National: Coronavirus Likely To Supercharge Election-Year Lawsuits Over Voting Rights | Pam Fessler/NPR
Election year legal battles around voting procedures are nothing new. But their scope and intensity are growing this year amid deep partisan polarization and the logistical challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. The legal fights are expected to heat up in the coming weeks. Exhibit A is a new lawsuit filed by Democrats in Nevada Thursday challenging the state’s plans to conduct a mostly all-mail primary June 2 and to drastically limit in-person polling sites. Democrats say the moves — including automatically sending ballots only to active voters who have taken part in recent elections, but not all registered ones — are an infringement of voter rights. Republicans counter that Democrats want to overturn rules intended to protect the integrity of the state’s elections and would unnecessarily put voters’ health at risk. Both Democrats and Republicans are turning to the courts to try to ensure that rules governing this year’s election don’t disadvantage their side. The litigation campaign has taken on a new urgency with the pandemic and its impact on people’s willingness and ability to go to the polls in person.