Darrell Issa, Judicial Watch challenge Newsom's vote-by-mail order

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Former Rep. Darrell Issa and conservative group Judicial Watch are challenging California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order for an all mail-in ballot election.

Judicial Watch filed the suit in a Sacramento district court Thursday on behalf of Issa to block Newsom’s order, which would send absentee ballots to all registered voters, Politico reported. Issa is running for former Rep. Duncan Hunter’s seat in the wake of his resignation.

California is the first state this year to move to an all vote-by-mail election because of the coronavirus. While Democrats lauded the executive order, Republicans have raised concerns over voter fraud.

The Republican National Committee said it was weighing its options over Newsom’s order, according to Politico.

Issa's complaint calls Newsom's order "unconstitutional," and says it could cause the "votes of countless voters to be thrown out or not counted." It also says Issa's campaign costs would increase and it would force him to “reevaluate his electoral strategy,” Politico and Court House News reported.

Issa “registered to run for office based under the electoral system established by the California Legislature,” the complaint says. “Now, he must develop a new strategy.”

President Trump has claimed without evidence that voting by mail leads to voter fraud even though he voted via absentee ballot in Florida this year. “You get thousands and thousands of people sitting in somebody’s living room, signing ballots all over the place,” he said last month, according to The New York Times.

Several other states, including Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon and Utah already vote by mail.


Nevada and Michigan are among several states planning to increase mail-in voting for the November election. Trump has threatened to cut the states' funding.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla called the lawsuit “immoral” and “un-American," according to Politico.

“Exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to justify voter suppression is despicable, even for Judicial Watch’s pathetically low standards," he said in a statement.

He added that it threatened the “health of every Californian.”


Issa was narrowly re-elected to California’s 49th district in North County San Diego and southern Orange County in 2016 and decided to retire in 2019. He’s now running for the 50th district in San Diego. The 49th district flipped to Democratic Rep. Mike Levin in 2018.