Nevada

Articles about voting issues in Nevada.

Nevada: Trump campaign sues Nevada over bill expanding mail-in voting for general election | Michelle Rindels/Nevada Independent

President Donald Trump’s campaign has sued Nevada over a contentious bill recently approved in the ongoing special session of the Nevada Legislature that expands mail-in voting for the 2020 general election, saying it would make voter fraud “inevitable.” The lawsuit, filed late Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Nevada against Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, comes after the president spent the past three days criticizing the move to a mostly mail election through tweets accusing Democrats of “an illegal late night coup” and in a press conference calling the measure a “disgrace.” Plaintiffs say the bill forces Republicans to expend resources educating people about the changes and encouraging them to participate. “The RNC has a vital interest in protecting the ability of Republican voters to cast, and Republican candidates to receive, effective votes in Nevada elections and elsewhere,” the suit says. “Major or hasty changes confuse voters, undermine confidence in the electoral process, and create incentive to remain away from the polls.” The bill, AB4, passed on party lines over the last few days and was signed into law on Monday. It specifies that in the November general election, and any others that happen in the wake of a statewide emergency or disaster directive, election officials will send all active registered voters a mail-in ballot. Read More

Nevada: Trump pledges lawsuit to block mail-in voting in Nevada | Quint Forgey and Matthew Choi/Politico

President Donald Trump plans to sue to stop Nevada from issuing mailed ballots to all active voters, he announced at a White House briefing on Monday. Trump had already threatened legal action earlier in the day, suggesting mailed ballots would make it impossible for Republicans to win there in the November general election. Nevada state lawmakers approved legislation on Sunday to automatically send mail-in ballots to voters. Gov. Stephen Sisolak of Nevada, a Democrat, is expected to sign the bill into law. Trump said he planned to have the lawsuit filed Tuesday. The president has aggressively advocated for in-person voting in recent months even as state-level election officials move to expand mail-in voting amid the nationwide outbreak of coronavirus, which many fear could be easily spread at polling places. He stopped short of saying he would issue an executive order in response to the push for more mail-in voting, though he said: “I have the right to do it. We haven’t gotten there yet. We’ll see what happens.” The president had already threatened legal action against Nevada in a tweet Monday morning in which he characterized the state’s Legislature as having partaken in a “coup” by passing the measure. Read More

Nevada: Long lines to vote delay Nevada election returns | John Sadler/Las Vegas Sun

Early returns from Nevada’s primary election Tuesday were delayed after polling places in the state’s two most populous counties were kept open to allow those waiting in long lines to vote. Voters at some Las Vegas-area polling places Tuesday were waiting in lines of three hours or more despite Nevada officials encouraging people to cast their primary election ballots by mail because of the coronavirus pandemic. In the Reno area, Washoe County officials reported delays of at least an hour. Hundreds were still in line when polls were supposed to close at 7 p.m. The top-ticket races that voters were settling included contests for Nevada’s four U.S. House seats, but the incumbents — three Democrats and a Republican — are expected to sail through primary challenges. The biggest question Tuesday was which candidates will try to unseat them in November. Nevada reduced in-person voting sites for the primary because of the coronavirus and instead sent absentee ballots to voters that could be mailed back or dropped off. For those who still showed up at the limited number of polling places, they were casting ballots Tuesday on paper rather than voting machines to limit contact with shared surfaces. Read More

Nevada: Long lines at few polling spots clog Nevada primary voting | Ken Ritter and Sam Metz/Associated Press

Hundreds of people waited for hours at three in-person voting sites in the Las Vegas area, and the only one in Reno, after polling places were reduced due to the coronavirus. People who did not mail in their choices were still casting ballots Wednesday in a primary to settle U.S. House races, legislative primaries and other state and local races. State election officials promised that everyone in line when polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday would be allowed to vote, and predicted long delays counting ballots as a result. The Republican secretary of state’s office responded to criticism from a Democratic Party leader about long lines and limited in-person polling places with a statement saying Nevada voters had “ample opportunity … to cast a ballot in the 2020 Nevada primary election.” Deputy Secretary of State for Elections Wayne Thorley said that ballots were mailed to “every registered voter in Clark County,” voters had 14 days of early voting. Read More

Nevada: Long lines to vote delay Nevada election returns | John Sadler/Las Vegas Sun

Early returns from Nevada’s primary election Tuesday were delayed after polling places in the state’s two most populous counties were kept open to allow those waiting in long lines to vote. Voters at some Las Vegas-area polling places Tuesday were waiting in lines of three hours or more despite Nevada officials encouraging people to cast their primary election ballots by mail because of the coronavirus pandemic. In the Reno area, Washoe County officials reported delays of at least an hour. Hundreds were still in line when polls were supposed to close at 7 p.m. The top-ticket races that voters were settling included contests for Nevada’s four U.S. House seats, but the incumbents — three Democrats and a Republican — are expected to sail through primary challenges. The biggest question Tuesday was which candidates will try to unseat them in November. Nevada reduced in-person voting sites for the primary because of the coronavirus and instead sent absentee ballots to voters that could be mailed back or dropped off. For those who still showed up at the limited number of polling places, they were casting ballots Tuesday on paper rather than voting machines to limit contact with shared surfaces. Read More

