Legal setbacks for Trump campaign in Nevada, Texas

Voting in the United States

Legal setbacks for Trump and Republican party hours to election

Legal setbacks for Trump and Republican party hours to election

By Agency Reporters

A Nevada judge ruled that ballot-counting measures in the state’s largest county, home to Las Vegas, were legal.

The ruling is a setback to U.S. President Donald Trump and Republican officials in a battleground state ahead of Tuesday’s election.

The suit claimed the counting process in Clark County was plagued by several issues, including observers not being able to get to where they needed to observe the count and ballots being handled in a way observers deemed improper.

Trump’s campaign, the state’s Republican Party and an individual voter filed the lawsuit against Nevada’s secretary of state and the Clark County registrar on Oct. 23. The ruling, issued on Thursday, was released on Monday.

Trump is trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden in opinion polls in Nevada, one of a dozen battleground states that traditionally decide presidential elections.

Judge James Wilson said the plaintiffs in the Nevada case did not have legal standing to bring the case and had not provided evidence that the county’s processes had led to the counting of fraudulent votes.

“There is no evidence that any vote that should lawfully not be counted has been or will be counted. There is no evidence that any election worker did anything outside of the law, policy, or procedures,” the judge wrote.

Trump has repeatedly warned of fraud, although election experts say that is rare in U.S. elections. Both campaigns have mobilized armies of lawyers in preparation for post-election litigation battles.

Nevada’s Attorney General Aaron Ford praised the decision in a statement, saying: “Today’s ruling makes clear that there is a proper procedure to observe an election that even the president must follow, and it’s most certainly a victory for the constitutional rights of all Nevadans.”

Like in Nevada, a federal judge in Texas on Monday denied an attempt by Republicans to throw out about 127,000 votes already cast in the U.S. presidential election at drive-through voting sites in Houston, a Democratic-leaning area.

Related News

The plaintiffs had accused County Clerk Chris Hollins, a Democrat, of acting illegally when he allowed drive-through voting as an alternative during the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen said the plaintiffs, including state Representative Steve Toth, conservative activist Steve Hotze, and judicial candidate Sharon Hemphill, lacked standing to bring the case.

Harris County, home to the city of Houston and about 4.7 million people, is the third most populous county in the United States. It currently has 10 drive-through polling sites, which are available to all voters.

“I find that when you balance the harms you’ve got to weigh in favor of counting the votes,” the judge said.

Texas, the second largest U.S. state, is traditionally a Republican stronghold but polls show a tight race this year between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden with more than 9 million ballots already cast, eclipsing the state’s total turnout from the 2016 presidential election.

The Texas Supreme Court on Sunday rejected a nearly identical bid by the same plaintiffs to halt drive-through voting in Harris County.

The same court also previously denied similar challenges brought by the Texas Republican Party and the Harris County Republican Party.

Hundreds of legal challenges have been brought in the months leading up to Tuesday’s Election Day over how Americans can cast their ballots.

Democrats have generally tried to ease access to mail-in and other alternatives to in-person voting, while Trump has repeatedly made unfounded attacks on mail-in voting, claiming it leads to fraud.

Reported by Reuters

Load more