Trump: Sisolak trying to ‘steal’ election in Nevada with mail-in voting

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Evan Vucci / AP

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House, Wednesday, July 22, 2020, in Washington.

Published Mon, Aug 3, 2020 (7:30 a.m.)

Updated Mon, Aug 3, 2020 (1:46 p.m.)

Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is using the coronavirus pandemic to “steal the state” in the November election, President Donald Trump posted today on Twitter.

Trump was referring to a bill passed Sunday during a special session of the Legislature that requires all Nevada voters to receive mail-in ballots out of pandemic concerns.

Trump, up for reelection, faces Democrat Joe Biden.

“In an illegal late night coup, Nevada’s clubhouse Governor made it impossible for Republicans to win the state. Post Office could never handle the Traffic of Mail-In Votes without preparation. Using Covid to steal the state. See you in Court!,” Trump’s tweet said.

The bill, which was passed on party lines in the Democrat-controlled state Senate and Assembly, sends $3 million to the Secretary of State’s Office for the rollout of mail-in ballots. No Republicans in either chamber voted for the bill.

Republican lawmakers also criticized a provision to allow the delivery of mail ballots by non-family members. Many Republican lawmakers raised concerns this would allow potential ballot harvesting.

Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas, criticized Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Convention, after McDaniel tweeted that Democrats were looking to “create more opportunities for fraud and allow ballot harvesting.”

“I’ll be damned if I’m going to let a partisan hack like you use this pandemic to suppress Nevadans’ right to vote,” Cannizzaro tweeted. “Nevada will have a free, fair and secure election this November.”

The emergency session was called in part to address voting safety during the pandemic, as Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske planned for an in-person election. The June primary was conducted mostly by mail.

“Trump and his allies have always been motivated by partisanship, even at the expense of American lives,” Nevada Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy said in a statement. “That he would threaten Nevada Democrats’ work to protect voting access through a crisis of his own making is both despicable and par for the course.”

In a statement, former Democratic Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Trump has "no integrity and no scruples. That's why he's lying about our state leaders and threatening a bogus lawsuit simply because Democrats made it easier for people to vote."

"His desperate tweets are the clearest sign he knows he’s going to lose in November. Trump should be more focused on preventing more deaths from this global pandemic and ensuring our economy recovers," Reid said.

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