LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Nevada State Democratic Party is accusing groups supporting Donald Trump of promoting voter intimidation by stirring up doubts about the reliability of the election and encouraging supporters to patrol the polls.
The party filed a lawsuit Sunday in U.S. District Court against the Trump campaign, the Nevada Republican Party and Republican operative Roger Stone, who runs the group “Stop the Steal.” It alleges that Trump supporters have yelled at voters outside Las Vegas-are polling places when they said they weren’t voting for the Republican nominee, and that Stone is asking supporters to conduct an illegitimate “exit polling” initiative aimed at intimidating voters of color.
“The Party is threatened with immediate and irreparable injury if the vigilante voter intimidation campaign by Trump, Stone, and their co-conspirators succeeds in disrupting or changing the results of the election by means of an unlawful conspiracy,” the Democrats’ lawsuit says.
The lawsuit asks the court to declare that aggressive questioning of voters waiting to cast their ballot or threats of legal or criminal action is illegal. It also seeks a decision that would block the defendants’ exit polling and citizen journalist initiatives, which encourage volunteers to identify themselves as “reporting for Vote Protectors” and ask voters about election fraud, according to the lawsuit.
Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald criticized the lawsuit, saying his party has zero tolerance for voter intimidation
“The Nevada Republican Party is committed to holding free, fair, and open elections throughout the state of Nevada,” he said in a statement. “The arguments made by the Nevada Democratic Party are nothing more than a partisan stunt and do not reflect the efforts of our operation.”
Trump’s Nevada campaign has been recruiting poll watchers, but state campaign director Charles Munoz said they’re trained to act within the law.
For his part, Stone said his group is conducting a scientific and neutral exit poll to compare machine results with exit poll results and measure any deviance.
“We seek only to determine if the election is honestly and fairly conducted and to provide … an evidentiary basis for a challenge to the election if that is not the case,” Stone said in a statement. “I assume the purpose of this bogus lawsuit is to distract from the voter-fraud the Democrats have traditionally engaged in.”
The Nevada lawsuit is similar to challenges filed starting Sunday in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Arizona.