Strong: Signed, sealed, delivered

  • Discuss Comment, Blog about
  • Print Friendly and PDF

“There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Nevada, at any point in our state’s history … Regardless, we take every allegation seriously and investigate them to the full extent of the law.” 

— Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar, Status Report, April 15

Early voting for the Nevada Primary Election begins May 25. The Primary Election itself is June 11. Hundreds of thousands of Nevada voters will vote by mail-in ballot because it’s so convenient.

For years, Republicans have been spreading claims of voter fraud. They base these accusations on the lie that the 2020 election was rigged and former President Donald Trump would have won a second term if not for voter fraud.

Trump and Republicans have been especially critical of mail-in voting. At a Fox News town hall on Feb. 20, Trump said, “If you have mail-in voting, you automatically have fraud ... When you go into a voting place, like you go into one in a properly run state, they look at you, you give voter ID, you give all sorts of identification. I mean, it would be very hard to cheat.” (Mediaite, Feb 20)

In reality, there are so many protections in place to protect election integrity that voter fraud happens very seldom. When there is a problem, it’s caught quickly and rectified immediately. One hypothetical example was given by the Nevada Secretary of State's office regarding possible double-voting.

“One is a father and son living at the same address. The son votes in person; the father mistakenly fills out the son’s mail-in ballot. Because of bar codes tied to each voter and ballot, the second ballot received would be flagged and what happened investigated. The father would get a civil notice with a warning. If no intent to vote twice is found, no action will be taken.” (Reno Gazette Journal, April 17)

Anyone who has voted by mail knows that each ballot is numbered and has a specific bar code. Ballots are also printed on special paper, making it very hard to photocopy a ballot and have it pass as authentic. Plus, any photocopied ballot would repeat the bar code and ballot number and be caught immediately. It would be impossible to dump thousands of fake mail-in ballots into the election process, as Republicans keep claiming has happened.

In the few voter fraud cases that have been uncovered, it’s almost always Republicans who have committed the fraud. For example, Donald Hartle, a Nevada Republican, claimed someone had stolen his dead wife’s mail-in ballot in 2020 and voted with it. The Nevada Republican Party sent out a tweet asking, “How did the forged signature pass (Clark County's) signature verification machine?”

Of course, the signature did not pass. Hartle himself finally admitted he had sent in his wife’s ballot in an attempt to show how easy voter fraud could be. He failed, and on Nov. 16, 2021, he was convicted and fined $2,000, after two felony charges were reduced to a misdemeanor.

Clark County District Court Judge Carli Kierny, the judge in the case, was not happy with this. She said, “This seems to me to be a cheap political stunt that kind of backfired, and shows that our voting system actually works because you were ultimately caught.” (Newsweek, Oct. 21, 2021)

Most other instances of voter fraud have also been committed by Republicans. Apparently, since Republicans believe in voter fraud, they also want to practice it! Even with that, in Nevada, “Since 2020, there have been just 14 cases referred for prosecution out of 2.4 million votes, the Independent found.” (Raw Story, April 17)

Contrary to Trump’s claim, mail-in voter fraud is extremely rare because there are so many safeguards built into the system. In fact, Republican leaders are now trying to convince Republicans to vote by mail-in so they can be sure their vote is counted. This is typical of Republican duplicity; their beliefs change depending on what they thinks benefits them at the moment.

Mail-in voting is safe except for one problem, the mail itself. With Trump-appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy doing his best to delay our mail, I recommend that all Churchill County residents who vote by mail actually drop off their ballots at the Churchill County Administration Building drop box, on Taylor Street.

It’s easy, it’s secure and you know your vote will be counted. It won’t get stuck over Donner Pass or be delayed in Sacramento. Your vote will be counted and your voice heard. And that’s what democracy is all about.

Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Foundation award-winning columnist. She may be reached at


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment