Nevada: DMV could automatically register voters if initiative petition passes muster | Las Vegas Review-Journal

An initiative petition that would make it easier to register to vote could reach the Legislature next year after more than 125,000 signatures were turned in last week to county clerks for verification. The Automatic Voter Registration Initiative would amend state law to require the Department of Motor Vehicles to transmit information to the secretary of state’s office to register people to vote or update their information. People could opt out of the program. Right now, people can register to vote at the DMV, but they have to “opt in.”

Nevada: Trump files Nevada voting lawsuit | CNN

In a sign that the legal team for the Trump campaign is aggressively laying the groundwork for potential legal challenges — big and small — lawyers have gone to state court in Nevada in an early vote dispute. They are suing Joe P. Gloria, the Clark County registrar of voters, over a decision they allege he made to keep polling locations open “two hours beyond the designated closing time.” The lawsuit targets polling places in the greater Las Vegas area that have larger minority voting precincts. Dan Kulin, a spokesperson for the county, told CNN that no early voting stations extended their closing times. They did, however, process voters who were in line at closing time to allow as many people to vote as possible. In legal briefs filed Monday night, Trump lawyers are asking for an order to have the pertinent early vote ballots not to be “co-mingled or interspersed” with other ballots.

Nevada: Democrats Offer More Evidence of Sketchy GOP Poll Watcher Activity In Nevada | TPM

Democrats put forward more evidence on Wednesday that they said showed that the Republican National Committee was illegally engaging in poll watching activities. The additional filing comes after an initial round of affidavits from Dem poll observers in Nevada who said they met other observers claiming to be working for the RNC earlier this week. The new filing includes the affidavits of three more Democratic poll observers who have been monitoring early voting sites in Las Vegas. They said that not only did they meet poll observers who suggested RNC involvement in elections monitoring, but that one of the GOP observers gave inaccurate information to voters, according to the court documents. The affidavits were filed in an ongoing case concerning allegations by the Democratic National Committee that the RNC had violated a decades-old consent decree limiting its ability to participate in so-called “ballot security” activities. The RNC has maintained that it has followed the decree, and filed its own court documents Wednesday that said it could find no evidence of any RNC agreements with the Donald Trump campaign to assist in Trump’s poll watcher crusade.

Nevada: Democratic Party sues GOP, Trump over alleged voter intimidation | Las Vegas Sun

The Nevada State Democratic Party is suing the state Republican Party, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and others over alleged voter intimidation in Nevada and across the nation. The complaint, filed with the U.S. District Court on Sunday, alleges the Trump campaign, the Nevada Republican Party and one of Trump’s close associates, Roger Stone, and his Stop the Steal super PAC, have violated the Ku Klux Klan and Voting Rights acts through a coordinated voter intimidation campaign. Details of the lawsuit were first reported by Election Law Blog this morning. The Ku Klux Klan Act was passed by Congress in 1871, banning conspiracies to intimidate or threaten voters and stop threats and harassment of former slaves and their white supporters by the KKK. The Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965 to stop any threats or intimidation against voters.

Nevada: Concerns over voter fraud, intimidation as early voting starts Saturday | WJAC

Concerns over voter fraud, cyber breaches and voter intimidate loom as Nevada voters prepare to participate in early voting starting Saturday. More than 60 percent of Nevada voters will cast their ballots early. Elections officials say they are confident and ready to protect the integrity of the voting process. In Clark County, there are roughly 4,900 electronic voting machines and 97 early voting locations set up throughout the county. Joe Gloria is the registrar of Clark County Voters and maintains that the voting system is secure. Concerns over voter fraud have been fueled through accusations by Donald Trump in recent days despite multiple reports disputing his claims. “Voter fraud is all too common and then they criticize us for saying that,” Trump said to a group of supporters recently.

Nevada: U.S. Justice Department backs Nevada tribes on voting test | Deseret News

The Justice Department sided with two Nevada tribes’ interpretation of a key part of the U.S. Voting Rights Act and a judge said she will issue a ruling Friday in the native Paitues’ legal battle with state and county officials over minority access to the polls. U.S. District Judge Miranda Du listened to arguments during a daylong hearing Tuesday in Reno on whether to grant the tribes’ request for an emergency order establishing satellite voting sites on their Pyramid Lake and Walker River reservations in northern Nevada’s high desert. The tribes accuse Nevada’s Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, Washoe and Mineral counties of illegally denying tribe members voting access afforded to people in wealthier, mostly white neighborhoods. Members of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe living in Washoe County say they must travel 96 miles roundtrip to register to vote or to cast ballots in person in Sparks. Members of the Walker River Paiute Tribe in rural Mineral County say they have to go 70 miles roundtrip to Hawthorne. The lawsuit says that’s nearly twice as far as voters on Lake Tahoe’s affluent north shore would have to travel to vote if the county had not set up a satellite poll in upscale Incline Village.

