Federal judge in Nevada rejects emergency motion claiming voter fraud, signature verification issues

Politics

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A U.S. federal court judge has denied an emergency motion from Nevada Republicans after they sued Clark County and the Secretary of State’s Office, claiming voter fraud. The lawsuit alleged the county’s signature verification system uses lower quality images than its software requires.

Judge Andrew Gordon denied the plaintiff’s motion to stop the use of Clark County’s signature verification machine and change its vote counting observation rules.

Nevada is one of the few remaining states that hangs in the balance. The latest Nevada results show President Trump trailing Biden by more than 22,000 votes.

The lawsuit named Jill Stokke, Chris Prudhome and Republican congressional candidates Jim Marchant and Dan Rodimer as plaintiffs. Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske and Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria were named as defendants. Though not part of the lawsuit, representatives from the Trump campaign introduced Stokke and Prudhome at a news conference Thursday.

The lawsuit alleged the signature verification system, Agilis, was not being used as intended. According to the lawsuit, the DMV signatures the county is using to match ballots is below the 200 dots-per-inch (DPI) requirement.

“Defendant Gloria is using the Agilis signature-verification software in a manner which is contrary to the manufacturer’s prescriptions,” the lawsuit said. “Specifically, the manufacture requires that signatures be scanned with a resolution of at least 200 DPI Nevertheless, Mr. Gloria has consistently used signature files from the DMV which are all scanned at less than 200 DPI
resulting in the Agilis machine being unable to perform its required function (i.e. verifying signatures).”

A judge in a state lawsuit, which the Republicans dropped, did not find “any evidence of ‘debasement or dilution of a citizen’s vote’ because of Clark County’s use of a signature match machine,'” according to the federal court filing. Lawyers for the Democrats cited this lawsuit in their argument Friday.

Friday morning, lawyers with the Democratic National Committee and Nevada Democratic Party filed a motion to intervene in this federal lawsuit, saying its claims “are too late, rife with procedural deficiencies and meritless.”

The lawsuit pointed to the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause, citing only Clark County uses the system in Nevada and this form of verification is unconstitutional by “not having the clerk or employee of the clerk’s office verify the signature.”

Stokke, who is legally blind, spoke at Thursday morning’s news conference and said when she went to vote in person last week, she was told that she has already voted. The I-Team first profiled Stokke on Monday.

Stokke told the I-Team that she was told the mail-in ballot the county received had a signature that matched. But Stokke is adamant that she did not vote and believes her ballot was stolen.

According to the federal lawsuit, Stokke claims she was pressured to attest to the fact that her “roommate possibly stole” her ballot. She writes in the lawsuit, “Joe [Gloria] highly pressure me to attest to a lie.”

Gloria responded to Stokke’s allegation Thursday. “I personally met with Ms. Stokke. She brought her claim to me, we reviewed the ballot, and in our opinion, it’s her signature,” Gloria said. “We also gave her an opportunity to provide a statement if she wanted to object to that and provide a challenge to that. She refused to do so. A member of the Secretary of State’s Office investigation team also interviewed her, and they had no issue with the assistance that we tried to give her.”

Prudhome said he attempted to watch the vote count in-person early Wednesday, but was told to leave, according to the lawsuit. According to Prudhome, he identified himself as a reporter, though a media outlet is not named in the lawsuit. The county has received no other complaints about its observation procedures, a county lawyer said during the hearing.

Nevada law allows for poll watchers and election observers, but all watchers must agree to certain rules, including no photography. Members of the media go through a different procedure and must prove they are credentialed.

Republicans allege roughly 10,000 people who cast ballots no longer live in Nevada. The lawsuit claims there are “3,000 instances of ineligible individuals casting ballots” and “ballots
have even been cast on behalf of deceased voters.” However, the lawsuit does not provide any evidence about these claims and lawyers did not address these accusations during Friday’s hearing.

“We firmly believe that there are many voters in this group of mail-in people that are not proper voters. In the last many days, we have received reports of many irregularities across the valley,” said Adam Laxalt, former Nevada Attorney General. “We believe there are dead voters that have been counted. We are also certain there are thousands of people whose votes have been counted who have moved out of Clark County during the pandemic.”

The Thursday announcement was made in front of the Clark County Election Department and also included former Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, Chairman of the American Conservative Union Matt Schlapp and Nevada GOP Chair Michael McDonald. No member of the Trump campaign is listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

The group would not take questions from the media.

Gordon could hear more evidence in the case at a future hearing if the plaintiffs provide it, he said.

In an unrelated lawsuit, the Trump campaign dropped its appeal regarding mail-in ballots, after an agreement was made for “additional observation access.”

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