US President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, along with other Republican committees, filed suit Wednesday against Montana Governor Steve Bullock over his universal vote-by-mail directive.
There have been endless battles between Republicans and Democrats in the use and validity of mail-in voting for the November election in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Republicans believe that Democrats are using the crisis as a means to implement universal mail-in voting and other changes to standard election laws.
The complaint alleges that this directive is a “direct usurpation of the Legislature’s authority.” More specifically, the complaint argues that Bullock does not have the power to determine the time, place or manner of congressional elections. Rather, this power has been designated to the legislature. In addition, allowance of mail-in voting will inevitably lead to voter fraud and another ineligible voting, which in turn violates not only the fundamental right to vote but also the Fourteenth Amendment.
The complaint further stated:
Governor Bullock issues a directing purporting to allow universal vote-by-mail balloting for the November 2020 election. The result is a patchwork election code that has varying deadlines and procedures across Montana’s 56 counties. This brazen power grab was not authorized by state law and violated both the Elections Clause and Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Governor’s directive is invalid and must be enjoined. Moreover, in his hast, the Governor creates a system that will violate eligible citizens’ right to vote. By allowing vote-by-mail ballots to be automatically sent to every voter, he created a recipe for disaster. Rushing to automatically mail ballots to all voters invites fraud, coercion, theft, and otherwise illegitimate voting. Fraudulent and invalid votes dilute the votes of honest citizen and deprive them their rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Bullock argues, however, that he implemented this directive to “protect Montanans’ right to vote while protecting the public’s health.”