Nevada polling stations were left open hours after they were scheduled to close for early voting, prompting lawyers for Donald Trump's campaign to sue election officials in the state.
In a legal brief filed on Nov. 7, the Republican candidate's attorneys asked for a judge's order to keep the early voting ballots from being "co-mingled or interspersed” with other ballots, CNN reported.
In Clark County, where there was a larger than usual pool of Hispanic voters queued up to hand in early ballots, election officials kept facilities open past 7 p.m., when they were scheduled to close. Trump's attorneys say those polling stations remained open for another two or three hours to accommodate the early voters.
The Trump legal team is contesting election irregularities early as a lesson from the 2000 election, which dragged on for weeks after lawyers for eventual President George W. Bush wrangled with attorneys for Democrat Al Gore over which ballots should be accepted in the tight race.
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Robert Lang, of the University of Nevada Las Vegas, told CNN the campaign is "smart to put a marker down for a future challenge, considering what happened in 2000 in Florida," where the election was ultimately decided.
“From the polling, it appears that Nevada is so close that the Trump campaign thinks it’s worth challenging any violation in voting protocol. The numbers that came in could represent several thousand people across the four precincts, which could determine who wins the electoral college vote or change the Senate race,” Lang said.
But Nevada officials deny making any special accommodations for early voters. Dan Kulin, a spokesman for Clark County, told CNN the poll workers processed voters who were already in line at closing time, in accordance with state law. Election officials there say they did not accept ballots from people who queued up after closing time.
The legal action was mentioned during last-minute rallies to prompt Republicans to get to the polls, the Independent reported.
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The Trump campaign was closely watching voting irregularities after Trump himself had stated many times that the election could be "rigged" in favor of Democrat Hillary Clinton, who used dubious methods to win her party's nomination over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Emails revealed by Wikileaks show the Clinton campaign worked with the Democratic National Committee to deprive the Sanders campaign of key resources, and accepted debate questions ahead of time from former CNN contributor Donna Brazile, Mediaite reported.
"Last night, in Clark County, they kept a poll open until 10 o'clock at night so a certain group could vote," said Michael McDonald, chairman of the Nevada GOP. "The polls are supposed to close at seven. 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."