Nevada Dems push mail-in voting and ballot-harvesting through State Assembly on strict party-line vote
Democrats are not taking any chances that Nevada's recent turn to Democrats will hand them the state's six electoral votes in November. The State Assembly there just passed legislation to send mail-in ballots to every voter and allow ballot-harvesting. James DeHaven reports in the Reno Gazette-Journal:
Lawmakers advanced a divisive mail-in voting measure and revisited a tense clash over mining taxes during the frenetic first day of Nevada's 32nd special legislative session.
Friday's battle over Assembly Bill 4, the elections bill, comes after a mostly mail-in June primary election that saw some voters wait several hours at one of the "extremely limited" in-person polling places state officials kept open during the coronavirus outbreak.
AB 4 hopes to shorten those lines by guaranteeing every active registered voter receives a mail-in ballot in November's general election and any future political contests conducted under a statewide emergency declaration.
It would also permit some of those voters, namely the elderly and those with physical disabilities, to request that someone else fill out and hand in their ballot, a practice Republicans repeatedly decried as illegal "ballot harvesting."
The sole Republican statewide office-holder in Nevada is the secretary of state, Barbara Cegavske, who by law controls voting, but the Dems are trying to sidestep her:
[Cegavske] confirmed she intended to stick to that approach despite a statewide spike in virus cases, explaining she would need a budget bump of up to $5 million to pay for a second all-mail election.
But Democrats, seen as the most likely beneficiary of the switch to a mail-in election, are now positioned to overrule Cegavske thanks to a controversial bill provision that lets the governor, not the state's top election official, decide how polling places run in an emergency.
President Trump tweeted his opposition yesterday and is urging a lawsuit. If Democrats believed the polls, they would not be taking such dodgy measures to ensure six electoral votes.
Image credit: National Park Service, public domain.