Lack of performance goals in election plan disappoints Nevada ACLU
October 8, 2007
Richard Siegel, of the American Civil Liberties Union, on Monday objected to a lack of performance goals in the state’s Help America Vote Act plan.
There’s no plan for encouraging voting,” he told Secretary of State Ross Miller at the meeting called to adopt the 2007-08 plan. And he said there is no plan to encourage registration.
“What are the barriers to registering and voting and what can we do about them,” he said.
Siegel, a retired political science professor, added that the goal of a 52.5 percent turnout and the plan’s direction to “work with community and business organizations” to improve registration and turnout in no way meets the need for a strategy to increase voter participation.
“That simply is not sufficient,” he said.
He said there is also nothing in the plan to address restoration of voting rights for ex-felons, development of accountability and feedback for complaints.
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Siegel said he was led to believe at the last meeting these policy issues would be addressed in the state plan and that he submitted several suggestions.
“You very directly rejected concrete suggestions that could move us forward,” he said, adding that he didn’t receive the memo documenting which recommendations were adopted and which were rejected until minutes before Monday’s meeting began.
But Miller said Monday’s advisory committee meeting is not the place for those types of policy decisions. He said the job of the state committee is to ensure all provisions and requirements of the federal law are complied with.
Miller said he is very concerned with increasing voter participation in Nevada and that lawmakers created the Advisory Committee for Participatory Democracy for that task. His chief of staff Nicole Lamboley added that Siegel is welcome to participate in that committee when it meets Oct. 18.
“It has the charter to establish goals,” she said. “You will see some real performance goals come out of there.”
“This is the committee I’ve been on four years and we have always been encouraged to believe we could make a difference,” Siegel said.
Siegel was joined by LaVonne Brooks who said the proposed state plan drafted by Miller’s office was a disappointment.
“We had great aspirations for this document having some teeth,” she said.
She said if another advisory panel is to handle those issues, “why are we just hearing about it? Why are they going to do what we thought we were going to do here?”
Miller said lawmakers thought enough of voter participation and other such issues to create a separate panel to review and make recommendations.
He urged the committee to approve the state plan, which it did with only Siegel voting no.
• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.