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Nevada judge mulls bid to nullify Biden win, stop 6 electors

Politics

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — A state judge heard arguments but made no immediate decision Thursday on a bid by the Donald Trump campaign to have the president declared the winner of the election in Nevada or to nullify results and stop the state’s six Democratic presidential electors from voting for Joe Biden.

Jesse Binnall, the attorney heading the challenge on behalf of six would-be Republican delegates to the Electoral College, asserted that so many fraudulent votes were cast, primarily in the Las Vegas area, that Trump won the state — not Biden.

“Some outright fraud, some irregularities. Votes that should not have been counted,” Binnall declared during a 2½ hour hearing before Judge James Todd Russell in Carson City.

Russell said he’ll render his decision Friday to allow time for an appeal to the state Supreme Court before the nationwide Electoral College finalizes results Dec. 14.

The arguments, streamed by video and telephone, came more than a week after the seven nonpartisan justices certified Nevada’s election results as official.

Biden won by 33,596 votes, nearly 2.4% of the 1.4 million votes cast statewide. In the Las Vegas area, Biden won by 9.35%.

Binnall said he had an expert who could show that nearly 87,000 improper or illegal votes were cast and, “The vast majority of the problem came from Clark County.”

“There is no evidence of any illegal votes, much less who cast them,” responded Kevin Hamilton, a national Democratic party elections litigator representing Nevada’s six Biden electors. “This is trial by allegation, not proof.”

“This election was fair, the votes were counted correctly and Joe Biden won. It’s time for the contestants to accept that,” Hamilton declared, casting the Nevada case as one among many futile challenges filed in presidential battleground states around the U.S.

Binnall accused election officials in Nevada of trying to block unnamed GOP “whistleblowers” who he said still managed to collect what the attorney called “striking evidence that because of the lack of transparency because things were rushed, this election was unfortunately stolen.”

Russell earlier granted witnesses anonymity after Binnall invoked concerns for their safety.

In written filings, the attorney tied voting drives in at least six Indian communities around Nevada to the Biden campaign, and said voters illegally received items of value — gift and gas cards, raffle entries and T-shirts — in exchange for “coming to the polling place and casting their votes.”

The Nevada Native Vote Project denied that account as “categorically false” and branded assumptions that members of the nonpartisan advocacy group favored Biden the product of a “sloppy and racist investigation.”

Hamilton told the judge that Binnall’s claims fell “rather dramatically short of the mark” for what the Democratic Party attorney termed an “unprecedented and breathtaking” request to nullify the Nevada presidential vote.

Binnall said his expert — Jesse Kamzol, a Republican national political data analyst — identified votes by more than 19,000 “non-Nevadans;” nearly 24,000 people who didn’t live where they said they did; more than 1,500 dead voters; and more than 42,000 “double-votes.”

“That, right there, is more than the gulf between Vice President Biden and President Trump in this case,” Binnall said of the last figure.

Hamilton said there was no way to know which candidate received allegedly tainted ballots. He said Binnall’s claims were not specific enough to say who voted twice, what dead people voted or who cast ballots after moving out of state.

Hamilton challenged Kamzol’s credentials as an expert, but the judge said he wanted to hear Binnall’s evidence.

Binnall also cited accounts from a person referred to in the court record as “Doe 1” who said Las Vegas-area vote tallies were changed on laptops using discs that were not encrypted.

“Literally in the dead of night, votes were appearing and votes were disappearing on these machines … without explanation,” Binnall said.

Hamilton ended with a protest that the court had allowed Binnall wide discretion since the contest-of-election case was filed Nov. 17, accepting 15 depositions including anonymous testimony and letting him examine sealed election materials. He derided Binnall’s conclusions.

“They offer big numbers,” Hamilton told the judge, “but without support, without names and without proof of any specific illegal ballot being cast. Not one.”

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