Nevada: US judge sides with Nevada tribes in voting rights case | Associated Press

Two Native American tribes in Nevada have won an emergency court order in a federal lawsuit accusing the Republican secretary of state and two counties of discriminating against them under the Voting Rights Act. U.S. District Judge Miranda Du issued a temporary injunction in Reno late Friday requiring the establishment of satellite polling places on two northern Nevada reservations ahead of next month’s election in the Western battleground state. The Pyramid Lake and Walker River Paiute (PY’-ewt) tribes say their members are being denied equal access to the polls as a result of the long distances some must travel to vote early or cast ballots on Election Day.

Nevada: Judge rules partially in favor of tribes in federal suit | Reno Gazette Journal

A federal judge on Friday found partially in favor of two Native American tribes in their lawsuit against the Secretary of State’s Office and two Nevada counties in a voter disenfranchisement case. Federal Judge Miranda Du released her ruling late Friday afternoon which found in favor of the Pyramid Lake and Walker River Paiute tribes’ request for early in-person polling in Nixon and Schurz and Election Day in-person polling at Nixon. She denied the request for satellite voter registration sites in both places. “In this case, while injunctive relief would impose costs upon defendants, there is no indication it would interfere with the state’s ability to move forward with the November election as scheduled,” Du said in the ruling. “The public interest is served by the enforcement of the (Voting Rights Act of 1965) and the inclusion of protected classes in the political process.”

Nevada: Ruling expected in tribal voter disenfranchisement lawsuit by Friday | Reno Gazette-Journal

A federal judge said she will rule on an emergency injunction regarding a federal lawsuit by two Native American tribes alleging voter disenfranchisement by two Nevada counties and the secretary of state’s office. U.S. District Judge Miranda Du heard a full day of arguments and testimony on Tuesday from the Pyramid Lake and Walker River Paiute tribes requesting satellite voter registration, early polling places and Election Day voter sites from Washoe and Mineral counties. The tribes made the requests in August, which the counties denied. They filed suit in early September, alleging violations of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Native Americans are considered a protected group under the act. The counties denied any discrimination is taking place and state the reason for denial is logistics and cost.

Nevada: US Justice Department backs Nevada tribes on voting test | Associated Press

The Justice Department is siding with two Nevada tribes’ interpretation of a key part of the U.S. Voting Rights Act at issue in a legal battle with state and county officials over minority access to the polls. Lawyers for the two Paiute tribes are scheduled to go before a federal judge in Reno Tuesday with their emergency request for a court order establishing satellite voting sites on their reservations before the November election. They accuse Nevada’s Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, Washoe and Mineral counties of illegally denying tribe members voting access afforded to people in wealthier, mostly white neighborhoods. The counties say the sudden change would cost too much, and the state argues it has no authority to intervene. But the Justice Department said in a new filing Monday all three appear to be confusing voting rights with “voting convenience.”

Nevada: Tribes: Unequal polling access violates voting rights | Associated Press

Tribal leaders in Nevada asked a U.S. judge Wednesday to order the state and two counties to establish satellite polling places on reservations where they say Native Americans are being denied an equal opportunity to vote in the November elections. Two Paiute tribes filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Reno accusing Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske and Washoe and Mineral counties of discriminating by illegally refusing tribe members voting access afforded to people in wealthier, mostly white neighborhoods. Members of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe living in Washoe County say they must travel 96 miles roundtrip to register to vote or to cast ballots in person in Sparks.

Nevada: Native American tribes to sue Nevada over voter disenfranchisement | Reno Gazette Journal

A pair of Native American tribes are planning to file a federal lawsuit on Tuesday against the state of Nevada after being denied voter registration sites and polling places on tribal lands in Washoe and Mineral counties. The basis of the suit is voter disenfranchisement of a protected class under the Civil Rights Act. The plaintiffs — the Pyramid Lake Paiutes and the Walker River Paiutes — argue that a lack of access to voter registration and polling places on the reservation has hampered Native American turnout. Native American registration and turnout historically is low, mainly due to access and other barriers, according to Bret Healy, a consultant for the Native American advocacy group Four Directions who is overseeing the lawsuit. He’s handled similar requests in other states and said that if they are granted, turnout tends to increase dramatically, sometimes as much as 130 percent. “It’s because there’s more obstacles,” Healy said. “It’s not an equal access to the ballot box.”

Nevada: Initiative would automatically register some DMV customers to vote | Las Vegas Review-Journal

An initiative to automatically register people to vote when they apply for or renew a Nevada license or identification card was filed this week with the secretary of state’s office. The measure, backed by a group called Nevadans for Modern and Secure Elections, would require the Department of Motor Vehicles to transmit information to the secretary of state’s office to register people to vote or update their information. People could opt out of the program. Right now, people can register to vote at the DMV, but they have to “opt in.” The measure will not appear on this year’s general election ballot. A description of the initiative says it is “designed to increase the accuracy of registration rolls by ensuring that qualified citizens who move within Nevada and update their contact information at the DMV will have their voter registration information automatically updated.”

Nevada: Pahrump woman arrested for falsifying party affiliations on voter registrations | Las Vegas Review-Journal

A Pahrump woman was arrested Wednesday on 11 felony charges involving allegations she falsified party affiliations while registering voters before the June 14 Nevada primary, the secretary of state’s office said. An arrest warrant issued for Tina Marie Parks listed bail at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond. The arrest follows an investigation conducted by the state’s Election Integrity Task Force after it received complaints from voters who said Parks, while working for the conservative outreach group Engage Nevada, filled out their applications and listed the wrong party affiliation. In two instances, voters said Parks marked their party as Republican. Another was marked as nonpartisan. All three told investigators they wanted to register as Democrats.

Nevada: Judge dismisses GOP Assembly hopeful’s election challenge | Associated Press

A Las Vegas judge tossed the case of a Republican Nevada Assembly candidate who challenged the results of a primary race she lost last month and wanted two precincts in the Moapa Valley area to cast their ballots once again. Judge Elissa Cadish dismissed a case Tuesday that was filed by Tina Trenner, one of six losing candidates who are challenging their election results. Trenner argued that errors on voter registration cards sent to people in the Logandale area in December could have caused confusion in the race, which she lost to Pahrump Assemblyman James Oscarson by 133 votes. “There was an error,” Cadish said. “However, I do not have evidence to demonstrate that those errors are sufficient to change the results.”

Nevada: Judge dismisses GOP Assembly hopeful’s election challenge | Associated Press

A Las Vegas judge tossed the case of a Republican Nevada Assembly candidate who challenged the results of a primary race she lost last month and wanted two precincts in the Moapa Valley area to cast their ballots once again. Judge Elissa Cadish dismissed a case Tuesday that was filed by Tina Trenner, one of six losing candidates who are challenging their election results. Trenner argued that errors on voter registration cards sent to people in the Logandale area in December could have caused confusion in the race, which she lost to Pahrump Assemblyman James Oscarson by 133 votes. “There was an error,” Cadish said. “However, I do not have evidence to demonstrate that those errors are sufficient to change the results.”

Nevada: Officials say lining up city, Clark County election cycles could save millions | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Four cities in Clark County are expected to share a $2.4 million cost to hold spring municipal elections next year, a number officials say could be zero if they lined up their election cycle with the county’s. Clark County data pegs the cost of 2017 city elections at $2.4 million, if the cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson and Boulder City all require both primary and general elections in the spring. The cost for the city of Las Vegas alone is about $1.47 million. Those new figures for city elections capture the actual county cost for holding them, county spokesman Dan Kulin said. A county audit last year found that the county was substantially under-billing the cities for their off-year elections. The currently proposed charge for the cities has come down a bit from the cost that was landed on in the audit, which was in excess of $3 million.

Nevada: 6 losing GOP candidates file challenge, allege possible voting machine malfunctions | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Six Republican candidates for the Nevada Assembly who lost in the June 14 primary filed legal action Tuesday in Clark County District Court alleging “possible” malfunction of voting machines. The “statements of contest” seeks a judicial order requiring that the electronic vote tallies in their races be compared with the backup paper records. Those requesting the rare procedure are Diana Orrock, Steve Sanson, Connie Foust, Tina Trenner, Mary Rooney and Blain Jones. In a statement, Jones, who lost by 10 percentage points in Assembly District 21 to incumbent Assemblyman Derek Armstrong, R-Henderson, said the move is being sought to “ensure we know the full truth for each race.”

Nevada: Voter registration letters concern local and state election officials | KRNV

If you’ve received an “official looking” letter from the “Voter Participation Center” informing you that you are not registered to vote, you are not alone. Washoe County’s Voter Registrar Luanne Cutler said letters from this group surface around the time of General Elections, particularly in Presidential election years. But she said, “It is of great concern to us because it alarms voters who think maybe someone stole their identity or we are not doing our jobs.” A website for the “Voter Participation Center” describes the organization as non-partisan and not for profit. CLICK HERE to learn more about the VPC. The organization is a voter registration advocacy group. The letters encourage you to fill out their voter registration form and the envelope provided goes to the Secretary of State’s Office.

