Nevada Democrats last August embraced the motto, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste,” by enacting AB 4, requiring official ballots be mailed to all registered voters in the state before the November election. Their stated reason: the coronavirus pandemic.
In reality, coronavirus gave Democrats a pretext to change Nevada election law in a manner not previously achievable.
AB 4 was the subject of a hastily called 32nd Special Session of the Nevada Legislature last July 30. A 100-page bill , AB 4, was introduced and swiftly passed the Assembly the following day and the Senate two days later on straight party-line votes.
Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, Nevada’s top election official, was excluded from discussions and was not involved in the bill’s writing. She saw the bill only one day before the Assembly vote.
As a result, Nevada election laws were fundamentally changed less than 100 days before the November election, AB 4 having been drafted by Marc Elias, the Democratic Party’s chief election lawyer in Washington, D.C.
AB 4 provides universal unsolicited ballot mailings to all active Nevada registered voters. However, Nevada’s voter rolls are notoriously inaccurate in a state with a high transient population.
They aren’t maintained to the standard required of an all-mail experience – like Oregon and Washington have. Both states refined the process over a decade.
In the June primary, 93,585 ballots mailed to “active” voters in Clark County were returned by the post office as “undeliverable”.
Those “undeliverable” primary voters should have been removed from the voter list, unless they updated their address with the Election Department. Instead, they were automatically mailed a ballot for the general election.
AB 4 permits previously illegal “ballot harvesting,” a much-abused practice that allows third parties to collect ballots on others’ behalf. It has a great potential for fraud.
AB 4 also changes existing procedures on verifying ballot signatures, by watering down requirements.
Cegavske strongly opposed AB 4, insisting no Nevada voting law needed to change. For those wary of going to the polls, she noted registered voters could request and easily obtain an absentee ballot. No excuse or reason was required.
Biden beat Trump in Nevada by 33,596 votes last November.
The Trump campaign and Nevada Republican Party challenged the results (“Stop the Steal”). In the months that followed, multiple legal challenges were made seeking to overturn the outcome, alleging outdated voter rolls, flawed signature verification procedures and other irregularities. None were successful.
Carson City District Court Judge James Russell summarily rejected all the claims presented in the election contest lawsuit. His decision was unanimously affirmed by the Nevada Supreme Court.
Three Supreme Court justices specifically lauded Cegavske for running a fair and transparent election under extremely trying circumstances.
Unsatisfied, the Nevada Republican Party brought four boxes of what it claimed was evidence of 122,918 fraudulent votes cast to Cegavske’s office in March. In reality, the contents were all hype and unsupported suspicion — not hard evidence.
On April 3, the Nevada Republican Party Central Committee voted to censure Cegavske for failing to do her job and “putting the reliability of our elections in Nevada in question.”
In a detailed 13-page April 21 report, Cegavske’s office showed there were actually only 3,963 “unique Elections Integrity Violation Reports (EIVRs)” submitted. Of those 3,963 EIVRs, most were “related to voter registration records,” not actual voting fraud allegations.
The report specifically refuted the majority of the thousands of allegations of double voting, voting with fake addresses and ballots being cast under the names of registered voters who recently died.
The report said 10 out of 1,506 allegations of ballots being cast in the name of the deceased and 10 out of 1,778 allegations of double-voting remain under investigation.
Far from “not doing her job,” Nevadans have been well-served by the political fortitude and personal courage of Cegavske.
Jim Hartman is an attorney residing in Genoa. Email email@example.com.