Nevada asks judge to dismiss Trump, GOP vote-by-mail lawsuit

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske asked a judge Monday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign that challenges a new state law sending ballots to all active voters amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Though Cegavske, a Republican, opposed the new law and said her department did not have the budget for the changes, she serves as the state’s top elections official and was named in the lawsuit by the Trump campaign and Republicans and is now defending the new law in court.

Trump’s campaign and national and state Republicans filed a lawsuit last week in Nevada to try to stop the new law, contending it would undermine the election’s integrity.

In a court filing Monday, Cegavske’s attorneys asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit and contended that the lawsuit addresses a policy debate that should occur outside of a courtroom. The filing also said the Trump campaign and Republicans who filed the suit don’t have legal standing to make their argument and don’t explain how they’d be harmed by changes in the law.

Cegavske is being legally represented by the office of Attorney General Aaron Ford, a Democrat.

National and Nevada Democrats are also seeking to join the lawsuit, arguing that if Trump’s campaign prevails in blocking the law, it will make it more difficult to vote.

A judge has not yet ruled on the Democrats’ request to intervene or Cegavske’s request to drop the lawsuit. An initial hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Nevada’s Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak last week signed a law passed by the Democratically controlled Legislature that made the state among several that plan to automatically mail ballots to active voters this November.

“Active” voters are generally voters with a current address on file with local elections officials.