Yesterday, Donald Trump once again co-opted an entire news cycle with a tweet. He floated postponing the November election and made yet another spurious claim that mail-in voting leads to widespread voter fraud. While Trump has no authority to move the election, allies of democracy everywhere must ardently denounce his rhetoric on mail-in voting. This is not the first time Trump has launched an attack on mail-in voting. In May, he threatened to withhold federal funds from our state after the Republican Secretary of State pursued an all-mail election.
The situation is even worse now and there are no guarantees of controlled outbreak as we move towards November. This is a health crisis unlike any we have seen in our lifetimes. For far too many, electing leaders equipped and willing to move us through this crisis with the guidance of science is a matter of life and death. As of this week, more than 150,000 Americans have died. That is why the state must take bold steps to expand voting access. But while Trump issues false claims of mail-in voting fraud and COVID cases rise, Secretary of State Cegavske makes a baffling claim that we are “no longer in an emergency situation” and do not need to expand vote-by-mail options. Nevadans feel differently — a recent poll found Nevadans overwhelmingly support expanded mail ballot access.
Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II released the following statement:
“Secretary of State Cegavske’s claim that ‘we are no longer in an emergency’ simply does not reflect the reality Nevadans are living through. We are at the epicenter of a global pandemic, averaging 1,000 new coronavirus cases a day. Yesterday, the Governor invoked an emergency special session to address voting access, recognizing the ‘extraordinary occasion’ demanded by our state’s constitution.
“In order to keep Nevadans safe as they exercise their civil rights, we must invest in expansive, robust voting options. We know that even in normal times, obstacles to voting are more prevalent in Black and Latino communities, the very communities that have been devastated by COVID-19. For this reason, expanding voting access is both a matter of democratic integrity and racial justice. Nevada Democrats have been in this fight for a long time. As we approach November, that fight becomes more important than ever. For the health of all Nevadans, for the preservation of democracy, we will continue to combat Trump’s falsehoods and work to expand ballot access in the state.”