Nevada: Officials see better-than-expected turnout ahead of Nevada’s first mail-in primary election | James DeHaven/Reno Gazette Journal

After months of partisan mudslinging, and no shortage of lawsuits, Nevada’s first vote-by-mail primary will go ahead as planned on Tuesday — the last day voters can send in or drop off ballots with county elections officials. Almost 343,000 Silver State residents, around 21 percent of the state’s active voters, have already mailed in their picks for dozens of federal, state and local offices. Early turnout has been slightly higher in Washoe County, where more than 64,000 residents either mailed in a ballot or turned up at one of the “extremely limited” in-person polling places state officials have kept open during the coronavirus outbreak. County Registrar of Voters Deanna Spikula doesn’t expect those numbers to change much after polls close on Tuesday, but said she was pleasantly surprised to see interest in the election exceed the 20 percent turnout normally seen in primaries. Read More

Nevada: The Politicalization Of Nevada’s Mail-In Primary | Paul Boger/KUNR

It’s been roughly two-and-a-half months since Governor Steve Sisolak issued stay-at-home orders to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, and if you’re anything like me, small daily chores have recently become a lifeline—a helpful way to keep the days straight and kill a little time. One of those chores is checking the mail. Mostly, it’s the same old’ stuff, bills and junk. An occasional package gets delivered from time to time, but recently something new appeared—a ballot. This month, election officials in Nevada sent out ballots to the more than 1.4 million active registered voters in the state as part of the ongoing effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But that comes with a price. First, the fiscal impact. Elections are expensive. Typically, Nevada’s 17 counties spend roughly $2-3 million combined on an election. This primary? About $4.5 million according to Wayne Thorley, the deputy secretary for elections. He’s essentially the guy who oversees Nevada’s whole electoral process. Thorley says a lot of that money will come from federal grants; most of it going to pay for printing and postage. Read More

Nevada: Mailing of ballots to all voters in Las Vegas area puts sharp focus on election safeguards | Elise Viebeck/The Washington Post

The decision by Nevada’s most populous county to mail ballots to all registered voters ahead of the state’s June 9 primary has intensified a partisan debate about the security of all-mail voting, putting sharp focus on how states are handling a process President Trump claims without evidence leads to widespread election fraud. Officials in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, began sending ballots to 1.1 million active voters this month as part of Nevada’s first all-mail election, prompted by the coronavirus epidemic. Roughly 200,000 more inactive voters — those who did not reply to a postcard sent to verify their address within 30 days, after it was determined they moved — also received ballots in the mail after Democrats sued to make voting in the primary more accessible. In recent days, Republicans have seized on a few accounts of what appeared to be unattended or discarded ballots in residential areas of Las Vegas as proof that mailing ballots to all voters opens the door to massive election fraud that will benefit Democrats. Read More

Nevada: Cutting through the hysteria: The facts about Nevada’s mostly mail election | Daniel H. Stewart/Nevada Independent

The continuing arguments against Nevada’s pandemic-forced, vote-by-mail system lack merit. There are enough bad things in the world to worry about right now without manufactured terror. With plague and economic catastrophe pressing down on us all, it is hard to see a political challenge to our democratic foundations as the calming balm the doctor would order. We have real things to panic about, and our collective ticker is handling too much stress already; theoretical panic can wait. Unfortunately, I have little to offer on the issues of jobs or health. But I would like to try to cool unnecessary electoral fears. I am, among other things, an election-law attorney who has mostly represented Republicans. And I understand the instinct behind the initial response. Pictures of unused ballots piling up in trash cans trigger kneejerk nausea. Voting is sacred; ballots are too. But there is more to the story, and even a superficial dive into relevant law and actual practice should comfort, not concern. Our elections are in good hands, run by good people, who know what they are doing. Read More

Nevada: US judge refuses again to block Nevada’s mail-in primary | Scott Sonner/Associated Press

A federal judge has again rejected a conservative voting rights group’s bid to block the mail-in primary election now under way in Nevada as part of an effort to guard against spread of the coronavirus at traditional polling places. U.S. District Judge Miranda Du said in a strongly worded opinion late Wednesday the Voters’ Rights Initiative’s “second proverbial bite at the apple is no more fruitful than the first.” The judge in Reno said she didn’t understand why the group essentially requested reconsideration of her earlier denial of a preliminary injunction to halt the June 9 election instead of appealing it to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, especially given that early voting began May 23. Ballots already have been mailed to voters statewide. Tens of thousands of voters have filled out their ballots and returned them through the mail to county election offices where many are being processed. Read More

