Federal judge refuses to stop mail-in voting in Montana, blasts Trump-backed 'fiction' of massive voter fraud
October 1, 2020
A federal judge in Montana rejected the Trump campaign's effort to stop an expansion of mail-in voting in the state.
The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee filed the lawsuit earlier this month after Democratic Montana Gov. Steve Bullock issued a directive allowing all counties in the state to switch to an essentially all-mail system for the 2020 election. But District Judge Dana Christensen ruled against Trump's campaign on Wednesday and rejected its request to block the new voting rules.
In his ruling, the judge blasted the Trump-backed "fiction" that there is widespread voter fraud in US elections.
"This case requires the Court to separate fact from fiction," Christensen wrote. "... Central to some of the (Trump campaign's) claims is the contention that the upcoming election, both nationally and in Montana, will fall prey to widespread voter fraud. The evidence suggests, however, that this allegation, specifically in Montana, is a fiction."
There is substantial evidence from election experts and others that "the use of mail ballots present no significant risk of fraud," added Christensen, who was appointed to the federal bench by former President Barack Obama in 2011.
So far, the Trump campaign's lawsuits in several states across the country have failed to prevent the expansion of mail-in voting. A similar lawsuit was dismissed in Nevada last week. Unlike Montana, which is giving counties the option to conduct all-mail elections, the Nevada legislature decided that all registered voters will automatically get a mail ballot.
Wednesday's ruling is a victory for Bullock, because it upholds the changes he ordered. Bullock is running against Republican Sen. Steve Daines, and could flip the seat if Democrats have a better-than-expected showing in November.
In a statement, Bullock said, "I'm pleased that today's decision will enable hundreds of thousands of Montanans to vote safely -- in person or by mail -- this coming election. Montanans can rest assured that our local election administrators will preserve the security and integrity of the election process."