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Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske

Photo by Ken Lund/ CC BY-SA 2.0

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.

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.

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Eric Holder

The failure of major federal voting rights legislation in the Senate has left civil rights advocates saying they are determined to keep fighting—including by suing in battleground states. But the little bipartisan consensus that exists on election reform would, at best, lead to much narrower legislation that is unlikely to address state-level GOP efforts now targeting Democratic blocs.

“This is the loss of a battle, but it is not necessarily the loss of a war, and this war will go on,” Eric Holder, the former U.S. attorney general and Democrat, told MSNBC, saying that he and the Democratic Party will be suing in states where state constitutions protect voting rights. “This fight for voting rights and voter protection and for our democracy will continue.”

“The stakes are too important to give up now,” said Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which for years has operated an Election Day hotline to help people vote. “Our country cannot claim to be free while allowing states to legislate away that freedom at will.”

In recent weeks, as it became clear that the Senate was not going to change its rules to allow the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to pass with a simple majority, there have been efforts by some lawmakers, election policy experts, and civil rights advocates to identify what election reforms could pass the Senate.

“There are several areas… where I think there could be bipartisan consensus,” said David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, in a briefing on January 20. “These areas are all around those guardrails of democracy. They are all about ensuring that however the voters speak that their voice is heard… and cannot be subverted by anyone in the post-election process.”

Becker cited updating the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which addressed the process where state-based slates of presidential electors are accepted by Congress. (In recent weeks, new evidence has surfaced showing that Donald Trump’s supporters tried to present Congress with forged certificates as part of an effort to disrupt ratifying the results on January 6, 2021.) Updating that law could also include clarifying which state officials have final authority in elections and setting out clear timetables for challenging election results in federal court after Election Day.

Five centrist Washington-based think tanks issued a report on January 20, Prioritizing Achievable Federal Election Reform, which suggested federal legislation could codify practices now used by nearly three-quarters of the states. Those include requiring voters to present ID, offering at least a week of early voting, allowing all voters to request a mailed-out ballot, and allowing states to start processing returned absentee ballots a week before Election Day.

But the report, which heavily drew on a task force of 29 state and local election officials from 20 states convened by Washington’s Bipartisan Policy Center, was notable in what it did not include, such as restoring the major enforcement section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was removed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. It did not mention the Electoral Count Act nor growing threats to election officials from Trump supporters.

“This won’t satisfy all supporters of the Freedom to Vote Act, but this is a plausible & serious package of reforms to make elections more accessible and secure that could attract bipartisan support,” tweeted Charles Stewart III, a political scientist and director of the MIT Election Data and Science Lab. “A good starting point.”

The reason the centrist recommendations won’t satisfy civil rights advocates is that many of the most troubling developments since the 2020 election would likely remain.

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Former president Donald Trump

By Rami Ayyub and Alexandra Ulmer

(Reuters) -The prosecutor for Georgia's biggest county on Thursday requested a special grand jury with subpoena power to aid her investigation into then-President Donald Trump's efforts to influence the U.S. state's 2020 election results.

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