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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


2008 Key Questions for Key States

Nevada

The complete research by Election Law @ Moritz for Nevada can be found below.

Institutional Arrangements

State Chief Election Authorities

Elected individual (D)

Chief election authority: Secretary of State. § 293.124.

Method of selection: Elected. § 225.020.

Current officer: Ross Miller (D). As far as Bogden knew, no voter fraud, Las Vegas Sun, May 15, 2007. (Last updated 1/1/08)

State High Court Composition

D heavy/elected

Method of selection: Election. Const. Art. 6, § 3.

Justices: William A. Maupin (D), Michael A. Cherry (D), Michael Douglas (D), Mark Gibbons (R), James W. Hardesty (D), Ron D. Parraguirre (R), Nancy M. Saitta (D) (Last updated 12/22/07)

Sources:

  • Ensign yet to draw up list of prospective judicial appointees, Las Vegas Review-Journal, January 8, 2001.
  • Raggio’s stance aside, partisanship gaining larger role in judicial elections, Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 24, 2006.
  • First couple has a ball, Las Vegas Review-Journal, January 28, 2007.
  • Republicans elect new officers, Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 16, 2003.
  • Douglas overcomes challenger, Las Vegas Review-Journal, November 3, 2004.
  • Political Notebook: Candidate runs afoul of veterans, Las Vegas Review-Journal, October 25, 2004, 2004 WLNR 3631426. -Testing the Nevada Supreme Court Judicial Canons of Ethics, Las Vegas Review-Journal, December 18, 2004. -Before that, Gibbons dined with donors, Las Vegas Review-Journal, October 23, 2006.  

Local Administrator Training

No info

No law was found requiring Nevada election officials to attend training, or stating whether such training is even offered.

Who tallies precinct results?

County canvassing board - partisanship unconstrained

The board of county commissioners tallies precinct results. NSA 293.387.  County commissioners are elected.  NSA 244.025.

Who counts provisional ballots?

Local election authority - partisanship unconstrained

Local election officials (typically clerks) determine whether to count provisional ballots. NSA 293.3085. The officials may be elected or appointed.

Who performs state canvass?

Special canvassing commission - elected/partisanship unconstrained

The state canvass is performed by the justices of the Supreme Court, or a majority of them, and the Secretary of State.  NSA 293.395.  Supreme Court justices are elected.  Const. Art. 6, s 3.

Local Administrator

County official - elected or appointed

Most Nevada counties depend on an elected county clerk to run elections. NRS 246.010, 293.217, 293.503. However, the county may choose to use an appointed registrar of voters instead. NRS 244.164. Nevada's two largest counties, Clark and Washoe, have chosen this appointment system.

Local Administrators' Party Affiliation

Unknown affiliation/elected

County Population Administrator/Affiliation Selection Voting Technology
Clark 1,777,539 Larry Lomax (I) Appointed Sequoia AVC Edge touchscreen w/ VVPAT
Washoe 396,428 Daniel Burk (?) Appointed Sequoia AVC Edge touchscreen w/ VVPAT
Carson City 55,289 Alan Glover (D) [1] Elected Sequoia AVC Edge touchscreen w/ VVPAT
Lyon 51,231 Nikki Bryan (?) Elected Sequoia AVC Edge touchscreen w/ VVPAT
Elko 47,114 Win Smith (?) Elected Sequoia AVC Edge touchscreen w/ VVPAT
Total 2,327,601 (93.2% of population)
  • [1] Change spares controller, Las Vegas Review-Journal, October 12, 2004.

Voter Registration

Registration Deadline

Other

The deadline for in-person registration is 9 p.m. on the third Tuesday preceding the election. NRS 293.560. The deadline for mail registration is the 5th Sunday preceding the election. NRS 293.560. However, mail registrations received after this deadline can be backdated so that they meet the deadline. Specifically, mailed applications will be deemed to have been received on the date the applicant completed the application if the application is received or postmarked within 3 working days of actual completion. NRS 293.5235. If the application is received or postmarked more than 3 working days after completion, it will be deemed completed on the date received.

Notice of Registration Error

Yes

Officials will notify applicants of any incomplete application. NRS 293.5235. The only exception is when voters fail to indicate party preference, in which case they are registered as nonpartisan and notified of such. NRS 293.518.

Opportunity to Correct after Registration Deadline

Yes

When applicants receive a notice of incomplete application, they have fifteen days in which to correct the error. NRS 293.5235. A representative of the Nevada Secretary of State's office indicated that submission of such corrections within the 15 days will backdate the registration to make it as if it had been submitted before the deadline.  However, If the voter fails to correct within this time period, the application is void.

