People wait in line to vote before the polling station at the Clark County Fire Training Center opens on Nov. 6, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nev.
David Becker/Getty

In Nevada, Trump campaign files its first election lawsuit

In recent days, Donald Trump and some of his allies have complained bitterly about voting precincts in Nevada remaining open last week to accommodate those who were in line when the polls closed. It’s an odd thing when a presidential campaign is outraged by voters being able to cast a ballot, but the Republican ticket has been quite animated on the matter.

Today, as NBC News reported, Team Trump filed a lawsuit to contest last week’s developments [updated: see below].
Donald Trump’s campaign has filed a lawsuit in state court accusing Clark County, Nevada, of keeping the polls open beyond closing time Friday, the final night of early voting.

Both Trump and Nevada GOP chairman Michael McDonald complained Friday night that a polling location in a Hispanic neighborhood in Las Vegas was kept open improperly. Trump called it evidence of a “rigged system.”
On the merits, the lawsuit appears unlikely to succeed. As is true in most states, Nevada law requires voting precincts to remain open to accommodate those who were in line to vote when the polls closed. By all appearances, that’s precisely what happened in Clark County last week.

“Nothing happened that wasn’t supposed to happen,” Dan Kulin, a spokesman for Clark County, told NBC News on Sunday. “Voters who were in line by the scheduled closing time were allowed to vote.”

Trump and his team are nevertheless outraged – enough to file a lawsuit that alleges a conspiracy between local officials and Democrats. (The suit requires the county to preserve early-voting records, which the county was already doing.)

Why bother with litigation that’s probably not going to change anything? It’s speculative, of course, but given the GOP candidate’s rhetoric in recent months, it’s likely Trump and his team are looking for excuses to contest the election results, keeping the fight going if it appears Hillary Clinton has prevailed.

Trump may also be looking for ways to lay the groundwork for post-election excuses. In the Nevada case, the Republican argument appears to be, in effect, “We might lose the state because too many legal voters were permitted to cast legal ballots.”

There’s no reason to assume this will end in Nevada. David Bossie, a top official in the Trump campaign, appeared on MSNBC earlier today and didn’t rule out the possibility of additional lawsuits elsewhere.

It’s going to be one of those days.

* Update: A judge was unimpressed with the Trump campaign’s odd arguments and rejected the Republican lawyer’s requests.

Donald Trump and Nevada

In Nevada, Trump campaign files its first election lawsuit