Nevada: Primary underway, but argument over mail election continues | Rory Appleton/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Thousands of Nevadans began voting last week in the state’s first all-mail primary election, as concerns over the spread of COVID-19 have closed traditional polls throughout the country. As of Monday afternoon, Clark County had received 69,238 ballots, with 33,118 from Democrats and 24,451 from Republicans. Nevada and its counties had planned an all-mail election for some time. But Clark County is the only county to adjust its plans after legal pressure from state Democrats, who pushed for ballots to be sent to inactive voters and to add two more in-person voting locations on Election Day, June 9. The first week of voting saw the state GOP raise the alarm on ballots for the county’s 200,000 inactive voters being mailed to the wrong addresses, with photos of ballots tossed in trash cans and littering apartment mailbox areas. If state Democrats get their way and relax signature matching, the GOP claims, then voter fraud will be simple. But groups working hard to help traditionally disenfranchised populations, such as immigrant communities, vote during a pandemic that’s likely to depress turnout say that giving voters multiple ways to participate is critical. Low-income voters are more likely to move around a lot and be classified as inactive, but their votes should count, advocates say. Thousands of inactive voters — those who are verified as eligible voters, but who have had an election mailer returned as undeliverable — can and do vote every cycle. Read More

Nevada: True the Vote sues again to stop Nevada’s mail-in June primary | Bill Dentzer/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Nevada plaintiffs backed by a conservative voting-watch group are trying again to block the state’s all vote-by-mail June 9 primary, arguing that mail-only balloting is no longer necessary to limit the risk of COVID-19 spreading among voters. The True the Vote group’s revised complaint seeking an injunction also argues that Clark County’s procedures for distributing ballots and conducting the election unduly favor that county’s voters over those in other parts of the state. “Expanding mail balloting is unnecessary to combat COVID-19,” lawyers for the plaintiffs wrote in a complaint filed Wednesday. “There has been no established causal link between in-person voting and the contracting of COVID.” Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske ordered the mail-in election in March in response to the spreading COVID-19 outbreak. The move brought legal challenges from both ends of the political spectrum, but Democratic interests dropped their fight when Clark County agreed last week to amend its procedures. Read More

Nevada: Clark County election changes shrouded in mystery | Rory Appleton/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Clark County will offer more voting options in the June 9 primary election as part of sweeping changes revealed Tuesday, but how and when those decisions were made remained a mystery. Most members of the Clark County Commission and several county staff members did not respond Wednesday to requests for comment on the changes. Two commissioners applauded the new measures but said they either could not share or did not know how the changes were made. Meanwhile, Republicans feel the changes were the result of either pressure from or a deal with the Democrats and are threatening a new lawsuit of their own to block them. This week’s news came after Clark County Counsel Mary-Anne Miller submitted a court document Monday in which she said that the registrar of voters, Joseph Gloria, “at the direction of local county officials” was setting up two additional in-person voting sites in the county. Read More

Nevada: Democrats drop lawsuit against planned all-mail primary election after Clark County agrees to more voting sites, other concessions | Riley Snyder/Nevada Independent

A cadre of Democratic Party-aligned groups is temporarily dropping a lawsuit asking a state court to implement multiple changes to the planned all-mail primary election in June after Clark County election officials agreed to expand in-person voting sites and other changes. The plaintiffs — including Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, progressive political nonprofit Priorities USA — announced their decision to drop the lawsuit in a joint press release sent out Tuesday after Clark County election officials said in a court filing that they would add two additional in-person voting sites and send out ballots to “inactive” voters. The groups also said that Clark County election officials had agreed to other stipulations, including reviewing every flagged mismatched signature by at least two reviewers of different parties and reaching out to voters within 24 hours if an issue with their signature is identified. The county officials have also agreed to “deputize and train” 20 individuals (including Democrats, Republicans and independents) to serve as “field registrars of voters” allowed to travel and receive voted, sealed mail ballots from voters on Election Day. Read More

Nevada: Federal court rejects group’s claim that voter fraud would effect Nevada mail-in primary | J. Edward Moreno/The Hill

A federal court has rejected a claim by the Texas-based voter’s rights group True the Vote that said voter fraud would run rampant in the state’s all-mail Republican primary on June 9. The Texas-based group dedicated to the prevention of voter fraud filed a lawsuit against the state on April 21 after the state moved to have an all-mail primary due to fears of the coronavirus. U.S. District Court Judge Mirandu Du, an Obama appointee, said the plaintiff’s arguments were “difficult to track and ail to even minimally meet the first standing prong,” and “their claim of voter fraud is without any factual basis.” Du wrote that the argument that an all-mail election is more susceptible to voter fraud “seems unlikely” given that the steps taken by the Nevada Secretary of State’s office “maintain the material safeguards to preserve election integrity.” She also dismissed claims by members of True to Vote, who alleged that the all-mail election violated state law. Read More

