Nevada’s top elections official announced Wednesday that her office has evidence that three non-citizens voted illegally in the 2016 general elections, culminating five days of intense speculation about the case but leaving many questions still unanswered. News of the claims first emerged last week when Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske accused the state’s DMV of abetting the improper registration of non-citizen voters, setting off a public spat between the two state offices. Voting right advocates have been especially concerned, alleging that Cegavske’s directions to the DMV for how to handle voter registration paperwork would violate federal voting law.
Cegavske sent a letter Friday to DMV Director Terri Albertson demanding that she “cease” the practice of accepting voter registration applications from all DMV customers. Cegavske claimed that DMV was acting inappropriately by allowing ID-seekers to also fill out voter registration forms at driver’s licenses offices even if they had presented a green card. Cegavske’s office apparently discovered the instances of noncitizen voting after combing through a list of people who filled out voter registration forms at the DMV who had “presented evidence of non-citizenship,” according to Wednesday’s statement.
Albertson shot back at Cegavske in her own letter Saturday that under the National Voter Registration Act, as well as a formal agreement worked out between the state and voting rights groups, the DMV was required to hand over the applications to the state’s election officials regardless of the applicant’s apparent citizenship status, though DMV employees would indicate whether certain applicants warranted a closer look by elections officials.