After months and months of complaining that the election is rigged, and refusing to confirm that he will accept the outcome of the election, Donald Trump has now filed an election lawsuit in Clark County, Nevada.
“It’s being reported that certain key Democratic polling locations in Clark County were kept open for hours and hours beyond closing time to bus and bring democratic voters in,” Trump claimed on Saturday afternoon at a rally in Reno. “Folks, it’s a rigged system. It’s a rigged system and we’re going to beat it. We’re going to beat it.”
On Tuesday, Trump filed a lawsuit against the Clark County Registrar, alleging that polls were kept open beyond closing time. Trump’s lawyers are asking for legal relief in case “the election of presidential electors from the State of Nevada is contested.”
At Cardenas Market, which is in a Latino-heavy neighborhood, the lines were so long on the last day of early voting that one polling place had to be kept open until after 10pm, The Daily Beast reported.
Dan Kulin, a spokesperson for Clark County told CNN that no polling stations in the county had extended their closing times. They did process voters who were in line at closing time to allow as many people as possible to vote. But the Trump campaign is suggesting that people were allowed to join the lines after closing time.
The chairman of the Nevada Republican Party said that this was done to favor Latinos.
“Last night [Nov. 4], in Clark County, they kept a poll open ’til 10 o’clock at night so a certain group could vote,” said Michael McDonald, GOP chairman in Nevada. “The polls are supposed to close at 7. This was kept open until 10. Yeah, you feel free right now? You think this is a free and easy election? That’s why it’s important.”
Clark County’s Hispanic population is over 30%. Because of a push by the Democratic party, early voting in the county set a record, with over 57,000 voters casting their ballots on the final day of early voting. As last-minute early voters lined up outside polling stations, some stations were open later than usual to accommodate those on line.
At a hearing on Tuesday, judge Gloria J. Sturman denied the Trump campaign’s request that the Clark County registrar Joe P. Gloria preserve early voting records, as she argued that this would make the names of poll workers and early voters part of the public record. She said that she was afraid that this information could be accessed by members of the public and open poll workers and voters up to harassment.
Clark County said in a statement that they are already preserving records from early voting, which is what the Trump campaign requested in the petition. But, these records are not made public.
Sturman questioned the need for a suit saying no multiple occasions, “So why are we here?”
“We don’t know what is going to happen,” said David Lee, theTrump campaign attorney, arguing that they needed to know that evidence would be preserved in case they needed it in the future. “I want to ensure that the evidence is preserved.”
The judge said that they had not exhausted their administrative remedies, which include registering their complaint with the registrar’s office, and that Trump’s lawyers had skipped over multiple steps rushing to a legal action.
“Why do you need a court order, which would make this discoverable information?” said the judge. She argued that making the information part of the legal record would make it accessible to the public and make those named vulnerable to harassment.
“I’m not going to issue any order, I’m not going to do that,” said Judge Sturnam, denying the order after a heated discussion that was broadcast live. “I’m not ordering him [the registrar] to preserve anything.” She added that the secretary of state would decide if that information is required and use administrative channels, rather than legal ones.
The lawsuit has been a strange plot twist, in an increasingly strange Election Day.