Defying the threat of a legal challenge issued by President Donald Trump, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a bill on Aug. 3 that would allow every state resident to cast a ballot via mail during the 2020 election.
The new law was rushed through the Nevada legislature in a special session called by Sisolak on July 30. Under the new law, every resident in the state can receive a ballot in the mail. A separate provision hands Sisolak, and not Nevada’s secretary of state, the power to determine how an election is run in the case of an emergency.
“This bill will help prevent Nevadans from experiencing the long lines at polling locations they faced during the Primary election, which will protect their safety, safeguard their right to make their voices heard, and help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Sisolak said on Twitter.
President Donald Trump and Attorney General Barr have repeatedly warned that blanketed mail-in voting laws like the one in Nevada would increase the risk of voter fraud.
Trump had threatened to take the state to court the morning prior to Sisolak’s signature.
“In an illegal late night coup, Nevada’s clubhouse Governor made it impossible for Republicans to win the state,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Aug. 3. “Post Office could never handle the Traffic of Mail-In Votes without preparation. Using Covid to steal the state. See you in Court!”
The Department of Justice, which would be responsible for any legal challenge on behalf of the Trump administration, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hillary Clinton won Nevada in 2016 by 2.5 points in 2016.
Both chambers of Nevada’s state legislature are controlled by Democrats. The mail-in voting measure passed the state assembly 29-12 on July 31, and the state senate 13-8 on Aug. 2.
Democrats generally argue that voter fraud does not exist and that Republican opposition to mail-in measures is an attempt to prevent people from participating in the election. Republicans argue that mail-in ballots open the door to a range of fraudulent schemes.
“You’ll have somebody like the governor of Nevada come out with this massive plan, out of nowhere, to take millions of ballots and send them all over the place. You’ll never know who won that state. It’ll get messed up just like New York and just like Paterson, N.J., and just like many other places,” Trump said on Aug. 3 before Sisolak signed the bill.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
The United States has had 1,290 proven instances of voter fraud, according to a database maintained by the conservative Heritage Foundation.
Matthew Vadum contributed to this report.