Nevada: Here’s what happened at Saturday’s dramatic Nevada Democratic convention | The Washington Post

Saturday’s raucous state Democratic convention in Nevada encapsulated a lot of the themes of the party’s 2016 election in a relatively short period: complex delegate math, inscrutable processes, allegations of deceit, fury — and a result that doesn’t do much of anything to shift the race’s eventual outcome. Nevada’s process for sending delegates to the national convention in Philadelphia is among the most complex. When the state caucused in late February, the fourth state on the calendar for the Democratic Party, the results of that process favored Hillary Clinton. Twenty-three of the 35 total bound delegates were given out proportionally in the state’s four congressional districts, giving Clinton a delegate lead of 13 to 10. The results of the caucus suggested that after the state convention — which bound the state’s seven at-large delegates and five delegates who are elected officials or party leaders — Clinton would end up with a 20-to-15 lead over Bernie Sanders, with Clinton winning one more delegate from the at-large pool (4-to-3) and one more from the party-leader pool (3-to-2) than Sanders. The people who attend the Democratic convention this weekend were chosen during voting in early April. At that point, Sanders out-organized Clinton, getting 2,124 people elected to the state convention (according to the tabulation at the always-essential delegate-tracking site the Green Papers) to Clinton’s 1,722. That suggested that voting at the state convention would flip: Sanders would win those 4-to-3 and 3-to-2 contests, giving him a 7-to-5 victory at the convention and making the state total 18-to-17 for Clinton instead of 20-to-15. But that’s not what happened, as best as we can piece together.

Nevada: State settles lawsuit over registering low-income voters | Las Vegas Sun News

Voting rights advocates and the state of Nevada settled a lawsuit today over the state’s implementation of a federal law aimed at registering low-income voters. Under terms of the settlement, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services will provide each of its clients a voter registration application, help them fill out the forms and send the applications to state election officials. The department administers benefit programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, cash assistance, Medicaid and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, to low-income Nevadans.

Nevada: Voting rights advocates: DMV is breaking the law by failing to register voters | Las Vegas Sun News

Voting rights advocates claim the state is violating a federal law enacted more than 20 years ago requiring the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles to register voters. Attorneys representing Mi Familia Vota Education Fund and others sent a letter this week to Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske and DMV Director Terri Albertson detailing areas of non-compliance. Across the country, implementation of the law, often called the “motor voter” law, has stagnated since it was passed in 1993, voting rights advocates and law experts say. Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, Demos, Project Vote, the ACLU and the League of Women Voters now are partnering to push for compliance in Nevada, as several of the organizations have done in other states.

Nevada: Hijinks, Confusion and Allegations of Voter Fraud Dominate Republican Caucuses in Nevada | VICE News

Donald Trump has won the Nevada caucuses, but not without a lot of headaches for voters and overwhelmed caucus chairs. Massive crowds, volunteer captains who failed to show up, and alleged double-voting lent a circus-like atmosphere to some of the caucus locations Tuesday night and will potentially undermine Nevada’s results. Richard Schlueter, who balloted for Trump on Tuesday, said that when he arrived at Palo Verde High School in east Las Vegas to vote the crowd was still so dense he had trouble finding the table that had been set up to accept and count ballots. Once he finally located it, Schlueter discovered that the precinct captain who was supposed to be in charge hadn’t turned up and that “some lady” had assumed the seat instead and began checking the IDs of voters who crowded around the table. “This caucus is a chaotic thing,” said Schlueter, a retired nuclear submarine engineer. “We don’t know who’s who, who’s voting for what. Some precinct captains are very good and very serious about their precincts, but mine didn’t even bother to show.”

Nevada: Donald Trump wins messy GOP caucuses after contest was plagued by alleged voter fraud, intimidation and men in Ku Klux Klan garb | NY Daily News

Donald Trump won the Nevada GOP caucuses Tuesday in a messy night of voting punctuated by allegations of fraud, intimidation and a slew of other instances of disorganization and chaos. In one of the most extreme cases of such irregularities, several alleged Trump supporters at a caucus site at a Las Vegas high school were photographed sporting white, hooded Ku Klux Klan robes. The men, holding signs saying they were members of the New England Police Benevolent Police Association — a controversial group that endorsed Trump in December — expressed their support for the GOP front-runner. “Make America Great Again,” read one sign, which was equipped with a GoPro camera.

