The Trump campaign and Nevada Republicans are suing to try and slow down ballot processing in the state's biggest county

The Trump campaign and Nevada Republicans are suing to try and slow down ballot processing in the state's biggest county
A county worker loads mail-in ballots into a scanner that records the votes at a tabulating area at the Clark County Election Department, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, in Las Vegas.AP Photo/John Locher
  • The Trump campaign and the Nevada Republican party are asking the state Supreme Court to stop Clark County from processing mail-in ballots.
  • They argue that the county — which is Nevada's largest — doesn't fully abide by state law in allowing humans to observe ballot processing.
  • The lawsuit comes after a district court already rejected their case, pointing out that Nevada law permits counties to count ballots electronically.
  • Nevada's supreme court rejected the request to stop the ballot counting, but said it will assess the case once each party submits more detailed briefings.

President Donald Trump's campaign and the Nevada Republican Party filed an emergency appeal in the state's supreme court Tuesday afternoon, trying to get Clark County to stop processing mail-in ballots until it changes its method.

The Nevada Supreme Court denied the request, but agreed to hear the case later in November.

The lawsuit, spotted by BuzzFeed News reporter Zoe Tillman, targets Clark County's signature-matching process. Nevada is one of the dozens of states that uses signature matching to verify the authenticity of mail-in ballots, ensuring that the signature on the ballot envelope matches the signature used when registering to vote.
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Clark County uses artificial intelligence to match the signatures. The Trump campaign and the Nevada Republican Party argue in the lawsuit that the method Clark County uses to verify those ballots doesn't allow enough room for human observation as required by Nevada law.

"The observation plan fails to ensure transparency and integrity as it does not allow the public to see election officials during key points of mail ballot processing," the lawsuit alleges.

Until that process changes, the Republicans argue, Clark County — which includes Las Vegas and is the most populous county in Nevada — should stop using that method to count ballots.
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The state supreme court denied the request to stop the ballot processing, saying that the Republican groups didn't provide enough detail to make their case. Nonetheless, it agreed to take on the case anyway, and accept more elaborate arguments from them by Thursday, as well as a response from the county by Monday.

The lawsuit already failed once before

The appeal to the state Supreme Court comes after a district court already rejected the lawsuit. The judge, in that case, pointed out that the Nevada state legislature passed a law in August that permits counties to use electronic devices to process ballots.
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"There is no evidence that any vote that should lawfully be counted has or will not be counted. There is no evidence that any vote that lawfully should not be counted has or will be counted. There is no evidence that any election worker did anything outside of the law, policy, or procedures," Carson City District Court Judge James Wilson Jr. wrote.

The new appeal names Nevada Secretary of state Barbara Cegavske and Registrar of Voters for Clark County Joseph Gloria, as well as the state Democratic party, as defendants. Cegavske's office declined Insider's request for comment. The state Democratic party didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

The lawsuit is one of the hundreds filed across the country this year over voting procedures, as election rules have changed this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, and Republicans seek to make it more difficult to vote.
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This article has been updated.

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