Nevada: Judge promises quick ruling in mail-voting case | ill Dentzer/Las Vegas Review-Journal

A federal judge said Wednesday she would rule by the end of the week on a challenge to Nevada’s plan for conducting its June 9 primary almost exclusively by mail to cut down on spreading the coronavirus. Lawyers for state and national Democratic interests and True the Vote, a conservative voting rights group, are challenging the plan from opposing angles: Democrats want more in-person polling places and other protections for ensuring voting opportunities. The conservative group is claiming an all-mail procedure presents a greater potential for ballot fraud. The parties appeared by teleconference before U.S. District Judge Miranda Du on Wednesday for more than 90 minutes on a motion for a preliminary injunction. “The fact that we have this hearing by phone because the court is limiting in-person appearances does demonstrate the unusual circumstance of our time,” Du said as she opened the hearing. “So I don’t need counsel to explain to me how COVID-19 has affected our communities. I’m well aware of that.” Read More

Nevada: Federal judge asked to block Nevada’s mail-in primary election | Scott Sonner/Associated Press

A U.S. judge in Reno plans to hear Wednesday from lawyers for Democrats and conservative voting rights activists who are challenging — for different reasons — plans to conduct Nevada’s primary election predominantly by mail because of COVID-19. The conflict involves lawsuits at the state and federal level, both major political parties and voters with divergent political views who argue their constitutional rights will be violated if the primary moves forward as planned June 9. Three voters represented by lawyers for True the Vote Inc. Voters’ Rights Initiative are asking U.S. District Judge Miranda Du for an injunction blocking the existing format. They say it would “require the state to forgo almost all in-person voting” and “all but ensure an election replete with … ballot fraud.” “The plan alters the nature of Nevada’s election, changing it from an in-person election with absentee ballots received by request to a scheme of mailing mail-in ballots to some, but not all, registered voters and highly restricted walk-in voting options,” according to their lawsuit filed last week. Read More

Nevada: Conservative lawsuit seeks to stop mail-in primary | Colton Lochhead/Las Vegas Review-Journal

A conservative vote-monitoring group wants Nevada to scrap its plans to conduct a mail-in primary election in June, claiming it violates the U.S. Constitution and would open the state up to voter fraud. Attorneys for True the Vote filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday challenging Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske’s plans to shift to an all-mail primary amid coronavirus concerns. In its complaint, the group says the plan “strips vital anti-vote-fraud safeguards” that exist with in-person voting that “allow local poll workers and watchers to monitor who is voting and deny voting and issue challenges if appropriate.” Cegavske made the move to a mail primary because of increased risk and mitigation efforts regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of her plan includes opening up one in-person polling place in each county. In normal elections, voters would have to request an absentee ballot. The group says that eliminating that requesting process creates “fraud potential of having unrequested, perhaps unexpected ballots arriving around the state.” That could lead to ballots being ignored or left in a pile of letters, which “invites ballot fraud.” Read More

Nevada: Democrats sue state’s top elections official over vote-by-mail primary election plan | James DeHaven/Reno Gazette Journal

The Nevada State Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit to force changes to the state’s “unconstitutional” vote-by-mail primary election plan.  The 65-page suit, filed in Carson City District Court on Thursday, was heralded in a joint statement from several prominent Democrats, including Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez. “These steps are essential to holding a safe, fair, and accessible election on June 9,” Perez wrote. “In the midst of a global pandemic, our leaders should be working to help us safely exercise our right to vote — not standing in the way.  “It’s never been more urgent to take action that will expand access to voting, protect public health, and preserve Nevadans’ right to make their voices heard.” Read More

Nevada: Democrats raise concerns over voter access ahead of June’s all-mail primary election | James DeHaven/Reno Gazette Journal

The Nevada State Democratic Party is calling on the state’s top election official to expand voter access to ballots delivered ahead of June’s all-mail primary election. A Friday letter from the party’s attorneys urges Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske to send ballots to all registered voters, not just active voters, and to expand the number of “well-organized and hygienic” primary election polling places permitted in each county. It goes on to ask that state elections officials stop rejecting ballots with mismatched signatures and start accepting those postmarked by Election Day. Cegavske, Republicans’ lone statewide officeholder, last month joined elections officials around the country in shifting to a mail-in election system meant to limit the potential spread of coronavirus at polling places. Attorneys for the state Democratic party acknowledged the need for many of those precautions, but threatened litigation over other steps — such as sending ballots only to active voters — that they feel are unconstitutional. Read More