Nevada: Caucus problems: Cards not counted, computer issues | Reno Gazette-Journal

Democratic caucus-goers in Northern Nevada are reporting a wide range of problems from long lines and cards not being counted to being turned away and too few paper ballots. Michael and Diana Jones were turned away from participating this morning in the caucus in Gardnerville despite being registered Democratic voters in Douglas County. This is because they registered as “confidential voters,” meaning their names are not available as a public record to the Democratic Party, which runs the caucuses. Michael Jones said he talked to multiple volunteers and Democratic Party staff who were unfamiliar with the issue until he was finally turned away. “I was told I had to reregister (not confidential),” he said. “The whole point is not to put up with the 30, 40, 50 robocalls and three pounds of campaign literature in the mailbox.” He said his wife spoke with someone in line who was a confidential voter but planned to reregister so he could participate.

Nevada: Observant Jewish Democrats to Be Excluded From Nevada’s Sabbath Caucus | Haaretz

Sabbath-observing Jewish Democrats will be shut out of the party’s February 20 caucus in Nevada. The country’s third primary election is scheduled on a Saturday, at noon. Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and senator, is considered the favorite in Nevada against her insurgent opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, party leaders said they selected the time because they thought it would be most convenient for the largest number of people. “Saturday at 11 A.M. is the best time to increase access as much as possible for Democrats across Nevada to participate in our First in the West caucuses,” Stewart Boss, spokesman for the Nevada State Democratic Party, told the Review-Journal. “Keeping this date is critical to preserving our early-state status in the presidential nominating calendar.”

Nevada: Democratic caucus overlooks Sabbath observers | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Observant Jews and Seventh-day Adventists who want to caucus with Nevada Democrats on Feb. 20 are out of luck. The party’s noon caucus falls squarely in the middle of a Saturday, a sacred day of rest and worship for both faiths. Jewish clergy said the timing of the caucus disenfranchises those who want to participate and pointed out that other high-profile early-state caucuses and primaries don’t fall on a Saturday. A party spokesman said the big event is set for that day and time to maximize participation. “Saturday at 11 a.m. is the best time to increase access as much as possible for Democrats across Nevada to participate in our First in the West caucuses,” said Stewart Boss, spokesman for the Nevada State Democratic Party. “Keeping this date is critical to preserving our early-state status in the presidential nominating calendar.”

Nevada: Navigating Outdated Systems To Vote In Nevada | Nevada Public Radio

Nevada is set to figure big in the 2016 election. Not only might we be the deciding state in the presidential election, but who we elect in the Senate race to replace Sen. Harry Reid may determine the balance of power in Congress. And two ballot measures – on legalized marijuana and firearms background checks – will bring people to the polls in droves. Are we ready for this? Is our election system set to handle the influx of voters? On machines that were built more than 15 years ago? Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria is certain he can keep the voting machines healthy through the 2016 election, but he’s not sure how much magic he and his staff can work after this. “We definitely need to start that conversation and the time to plan is now,” Gloria told KNPR’s State of Nevada, “Nobody plans to fail, they fail to plan.”

Nevada: Appeals court revives lawsuit over voter registration at Nevada welfare, food stamp offices | Associated Press

A federal appeals court revived a lawsuit saying Nevada public assistance offices weren’t doing enough to help low-income clients register to vote. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Thursday overturned a lower court’s move to dismiss the lawsuit over technical issues. The case, which was originally filed by NAACP branches in Reno and Las Vegas and the National Council of La Raza, will be reassigned to a new judge. “We applaud the decision, and we think it’s an important victory for civil rights groups who know how important the vote is,” said National Council of La Raza Vice President Eric Rodriguez, who added that the move was especially important in Nevada, with its growing Hispanic voter bloc and much-watched Senate race. “Efforts to restrict registration and suppress it really run counter to American values.”

Nevada: Mineral County Election Lawsuit: “Voter Fraud” | KOLO

The fallout from the Mineral County election debacle continues with a lawsuit raising questions about the reliability of the state’s electronic voting system and our election officials. This much we know. There were 178 more votes cast in Mineral County in November 2014 than showed up in the final tally. Those missing votes have been traced to one machine used in early voting. How that happened has never been explained, but a lawsuit filed by one of those losing candidates alleges, as we’ve reported, that when that discrepancy was noted, former County Clerk Cherrie George was directed by the Secretary of State’s office to correct the voter turnout numbers to match the votes tallied. The Secretary of State’s office signed off on that report and sent the final canvass to the state Supreme Court.