, said last month that "anything that undermines the confidence of Americans is critical and dangerous."

Cox was responding to Trump's attacks on mail-in ballots, as well as Trump's comments about postponing the November election.

Elections are "the foundation of the fabric of our social order, and of our government," said Cox.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.