BREAKING: GOP sues California over Newsom’s vote-by-mail order

The RNC is suing California over what they call a “power grab” in governor Gavin Newsom’s vote by mail order.

Sunday evening, the California GOP twitter account wrote:

“CA’s election system is already burdened with serious issues. The disastrous Motor Voter program arbitrarily changed voter registration for thousands casting doubt on the integrity and accuracy of our voter rolls,” said @millanpatterson.

Musadiq Bidar had broken this news:

Breaking: Republicans are claiming @GavinNewsom‘s recent executive order to mail every registered voter in California a ballot ahead of the November election redesigns the state’s election system.

Now, @GOP @NRCC and @CAGOP are suing to declare the move unlawful.

SFChronicle reports three Republican groups filed a federal lawsuit against Gov. Gavin Newsom and Secretary of State Alex Padilla over an executive order to send mail-in ballots to all registered voters in California in November, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Newsom issued the order, requiring county elections officials to mail a ballot to everyone registered to vote for the upcoming general election, this month, saying it would keep California residents from crowding polling places amid ongoing health concerns.

The lawsuit, brought by the Republican National Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee and California Republican Party, seeks to bar the state from implementing the order, describing it as a “brazen power grab” that would “violate eligible citizens’ right to vote.”

“Democrats continue to use this pandemic as a ploy to implement their partisan election agenda, and Governor Newsom’s executive order is the latest direct assault on the integrity of our elections,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement. “Newsom’s illegal power grab is a recipe for disaster that would destroy the confidence Californians deserve to have in the security of their vote.”

Jesse Melgar, Newsom’s press secretary, said in a statement that “Voters shouldn’t have to choose between their health and their right to vote.”

Padilla said in a statement that expanding vote-by-mail during the pandemic was a “moral imperative. … This lawsuit is just another part of Trump’s political smear campaign against voting by mail. We will not let this virus be exploited for voter suppression.”

The lawsuit alleges Newsom’s order, by automatically mailing ballots to inactive voters such as people who have died or have invalid registration, “invites fraud, coercion, theft and otherwise illegitimate voting.”

“Using this pandemic in a unilateral power grab to change our election laws with an executive order will further put the integrity of our elections into question,” state GOP chairwoman Jessica Patterson said in a statement.