A Nevada judge on Monday rejected a lawsuit filed President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign and the Nevada Republican Party which sought to halt the counting of early ballots collected in Clark County, stating that the plaintiffs failed to produce any evidence to support their claims that election officials were violating state law.
The lawsuit, filed Oct. 23 in Carson City District Court, accused county election officials of preventing citizens from observing the “delivery, counting, handling, and processing of ballots” as required under state law. Plaintiffs asked for a temporary injunction on further ballot tallying until the county implemented a “meaningful” plan for polling and vote counting procedures to be observed, in accordance with the law.
Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, is by far Nevada’s most populated county, housing nearly 70-percent of the state’s total voting population.
But after a “lengthy evidentiary hearing “ last week, Carson City District Court Judge James Wilson rejected the campaign’s request, reasoning that they lacked standing due to their failure to produce evidence of “any injury, direct or indirect, to themselves or any other person or organization” that might require judicial intervention.
“There is no evidence that any vote that should be lawfully counted has been or will not be counted,” he wrote. “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. Petitioners do not have standing to maintain their mandamus claims.”
Nevada Republican Party Chair Michael McDonald said in a statement to the Nevada Independent that the ruling “should send a chill down every Nevadan’s spine.” He said that the plaintiffs may file an expedited appeal to the state Supreme Court.
“This is a dark day in our state’s history, but our fight for a free, fair, and transparent election is not over,” he wrote.
Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, a Democrat whose office represented the secretary of state in the lawsuit, praised the outcome. Ford said Monday’s ruling stood as a rebuke to President Trump’s “deliberate attempts” to undermine Nevada’s elections.
“He has made every attempt to control the outcome of this election without any regard for the health and safety of residents or Nevada’s state laws designed to protect the sanctity of the ballot,” Ford said, according to the Nevada Independent. “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.”
[image via MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images]
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