The Donald Trump campaign and the Neveda Republican Party accused Democrats attempting to “sow chaos” with voter intimidation lawsuits filed in Nevada and elsewhere, according to court documents filed Wednesday.
The court filing by Republicans comes in a lawsuit filed Sunday by the Nevada Democratic Party alleging that the Republicans were engaged in voter intimidation tactics. Similar lawsuits were filed by Democrats in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Arizona, and litigation is ongoing in a federal court in New Jersey between the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee over its ties to Trump’s calls for vigilante poll watchers.
“This case is one of four coordinated attacks across the country that are clearly long-planned efforts to sow chaos in the Defendant’s political efforts, while garnering maximum publicity for Plaintiff’s unsubstantiated, extraordinarily inflammatory claims on the eve of the Presidential Election,” the Nevada Republicans’ filing said.
The GOP filing said that the Democrats’ lawsuit was based on “miscellaneous long-ago statements, vague innuendo, rank speculation, and a heavy dose of rhetoric,” while accusing the Democrats of trying to create “political mayhem
rather than preventing actual misconduct.”
The Nevada Democrats in their lawsuit asked for the court to place an injunction on tactics the Democrats described as “vigilante voter intimidation.” Republicans countered Wednesday that the Democrats complaint “runs roughshod over the First Amendment.”
“The vague injunction Plaintiff seeks is also infirm because it is likely to dissuade citizens from exercising their rights under Nevada law, and threatens to interfere with the State’s orderly management of the election,” the GOP filing said.
The Republicans dismissed the incident highlighted in the Democratic lawsuit of a Trump supporter harassing voters at an early voting site in the state.
“An isolated instance of misconduct by a single individual—one of hundreds of Nevadans who have volunteered to serve as poll watchers—is not a remotely sufficient basis for the capacious and constitutionally invasive relief the Plaintiff seeks,” the filing said.
Democrats are also suing Roger Stone — a longtime GOP operative with Trump ties — and his affiliated group, Stop the Steal, for its efforts to recruit amateur poll observers to election sites.
“There simply is no basis in fact or law, however, for ascribing or imputing Mr. Stone or Stop the Steal’s activities to the [Nevada Republican Party] or the [Trump] Campaign,” the Republican filing countered. “Mr. Stone and his organization are not employed by or affiliated with the other Defendants in any way.”
The filing rejected the suggestion by Democrats — who are alleging that the Republicans are violating the Voting Rights Act and the Ku Klux Klan Act — that Trump’s calls for poll observers in “certain areas” like Philadelphia were racially motivated.
The Nevada Democratic Party, the Republicans said, “fails to acknowledge the obvious—that these are the largest cities with the largest concentration of voters in states critical to the outcome of the Presidential election.”
The filing also defended some of the practices that it said Democrats would consider intimidating.
“Wearing shirts that happen to be red—a ubiquitous color carrying no particular political or other connotation — plainly is not the kind of activity that inspired the statute,” the filing said. “Conducting exit polling… is a regular, harmless feature of the election-day process, and an entirely proper exercise of First Amendment rights.”
It warned the court against taking “sides on a hotly debated policy issue.”
“Specifically, the Complaint is critical of those concerned with voter
fraud and those who believe our political system is ‘rigged’ to favor certain interests over others,” the filing said. “In one form or another, these policy debates are long-running and legitimate ones. Defendants respectfully submit that whether those views are right or wrong is a political question that is not
for the judiciary to decide.”
The filing argued that the Trump campaign and the Nevada GOP had “taken scrupulous care” in educating supporters seeking to be poll observers. The court filing also included a copy of a Trump campaign poll watcher training slide show.
“There is simply nothing impermissible about Defendants encouraging or facilitating Nevada supporters’ exercise of their statutorily secured prerogative to observe polling place proceedings,” the filing said.
Read the full filing below: