Sisolak responds to president's threat to withhold Nevada money due to mail-in primary

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Gov. Steve Sisolak is responding to President Donald Trump's threat to withhold funds from Nevada because of the mail-in primary on Tuesday, June 9.

On Wednesday, the governor tweeted, "Nevada is widely recognized as being a national leader in election administration, and we will continue to support the safest, most accessible election possible under these unprecedented circumstances. For the President to threaten federal funding in the midst of a pandemic over a state exercising its authority to run elections in a safe and legal manner is inappropriate and outrageous."

The response comes after the president tweeted, “State of Nevada “thinks” that they can send out illegal vote by mail ballots, creating a great Voter Fraud scenario for the State and the U.S.” Trump went onto add, “They can’t! If they do, “I think” I can hold up funds to the State. Sorry, but you must not cheat in elections.”

President Trump tagged his acting budget director and the Treasury Department on the tweet.

The Office of the Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske also responded to the president's tweet, saying in part:

For over a century, Nevadans, including members of the military, citizens residing outside the state, voters in designated mailing precincts, and voters requesting absentee ballots, have been voting by mail with no evidence of election fraud. All 17 counties have established processes and procedures in place for safe and secure mail-in voting.

The state made the decision to hold the vote-by-mail election due to health concerns related to COVID-19 pandemic.

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford noted in a statement that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encouraged governments to take protective measures at elections.

“And our military, for example, has used it for over a century. Moreover, a federal judge just noted that a recent claim of voter fraud in Nevada “is without any factual basis," Ford said in the statement."So, President Trump’s early-morning threat to hold federal aid hostage because Nevada is using this time-honored and trusted method of voting to protect the health and safety of its residents is perplexing. The mail election for the upcoming primary is but one piece in the plan to keep Nevada families safe, and we will not allow these threats and accusations to undermine that plan. To the president, I say this: If you ‘think’ you can withhold funds from this state and carry through on your threat, we'll see you in court."

A federal judge recently refused to block Nevada’s mail-in primary election, which were sent by the Republican secretary of state.

The Associated Press reports it was not immediately clear how Trump could delay the funds, which come from coronavirus relief spending measures he signed into law.

The president also made similar threat to the State of Michigan.

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