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DNC requests to join in legal defense of Nevada mail ballot law

The Democratic National Committee requested to join as a defendant in Republicans’ lawsuit challenging Nevada’s law that allows for the acceptance of mail ballots up to four days after an election as long as the ballot is mailed on Election Day.

At the beginning of May, the Republican National Committee, Trump campaign, Nevada Republican Party and a resident filed a lawsuit against Nevada election officials alleging the state is violating federal law by accepting mail ballots after Election Day.

They claim that because federal law establishes a single national Election Day, Nevada violates federal law by accepting mail ballots received beyond the federal Election Day. They also allege many mail ballots don’t get postmarked and are counted erroneously, diluting “honest” ballots.

In a motion filed Monday, the DNC requested to join as an intervenor defendant, claiming it has an interest because its goal is to maximize voter turnout for Democratic candidates. They argue that, if the RNC’s lawsuit were to be successful, thousands of Democratic voters — and Nevada voters in general — would be disenfranchised.

If the Republicans’ lawsuit were to be successful, the DNC claims it would have to divert and expend its resources to encourage Nevada voters to complete and mail in their ballots before Election Day, “a particularly heavy lift given the sheer volume of voters who submit their ballots by mail in Nevada,” the DNC’s attorneys wrote.

On Monday, the DNC also filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing many states allow election officials to count mail-in ballots that arrive after Election Day, with military members overseas being a principal beneficiary.

The DNC also argued siding with the plaintiffs would “create a seismic shift in American elections,” and change the way many people vote in almost every state.

DNC: GOP position ‘absurd’

While the RNC and the other plaintiffs argued that federal law establishes a single Election Day and therefore Nevada cannot accept ballots afterward, the DNC claims federal law does not set a deadline for states to receive ballots. Rather, it requires only that voters’ choice occur on or before Election Day. The DNC argues there is a distinction between the date a ballot is cast and the date it is counted.

“Requiring election officials to tally millions of votes by midnight, mere hours after the polls close on election day or be in violation of federal election law would be absurd,” the DNC wrote.

It also pointed to previous failed challenges that made similar claims, such as a lawsuit in New Jersey and Illinois that were dismissed for a lack of standing. It also took issue the plaintiffs’ waiting to file the lawsuit six months before a presidential election, even though Nevada’s mail ballot law took effect in 2022.

Touching on election processes in Nevada and across the country, the DNC also argued elections are never final as of Election Day, as there is canvassing and certification efforts that take place after Election Day.

If the lawsuit is successful, it would “cause significant upheaval in how Nevada administers its elections,” the DNC argued.

The RNC did not return a request for comment.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on X.

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