Three Republican groups have sued Gov. Gavin Newsom over his executive order to send mail-in ballots to California’s 20.6 million voters in November.
The suit was brought by the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the California Republican Party.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDanielannounced the lawsuit via Twitter late on Sunday.
“His radical plan is a recipe for disaster that would create more opportunities for fraud & destroy the confidence Californians deserve to have in their elections,” McDaniel said.
Newsom issued the order on May 8, making California the first state in the nation to temporarily shift to all-mail voting as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lawsuit accuses Newsom of a “brazen power grab” that would “violate eligible citizens’ right to vote.”
The complaint echoes those made by President Donald Trump, who has criticised mail-in ballots as “dangerous” and fraudulent and threatened to withhold federal funding from some states that have sought to expand mail voting.
In making the decision, California officials cited public health concerns of millions of people showing up to cast a ballot when the threat of infection is still likely to be present.
Responding to the lawsuit late on Sunday, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said via Twitter: “Expanding vote-by-mail during a pandemic is not a partisan issue – it’s a moral imperative to protect voting rights and public safety.
“Vote-by-mail has been used safely and effectively in red, blue and purple states for years.
“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.”