LAS VEGAS — The Donald Trump campaign filed a new federal lawsuit late Thursday in Nevada, alleging that ineligible votes were cast in the Las Vegas area, the biggest Democratic stronghold in an otherwise predominantly GOP state.
A complaint filed after-hours in U.S. District Court resurrected an effort the campaign abandoned just hours earlier in Nevada state court — a court order to stop the Clark County Registrar of Voters from using an optical scanning machine to process ballots and validate voter signatures.
The federal filing cites experiences of a woman who said Thursday she was turned away from voting in person because a mailed ballot had been cast with her signature and a political strategist TV commentator who said he was denied an opportunity to observe ballot counting late on election night.
Trump Nevada campaign co-chairman Adam Laxalt said the new filing "highlights ongoing voter fraud and voter disenfranchisement in Clark County."
State Attorney General Aaron Ford called it "a Hail Mary" and "another opportunity to undermine the confidence in this election" while ballots are still being counted.
Ford noted a federal judge dismissed in September an effort to block the state law that let mailed ballots go out to each of Nevada's more than 1.7 million active registered voters.
"When they can't stop you from voting, they try to stop your vote from counting," he said.
Earlier Thursday, the Trump campaign and state Republican Party quit a state court bid to stop the count of mail ballots in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas.
A state Supreme Court filing said a settlement also involving Democrats, the county and Nevada secretary of state required election officials to allow "additional observation access" at a ballot processing facility in Las Vegas.
That ended a case in which a state judge who held a daylong hearing last week said he found no evidence that in-person votes and mailed votes were treated differently.
Nevada Democrats accuse Republicans and the Trump campaign of trying to disrupt and suppress voting in the state's most populous and diverse area.
Observers are accommodated in Las Vegas-area ballot-counting offices, but Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said coronavirus distancing rules and privacy requirements prevented over-the-shoulder monitoring of signature validation.