Opportunity to Correct after Registration Deadline

Generally No

When applicants receive a notice of incomplete application, they have fifteen days in which to correct the error. NRS 293.5235. If they fail to correct within this time period, the application is void. While correction within the 15-day period accomplishes registration, the code does not state that it will backdate the registration to make it any registration deadline that might have occurred within the 15-day period. Rather, the code suggests that corrections received after the deadline will only be effective in the next election cycle. The code suggests this by explicitly stating that failure to indicate citizenship may be corrected after the deadline. NRS 293.5235. By making this explicit statement with respect to only one type of error, the code implies that other types of corrections made after the deadline will not be effective for the upcoming election.

HAVA matching standards

Exact match standard

Nevada uses an exact match standard for the first and last name, date of birth, and driver's license or state ID number for those who have submitted voter registration applications using driver's license or state ID numbers. The state also uses an exact match standard for those who have submitted their social security numbers instead.

Source: Phone conversation, Nevada Secretary of State's office.

Will the inability to verify social security number or driver's license number prevent registration?

Voter may cast an ordinary ballot after showing ID at polls

When the state is unable to obtain a match, the voter must present ID at the polls. Any one of these forms of ID are acceptable: 1) a current and valid photo identification of the person; or 2) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or document issued by a government entity, including a check which indicates the name and address of the person, but not including a voter registration card. NRS 293.2725, 293.277.

Source: Phone conversation, Nevada Secretary of State's office.

 

Challenges

Pre-election challenges

Challenges decided by local election official

Registered voters may file written challenges of other voters registered in their precinct. NRS 293.547. The challenges must be filed with the county clerk between the 30th day and 25th day prior to any election. The challenger must have personal knowledge of the challenged voter's lack of qualifications to vote in the precinct. Only one voter may be challenged per written challenge form. The county clerk must label the voter's registration record as challenged and mail notice to the challenged voter within 5 days of the challenge. The voter's registration will be canceled if he or she does not respond to the notice and appear to vote by by the end of the second general election following the notice. NRS 293.530. The voter's registration will be marked "inactive" if he or she does not respond to the notice within 30 days. It appears that when the challenged voter appears at the polls, the challenge will be disposed of according to NRS 293.303. Notice sent to the challenged voter must contain this statement: "Even though your right to vote has been challenged, you are still registered and eligible to vote. Please contact this office immediately for information concerning how you may respond to the challenge." NV ADC 293.418.

Voters may withdraw their written challenges. NRS 293.548

Election day challenges

Successfully challenged voter must cast a provisional ballot

Any registered voter of the precinct may challenge another voter upon the ground that he or she is not the person entitled to vote as claimed or has voted before at the same election. NRS 293.303. The challenger must have personal knowledge that the challenged voter is not qualified to vote. Depending on the reason for the challenge, the challenged voter will be asked to take a certain oath and possibly provide identification to prove identity or address. For example, if the challenger claims the voter is not who he or she claims, the challenged voter may present identification or another voter may vouch for the challenged voter's identity. NRS 293.303.8. The challenged voter will not receive an ordinary ballot if he or she refuses to take the required oath. NRS 293.303.3.

Those successfully challenged may vote at a "special" polling place at the county clerk's office for countywide, state and federal offices and measures. NRS 293.304. These ballots are kept segregated from other ballots. Notice of the challenge result must be sent to the voter no later than 21 days after the election. NRS 293.3035.

Provisional Ballots

Provisional ballot - name not in poll book

Ballot will count if voter was registered and eligible

Provisional ballots cast by voters whose names were not on the precinct roster shall be counted if officials determine that the person was registered and eligible and was issued the appropriate ballot for the address where he or she resides. NRS 293.3085.

Provisional ballot - voter cast ballot in wrong precinct

Ballot will not be counted

Provisional ballots will not be counted if officials determine that the person cast the wrong ballot for the address in which he or she resides. NRS 293.3085. The Secretary of State has interpreted this to mean that the ballot must be cast in the congressional district in which the voter resides.  NV ADC 293.270.

Provisional Ballot Casting Rate - 2006

0-.25 percent of ballots cast at polls

0.17%

Provisional Ballot Counting Rate - 2006

50-60 percent

55.3%

Early and Absentee Voting

Convenience Voting

Early voting and "no excuse" absentee voting

Early voting begins on the third Saturday preceding the election and extends through the Friday before the election.  NSA 293.3568.

