The Nevada Republican Party has what can only be described as a problem with Hispanic voters.
Massive turnout for early voting in Hispanic districts may have helped build a cushion for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton going into Election Day. On Friday night, long lines at polling stations in Clark County, Nevada, stunned local observers as dramatic images of the scenes ricocheted across the internet.
And yet, the next evening, the state’s GOP chairman delivered what would normally be deemed a dog whistle if it hadn’t been so loud.
“Last night, in Clark County, they kept a poll open till 10 o’clock at night so a certain group could vote,” Chairman Michael McDonald said at a rally for GOP nominee Donald Trump Saturday in Reno. “It wasn’t in an area that normally has high transition. The polls are supposed to close at 7. This was kept open till 10. Yeah, you feel free right now? Think this is a free or easy election?”
For a party in a state with a growing Hispanic population to describe that population as a “certain group” seems like an odd decision. But then, step back and think about the bigger picture: The chairman of a state party was complaining that election officials were being too flexible in allowing people to vote.
Speaking later, Trump likewise criticized the decision by election officials to keep polling locations open.
“Folks, it’s a rigged system,” he told the crowd, which responded with of cheers. “And we’re going to beat it. We’re going to beat it.”
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Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.