Trump threatens to sue Nevada to block universal mail-in ballots

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an executive order signing event on "hiring American" a very dark Cabinet Room of the White House, with the lights low and curtains drawn, in Washington, U.S., August 3, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

By Joseph Ax

(Reuters) – President Donald Trump threatened to sue Nevada after Democratic lawmakers passed a bill on Sunday 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!”

If the state’s Democratic governor, Steve Sisolak, signs the bill as expected, Nevada would become the seventh state to send ballots to all registered voter for the Nov. 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.

A Trump campaign spokeswoman did not immediately comment on Trump’s threat. But the ongoing 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 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 much as seven hours in Las Vegas.

Sisolak’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s tweet.

Election experts say voter fraud of any kind, including incidents related to mail-in ballots, is vanishingly rare.

Last week, Trump suggested delaying the election due to the likelihood of fraud, though he does not have the authority to do so.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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