Any person may cast an absentee ballot.  Applications for ballots must be submitted by 5 p.m. on the 7th day before the election.  NSA 293.315.  Completed ballots must be received by the close of polls on election day.  NSA 293.317.

Voting Technology

Voting Technology

Predominately or 100% DRE

County Population Administrator/Affiliation Selection Voting Technology
Clark 1,777,539 Larry Lomax (I) Appointed Sequoia AVC Edge touchscreen w/ VVPAT
Washoe 396,428 Daniel Burk (?) Appointed Sequoia AVC Edge touchscreen w/ VVPAT
Carson City 55,289 Alan Glover (D) [1] Elected Sequoia AVC Edge touchscreen w/ VVPAT
Lyon 51,231 Nikki Bryan (?) Elected Sequoia AVC Edge touchscreen w/ VVPAT
Elko 47,114 Win Smith (?) Elected Sequoia AVC Edge touchscreen w/ VVPAT
Total 2,327,601 (93.2% of population)
  • [1] Change spares controller, Las Vegas Review-Journal, October 12, 2004.

Does state law require a VVPAT?

Yes

Nevada law requires touchscreens to be equipped with a VVPAT. NRS 293B.084, NAC 293B.010

Polling Place Operations

Who are poll workers?

Appointed by local administrator/some minority party representation

The county clerk appoints poll workers. NSA 293.217. Not all of the poll workers can be from the same political party.

Poll worker training

Frequency not defined by law

Nevada county or city election boards must conduct a school to teach poll workers about the election laws and their duties. N.R.S. 293.227. The statute does not specify whether this is a one-time training or a requirement for every election. Changes to this law were made in 2007, prior to which the school was only for precinct election board chairmen and not all poll workers. Regulations still refer to the school being for chairmen but other poll workers are permitted to attend as well. NV ADC 293C.130. It appears Nevada is moving in the direction of conducting training for all poll workers though it is not explicitly required by state law. Clark County, Nevada's largest, requires poll workers to complete training (see here).

Polling hours extension

Unclear

The polls must open at 7 a.m.and close at 7 p.m. N.R.S. 293.273. No information was found regarding extension of polling hours, either by election administrators, or the courts.

Voters in the polling place at closing time must be allowed to vote. N.R.S. 293.305.

Polling place closing times - local times

7:00 PM local time

Polling place closing times - by Eastern time zone

10:00 PM Eastern time

Ballot Security

Voter ID requirements

Only HAVA ID required

Nevada requires only the minimum ID required by HAVA. This requirement applies only to voters who are voting in a Nevada federal election for the first time, who registered to vote by mail, who did not produce ID at the point of registration, and whose identities were not verified in the statewide voter registration database by comparing the information against information contained in social security or state motor vehicles databases. NRS 293.2725. Any one of these forms of ID are acceptable: 1) a current and valid photo identification of the person; or 2) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or document issued by government entity, including a check which indicates the name and address of the person, but not including a voter registration card. NRS 293.2725, 293.277.

Consequences of failure to present ID

Voters must cast provisional ballot

Voters who are required to produce ID and do not produce it may cast a provisional ballot. NRS 293.3081.

Follow-up required of voter

Voter must return with ID

The voter must provide the required identification no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Friday following election day or the provisional ballot will not be counted. NRS 293.3085(3)(b).

Emergency Preparedness

Natural Disasters or Emergencies

No election-specific emergency provision

The governor's powers in an emergency are enumerated in NRS 414.060.  The law does not address elections.

No publicly-available information could be found on emergency election procedures in Nevada.

Ballot Shortages

N/A

Nevada uses touchscreen machines exclusively.

What if touchscreens break down?

New election in precinct if all voting is prevented

If "an election is prevented in any precinct or district," poll workers will deliver to officials an affidavit describing this prevention. NSA 293.465. Officials will then order a new election in that precinct or district. There is no language prescribing the provision of paper ballots or other remedial measures that might help avoid having to hold a re-vote.

 

Post-Election Processes

State certification deadline

Fourth week in November

The justices of the Supreme Court, or a majority, and the Secretary of State meet on the fourth Tuesday of November to canvass the votes. NSA 293.395. The Governor issues the certificates of election to the persons having the higher number of votes.

According to the Secretary of State’s website, this year the results must be certified by November 25, 2008 (see here).

