Federal judge rejects GOP effort to delay Nevada ballot count


A federal judge on Friday rejected Republican congressional candidates' lawsuit seeking to change signature verification procedures used for processing ballots in Nevada.

Judge Andrew Gordon of the U.S. District Court for Nevada said that the injunction sought by two GOP candidates in Clark County, the most populous county in the state, would needlessly delay the vote counting that has become the subject of national attention in recent days.

"The public interest is not in favor of disrupting the completion of the processing and counting of the ballots," Gordon, who was appointed by former President Obama, said at the end of a two-hour hearing Friday evening.

The lawsuit was touted by the Trump campaign this week amid its effort to cast doubt on the ongoing vote counts in the handful of states that still don't have a projected winner.

It was filed by the congressional campaigns for two Nevada Republicans — Jim Marchant and Dan Rodimer — and on behalf of a voter who alleged that she was turned away from voting in person because a ballot had already been mailed in with her signature.

The lawsuit, filed against the state's Republican secretary of State, accused Clark County of illegally using a computer program called Agilis to verify ballot signatures.

But Gordon on Friday chastised the plaintiffs for not providing sufficient evidence that Agilis was responsible for what they alleged.

"Why do I grant extraordinary relief if you don't have evidence that supports a likelihood of success on the merits?" the judge asked the campaigns' attorney.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has expanded his lead over Trump in Nevada in recent days, though no major outlet has projected a winner in the state as of early Friday night.

A lawyer representing Clark County, which is home to Las Vegas, told the court Friday that elections officials there still have about 63,000 mail-in ballots left to process.

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