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In Nevada, Republicans Accuse Military Voters Of Committing ‘Fraud’

A legal complaint filed by the Nevada Republican Party alleges that members of the military committed voter fraud by voting legally.

The criminal referral, sent by the party to the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday, baselessly alleges "at least 3,062 instances of voter fraud" in Tuesday's elections in the state. "Thousands of individuals have been identified who appear to have violated the law by casting ballots after they moved from NV," the party claimed.

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#EndorseThis: Mark Hamill Says Every Military Absentee Vote Must Be Counted

In "Absentee," a powerful new Lincoln Project ad that runs nearly two minutes, Mark Hamill delivers a short course in American political history. The beloved actor reminds us all how absentee voting began during the Civil War as a way for Union Army troops to cast their ballots, far from home -- and how everything they fought to defend is at stake today.

"Nothing is more important than counting every vote, especially those that are serving our country. Suppressing any vote is un-American," says Hamill. If Trump gets his way and tosses out millions of absentee ballots, he warns, then many thousands of military absentee voters "will be deprived of their most sacred right.

"It cannot be allowed to happen."

Be ready to join Mark Hamill, the Lincoln Project, and millions of Americans to defend every ballot.


Who Will Defend Military Ballots From Trump?

At this moment, the president of the United States is threatening to "throw out" the votes of millions of Americans to hijack an election that he seems more than likely to lose. Donald Trump is openly demanding that state authorities invalidate lawful absentee ballots, no different from the primary ballot he mailed to his new home state of Florida, for the sole purpose of cheating. And his undemocratic scheme appears to enjoy at least nominal support from the Supreme Court, which may be called upon to adjudicate the matter.

But what is even worse than Trump's coup plot — and the apparent assent of unprincipled jurists such as Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh — is the Democratic Party's feeble response to this historic outrage. It is the kind of issue that Republicans, with their well-earned reputation for political hardball, would know how to exploit fully and furiously.

They know because they won the same game in Florida 20 years ago.

During that ultimate legal showdown between George W. Bush and Al Gore, when every single vote mattered, a Democratic lawyer argued in a memorandum to the Gore team that the validity of absentee ballots arriving after Election Day should be challenged. He had the law on his side in that particular instance — but not the politics.

As soon as the Republicans got hold of that memo, they realized that it was explosive. Why? Many of the late ballots the Democrats aimed to invalidate in Florida had been sent by military voters, and the idea of discarding the votes of service personnel was repellent to all Americans. Former Secretary of State James Baker, who was overseeing the Florida recount for Bush, swiftly denounced the Democratic plot against the soldiers, saying: "Here we have ... these brave young men and women serving us overseas. And the postmark on their ballot is one day late. And you're going to deny him the right to vote?"

Never mind the grammar; Baker's message was powerful — and was followed by equally indignant messages in the following days from a parade of prominent Bush backers including retired Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, the immensely popular commander of U.S. troops in the Desert Storm invasion that drove Saddam Hussein's army out of Kuwait. Fortuitously, Schwarzkopf happened to be on the scene as a resident of Florida.

As Jeffrey Toobin recounted in Too Close to Call, his superb book on the Florida 2000 fiasco, the Democrats had no choice but to retreat. "I would give the benefit of the doubt to ballots coming in from military personnel," conceded then-Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Gore's running mate, during a defensive appearance on Meet the Press. But Toobin says Gore soon realized that to reject military ballots would render him unable to serve as commander in chief — and that it would be morally wrong.

Fast-forward to 2020, when many of the same figures on the Republican side are now poised to argue that absentee ballots, which will include many thousands of military votes — should not be counted after Election Day, even if they arrived on time. Among those Republicans is Justice Kavanaugh, who made the opposite argument as a young lawyer working for Bush in Florida 20 years ago. Nobody expects legal consistency or democratic morality from a hack like him, but someone should force him and his Republican colleagues to own this moment of shame.

Who can do that? Joe Biden's campaign and the Democratic Party ought to be exposing the Republican assault on military ballots — and, by the same token, every legally valid absentee ballot — every day. But the Democrats notoriously lack the killer instinct of their partisan rivals, even at a moment of existential crisis like this one.

No, this is clearly a job for the ex-Republicans of the Lincoln Project, who certainly recall what happened in Florida in 2000. They have the attitude and aptitude of political assassins. They surely know how to raise hell over an issue like military votes — and now is the time to exercise those aggressive skills in defense of democracy.

To find out more about Joe Conason and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Trump’s Scheme Would Cancel Ballots Mailed By Military Personnel

Donald Trump's latest attack on voting could undermine the right of many active-duty military members to have their votes counted in the 2020 elections.

On Tuesday, Trump again demanded that the election be decided on November 3, rather than waiting for all ballots to be received and counted. He falsely suggested that it is illegal to count any ballots received in the days following the election.

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