Trump campaign files Nevada lawsuit over ballots; Biden lead widens

A Clark County election worker scans mail-in ballots at the Clark County Election Department on October 20, 2020 in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ethan Miller | Getty Images

President Donald Trump‘s campaign said it is filing a federal lawsuit in Nevada on Thursday seeking to block “illegal votes” from people, including those who became non-residents during the coronavirus pandemic or who are dead.

“We’re asking the judges to go through all the irregularities to stop the counting” of the disputed ballots, said Adam Laxalt, a former Nevada Attorney General, who announced the lawsuit.

But when pressed for evidence of those alleged illegal ballots, a Trump campaign surrogate refused to answer reporters at a press conference, and said questions about the ballots should be directed to the Clark County, Nevada, clerk’s office.

Joe Gloria, the Clark County Registrar of Voters, at a press conference later Thursday said that he is not aware of any improper ballots being counted.

Nevada, where ongoing ballot counts show Democratic nominee Joe Biden ahead of Trump, has six Electoral College votes at stake in the presidential contest.

Meanwhile, Biden’s lead on Trump in the popular vote grew by thousands of newly reported ballots, leaving him ahead by about 11,500 votes.

Trump’s campaign already has filed suits in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia related to ballot counting. Democrat Joe Biden is just 17 Electoral College votes shy of clinching a win for the White House, according to NBC News projections.

“We know these [election] rolls were unclean” before Election Day, Laxalt said at a press conference in Las Vegas.

“We firmly believe that there are many voters in this group of mail-in people who are not proper voters,” he said.

“We believe there are dead voters that have been counted,” he said.

“We are also confident that there are thousands of people who have been counted who moved out of Clark County [Nevada] during the pandemic.”

Appearing with Laxalt at the event were Trump’s former acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, and American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp.

Grenell chided reporters for asking questions during the press conference, saying, “Listen you’re getting information … do your job, it’s pretty easy.”

Grennell said reporters should ask the County Clerk about the ballots the Trump campaign believes are invalid.

During a call with reporters on Thusday, before the Nevada lawsuit was anounced, Biden’s campaign again dismissed the legal claims filed by the Trump campaign.

“The lawsuits are meritless,” said Bob Bauer, a legal advisor to Biden’s campaign, and a former White House counsel.

“They’re intended to give the Trump campaign the opportunity to argue that the vote count should stop. It’s not going to stop,” Bauer said.

“I want to emphasize for their purposes these lawsuits don’t have to have merit. That’s not the purpose — is not to bring bonafide claims before the court, it is to create an opportunity for them to message falsely about what’s taking place in the electoral process.”

Biden’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Nevada lawsuit.

Grenell tweeted Thursday morning: “Recklessly throwing ballots in the mail means illegal votes come back. Non-residents and dead people have voted. Democrats planned this. It’s an attack on our Democracy. We must only count LEGAL votes.”

Laxalt during an interview Wednesday on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” claimed that, “There is no question that Donald Trump would have won Nevada last night convincingly if we did not move to mail-in ballots.”

“We don’t know how [many] bad voters there are in this giant stack [of mail-in ballots] We also know there are likely to be dead voters. There are likely to be people that have moved out of Las Vegas but found their ballots were still cast,” Laxalt said. “So we’re looking into all of this.”

Trump on Thursday morning tweeted a link to a article detailing Laxalt’s comments to Carlson.

Michigan and Wisconsin were called for Biden on Wednesday by NBC News. The Trump campaign has requested a recount in Wisconsin.

Biden is gaining votes on Trump in counts in Georgia and Pennsylvania, two other battleground states that have yet to be called. Biden is also ahead in Arizona, which has 11 Electoral College votes.

To win the Electoral College count, a candidate must have 270 votes.

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