The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit over the weekend challenging North Carolina’s new lenient vote-by-mail procedures, arguing the changes written by the Board of Elections open the door to fraud and violate the state’s own laws.
It’s the latest lawsuit by the Trump team, and it follows warnings from President Trump that a rush to make voting easier amid the coronavirus pandemic has created opportunities for massive fraud.
In the case of North Carolina, the president’s campaign objects to new rules — purportedly reached in a “backroom deal” — that allow voters to “cure” ballots found to have errors by signing an affidavit, rather than having to start over and cast a new ballot.
The new rules were released last week, even though hundreds of thousands of ballots had already been sent out under the old rules, and more than 200,000 had already been completed and returned by Saturday, the Trump campaign said.
They asked a federal judge to issue a temporary restraining order halting the new rules.
North Carolina Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, in a response Monday, called the claims “factually and legally baseless.”
He also accused the Trump team of court-shopping by bringing the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. He said cases involving other challenges to the state’s election procedures are being heard in the Middle District, but those rulings haven’t been to the Trump team’s liking.
The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee have now sued five states over their new voting rules this year. In addition to North Carolina, they are Montana, New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania. They have also sued some Iowa counties.