LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- President Donald Trump's campaign filed a lawsuit late Tuesday night against Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske regarding legislation that allows the option of mail-in ballots in the November election.
After Gov. Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 4 into law on Monday morning, he and the president entered a back-and-forth debate via media statements.
Trump on Monday tweeted, saying the bill was passed in a "late night coup" and said he would sue the state.
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! https://t.co/cNSPINgCY7— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2020
Thank you, @andersoncooper, for allowing me to set the record straight on the legislation I signed Monday which supports the safest, most accessible election possible under these unprecedented circumstances. https://t.co/JLq8VNHjPZ— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) August 5, 2020
The suit was filed in Nevada District Court by Donald J. Trump For President and the Republican National Committee.
"... Republicans have always supported efforts to make it easier for voters to cast their ballot. At the same time, however, the electoral process cannot function properly if it lacks integrity and results in chaos. Put simply, the American people must be able to trust that the result is the product of a free and fair election," lawyers for the Trump campaign argue.
The campaign argues amendments made to the bill, passed Sunday night, will "undermine the November election’s integrity."
They call AB4 "illegal," saying the ballots will lead to voter fraud, and are asking a federal judge to intervene.
Cegavske, a Republican, has said the state uses signature verification and other means to verify a ballot to prevent voter fraud. Under AB4, Nevada voters would still have the choice to vote in person on Election Day.
The same mail-in ballot process was used in Nevada's primary election. The lawsuit alleges several problems the state dealt with, including ballots mailed to deceased individuals or wrong addresses.
Trump referenced this point again in a briefing on Tuesday, after an endorsement of Florida's governor and encouraging voting by mail.
Sisolak rebutted this on CNN Tuesday night, saying "if they can handle it in Florida, they can certainly handle it in Nevada."
“Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True. Florida’s Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail!,” Trump tweeted.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany rejected the notion that the president has changed his views. She said he supports absentee voting by mail for a reason, as opposed to states mailing out ballots to all voters regardless of whether they requested them. Most election officials say there is little effective difference between absentee voting and voting by mail.
Five states have relied on mail-in ballots since even before the coronavirus pandemic raised concerns about voting in person, but officials have found no evidence to support Trump's assertion that voting by mail leads to widespread fraud.
The U.S. Postal Service released a statement Monday night saying they have "ample capacity" to handle voting by mail.
Trump's campaign asked the judge to declare AB4 a violation of the Constitution, for an injunction on the implementation of AB4 and for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction "granting the relief specified above during the pendency of this action."
With AB4, Nevada joins seven states that plan on automatically sending voters mail ballots, including California and Vermont, which moved earlier this summer to adopt automatic mail ballot policies.
READ THE FULL LAWSUIT BELOW
AB4 lawsuit / Trump campaign by FOX5 Vegas on Scribd
The lawsuit was first reported by The Nevada Independent. The Associated Press contributed to this report.