By: KayLynn Roberts-McMurray
A group of concerned residents showed up for a rally last Tuesday in opposition to Nevada’s Assembly Bill 4 that was adopted in a special Legislative session. The hundred page bill that focuses on mail-in voting passed with a 29-12 vote.
The bill specified that in November’s general election, elected officials will send all active registered voters a mail-in ballot. This will also be in effect in the event of a statewide emergency or disaster directive.
Protestors stood on the steps of the White Pine County Courthouse chanting “Back the Ballot”. The group was a mix of people from all ages, some bringing their children with them, who held signs that said “Save our Election” and “Back the Ballot.”
Hours after the bill was passed, President Donald Trump’s campaign filed a lawsuit with Nevada. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday, August 4, 2020 in U.S. District Court against Republican Secretary of State, Barbara Cegavske. Plaintiffs claim that the bill will force Republicans to expend resources educating people about the changes.
The lawsuit claims the bill unconstitutionally extends the deadline for Election Day through a provision allowing ballots with unclear postmark dates to be accepted up to three days after Election Day. The lawsuit also states that AB4 violates rural voters right under the Equal Protection Clause, explaining that the bill only requires one vote center for rural counties.
The Nevada Attorney Generals’ Office on behalf of the Nevada Secretary of State’s office filed a motion Monday, August 10, to dismiss Trump’s lawsuit. Governor Steve Sisolak has continued to speak in support of it.
Opponents argue that vote-by-mail processes are vulnerable to fraud, while advocates for vote-by-mail legislation argue that it is necessary to fully enfranchise votes and mitigate the public health threat posed by the current pandemic.