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Nevada Senate Votes to Codify Ballot Harvesting. Last Wednesday, the Nevada Senate voted for Assembly Bill 321 that would legalize ballot harvesting, and all other COVID-related changes. This is a very bad bill. Here are some of the items it contains.
Ballot Harvesting: “at the request of a voter whose mail ballot has been prepared by or on behalf of the voter, a person authorized by the voter may return the mail ballot on behalf of the voter by mail or personal delivery to the county clerk, or any ballot drop box established in the county, pursuant to section of this act.” (Sec. 9.1)
Universal Mail-in balloting: “the county clerk shall prepare and distribute to each active registered voter in the county and each person who registers to vote or updates his or her voter registration information not later than the 14 days before the election a mail ballot for every election.” (Sec. 3.1)
Discourages Accountability: “a person shall not willfully: (a) Impede, obstruct, prevent or interfere with the return of a voter’s mail ballot; (b) Deny a voter the right to return the voter’s mail ballot; or (c)If the person receives the voter’s mail ballot and authorization to return the mail ballot on behalf of the voter by mail or personal delivery, fail to return the mail ballot” …. In other words, you can’t challenge ballots going into a drop box. (Sec. 9).
Signature Comparison: A clerk’s office can’t deny that a signature matches, unless:
The signature is compared to EVERY signature on file for that voter — past and present; AND — TWO employees agree the signatures don’t match;
What cannot be used as grounds for denial of a signature that doesn’t match? Change of initials, last name, change in punctuation, abbreviations, use of nicknames, or “slight dissimilarities”….
Partisan Absentee Counting Board. The clerk appoints a central absentee counting board, and board members can’t all be of one political party but there is no requirement for any sort of parity. There is no number limit, and this seems to be within discretion of the clerk. It appears that appointing a board of 9 democrats and 1 green party representative would fulfill the requirements of the board under the statute. There is no language about appointing a person from the “two major political parties” or from “both parties appearing on the ballot.” (Sec. 12)
Counting Votes Weeks Before the Election. The absent Counting Board must count all mail-in ballots 15 days before the election and be completed with this counting 7 days before the election. (Sec. 13).
Centralized Election Tabulating. The absentee count must be reported to the clerk for each precinct. The clerk then notifies each precinct of these numbers and the precinct adds them together. In other words, the local precinct has no control over the mail-in numbers given to them by the partisan absentee counting board. (Sec. 15).
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