Election contest deadline

Other

Nevada requires that a statement of contest for any election, except for the office of governor, lieutenant governor, assemblymen, state senator or justice of the supreme court, must be filed with the clerk of the local trial court no later than 5 days after a recount is completed or no later than 14 days after the election if no recount is demanded. NSA 293.413. Note that this second deadline actually occurs before the state canvassing and certification process even begins. The state canvass begins on the fourth Tuesday of November. NSA 293.395.

A statement of contest for the office of governor, lieutenant governor, assemblymen, state senator or justice of the supreme court must be filed with the Secretary of State within the same period of time provided for filing with the clerk of the trial court. NSA 293.425, 293.430.

Nevada law authorizes election contests generally. NSA 293.407.

Local count deadline

Within 7 days of the election

The board of county commissioners must complete the canvass of returns from all the precincts and districts within the county by the 5th working day after the election. NSA 293.387. The county clerk must submit the certified abstract and report to the Secretary of State by the 6th working day after the election.

Audit type

Manual or electronic

Audits may be conducted by manually reviewing paper trails or "by using a mechanical device determined by the Secretary of State to be capable of accurately reading the votes cast and printed and otherwise qualified for use in the State pursuant to applicable state and federal law." NV ADC 293.255. Because Nevada uses touchscreens exclusively, recounting paper ballots is not an issue.

The county clerk randomly selects the greater of 2% of voting machines or 20 voting machines if the population of the county is more than 100,000. If the county’s population is less than 100,000, the county clerk selects the greater of 3% of voting machines or four voting machines. NV ADC 293.255.

Audit scope

Depends

The county clerk randomly selects the greater of 2% of voting machines or 20 voting machines if the population of the county is more than 100,000. If the county’s population is less than 100,000, the county clerk selects the greater of 3% of voting machines or four voting machines. NV ADC 293.255.

Candidate-requested recounts

Upon request

Any candidate may obtain a recount upon request. NSA 293.403. The request must be filed within 3 working days of certification of the result.

Administrative Recounts

Not explicitly authorized

No black-letter law was found authorizing administrative recounts.

Automatic Recounts

None

No authorization for automatic recounts was found.

Defintion of a vote

Concrete standard

Nevada law allows any mark to be counted as long as it is within a designated space. NRS 293.3677. Although very general, this standard provides a complete definition.

Election Contest Scenario #1: Unverified Ballots

Random withdrawal

Where paper or punchcard ballots are used, officials shall randomly withdraw ballots until their number is equal to the number of voters’ signatures in the pollbook. § 293.363(3); 293C.362. The withdrawn ballots are not counted. The statutes do not prescribe what to do where touchscreen machines are used, except to say that any unverified ballots should be reported to the county clerk. § 293B.330. There are no cases construing the applicable statutes. 

Election Contest Scenario #2: Provisional Ballots with Technical Mistakes

Errors will disqualify ballots where they violate specific legal requirements

Nevada law mandates that provisional ballots be counted as long as certain enumerated conditions are true. In general, provisional ballots will be counted where election officials determine that the voter was registered, eligible, and was issued the appropriate ballot for his or her address. § 293.3085(3)(a). The only enumerated voter error that would deny a ballot from being counted is failure of the voter sign an affirmation of registration and eligibility in the voting jurisdiction. NV ADC 293.270. However, the failure of a voter to fill out other parts of the ballot application - such as the voter’s name - might prevent officials from being able to later identify the voter’s identity (at least where the voter’s signature was illegible). This, in turn, would make officials unable to identify whether the voter was registered and eligible in the jurisdiction. In this event, the ballot would not be counted.

When applying for a provisional ballot, voters must sign an affirmation that includes name, reason for casting provisional ballot, affirmation of registration and eligibility, date and type of election, signature of poll worker, and other information. § 293.3082. The Secretary of State’s website provides no further details. 

What Court Would Hear a Presidential Contest?

Trial Court

Nevada law authorizes election contests generally. NV ST 293.407. Presidential contests are filed in district (trial) court. Nevada district judges are elected. Nev. Const. Art. 6, § 5. 

Who Performs Presidential recounts?

Bipartisan

Recounts are performed by a recount board in each county. 293.404. Depending on local option, the chair of the recount board is either the county clerk or registrar of voters. Id. Members of the recount board are appointed by its chair, but may not all be of the same political party. 293.361. The code leaves it up to the chair to decide how many individuals to appoint. Elections are run by county clerks by default, but counties with 100,000 or more may opt to use registrars instead. 244.164. Registrars are appointed by boards of county commissioners. Id. County clerks are elected. 246.010. Boards of county commissioners are elected. 244.010-244.016.