President Donald Trump lashed out at Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Monday morning, falsely referring to Sisolak's new mail-in voting law as an "illegal late-night coup." The president has voiced strong opposition to mail-in voting despite its long history of safe use, and its application during the coronavirus pandemic. He claimed that he will be taking Sisolak to court over the law.
Trump retweeted a photo of 20 protesters holding his campaign signs in Nevada on Sunday, speaking out against the mail-in voting bill. According to a report by CBS News, the bill passed, which Trump wrote "made it impossible for Republicans to win the state." The president reiterated his argument that the "Post Office could never handle the Traffic of Mail-In Votes without preparation," and said that Nevada state leaders were "Using Covid to steal the state. See you in Court!"
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
Nevada joins a number of other states that have expanded mail-in voting eligibility due to the coronavirus pandemic, as it will allow voters to avoid physical contact with others while casting their ballot. Seven states have now opted to automatically send mail-in ballots to registered voters, which many say will increase voter turnout overall since those residents no longer need to leave their homes or take time off work to vote.
CBS News has reported that a consensus among election security experts agrees that mail-in voting is safe, and that voter fraud in general is very rare. The president's concerns about counterfeit ballots and other forms of deception have been taken care of for years, as absentee ballots — including those used by the military — are filled out by mail.
Most of the pushback against mail-in voting comes from Republican lawmakers, but the American people themselves tend to support the idea. According to a recent Gallup poll, 64 percent of Americans support voting by mail, with overwhelming support from registered Democrats.
Experts found that mail-in voting is far cheaper than in-person elections, and the security measures it requires are easier to scale up based on need as well. Meanwhile, physical polling locations face the risk of helping to spread COVID-19, or being shut down if a verified case is discovered there. This has already left communities in the U.S. unable to vote over the last few months in special elections.
Trump has not elaborated on how he intends to take Sisolak or the state of Nevada itself to court, nor whether he intends to pursue action against the other six states that have adopted mail-in voting during this crisis. Pundits continue to worry that the president's open anxiety about mail-in voting signifies that he will be reluctant to accept the results of the election when the time comes.