(Chuck Muth) – When it comes to the voter rolls, Democrats usually like them “dirty” and label any effort to clean them up as “voter suppression.” What hypocrites.
Nevada Democrat Party Chair Judy Whitmer has reportedly purged some 230 members of her Central Committee just weeks before she’s scheduled to face a contested re-election election based on a rule that if you miss two consecutive meetings, you’re removed.
But a number of the ineligible Central Committee members who were purged signed a letter this week calling for Whitmer’s resignation, adding that cleaning the list was “deeply alarming and raises serious doubts about the integrity of the upcoming election.”
Election deniers! Election deniers!
Look, every legally eligible voter should be allowed to vote in an election. The problem is when ineligible voters are included on the voter rolls and automatically mailed a ballot.
Here’s the rule (NRS 293.485) on Nevada’s residency requirements to be eligible to vote…
“Every citizen of the United States, 18 years of age or older, who has continuously resided in this State and in the county 30 days…preceding the day of the next succeeding (election).”
So by law, if you don’t “continuously reside” at the address where you’re registered to vote and where your mail-in ballot is sent for at least 30 days before the election, you’re ineligible to vote, right?
And that would include anyone who moved out of the county or state prior to 30 days before the election, right?
So let’s say an Election Integrity volunteer visits a home and asks the home owner or resident if “Joe Smith” lives there – only to be told Mr. Smith moved out-of-state three years ago.
The home owner/resident then signs an affidavit stating that Mr. Smith no longer lives there and the volunteer submits that affidavit to the election department and requests that Mr. Smith be removed from the “Active” voter list.
No can do. The courts have construed this as “hearsay evidence” and inadmissible. Here’s one example why…
Let’s say the volunteer talks to Mrs. Smith who, at the time, was in a fight with Mr. Smith. As such, she claims her husband no longer lives there even though he does.
Unlikely scenario…but possible. And the election department isn’t going to remove someone from the “Active” voter list if there’s even the remotest possibility that they shouldn’t be. In fact, by federal law…they can’t. There’s a process you have to go through.
Here’s another scenario as it relates to dead voters…
Let’s say you do a database search that indicates that “Joe Smith” has died and should no longer be on the voter list. Fine…but you need to dig deeper. It could just be a clerical error. Or maybe the Joe Smith who died was Joe Smith Sr. and it’s Joe Smith Jr., living at the same address, who’s still registered.
And what about people who supposedly live at a commercial address or vacant lot?
Again, you have to dig deeper. If the commercial address also doubles as a residence, which is certainly possible, then no fraudulent registration exists. And truth be told, it’s possible that a homeless person is legally registered to vote at that vacant lot.
You have to investigate and confirm, confirm, confirm.
Let’s get back to people who have moved…
If you run the voter file database against a change-of-address database, you’ll find lots of people who have moved from where they’re registered more than 30 days before an election. However, again, you have to dig deeper.
It could just be a temporary change – such as for students attending college, military personnel stationed overseas, or someone who has taken a temporary job in another state. That’s what the law (NRS 293.487) says.
So in those cases it’s not illegal to cast a ballot from the address where they are registered even if not currently living there – unless they try to vote twice; once from each location.
That’s why the election department currently only accepts statements related to residence from the voter himself or herself or the post office. That’s an understandable precaution – but doesn’t fix the problem of voters who permanently no longer live where they’re registered to vote but haven’t changed their address with the election department.
It should be noted, as well, that there’s nothing necessarily illegal about simply being registered to vote in two or more different locations. Voting fraud only occurs if someone actually tries to vote from two or more locations.
So you can’t just run database searches and declare someone ineligible to vote – which is exactly what the Nevada Republican Party and certain Trump advisers did following the 2020 general election. Which is why their claims of “massive” voting fraud didn’t hold water with our courts.
You need to do the “grunt” work necessary to CONFIRM that a voter is ineligible to vote before attempting to have them removed from the “Active” voter file.
Cleaning up dirty voting rolls is a long, painful, and complicated process. Do it wrong and you could open yourself to legal problems for committing “voter intimidation” or “voter suppression.”
Indeed, cleaning up the voter lists is critical to assuring election security. However, efforts to do so must be done legally, responsibly, and thoroughly. You can’t just make wild allegations of “voting fraud” without being able to back it up.
If you do – like the Nevada GOP did following the 2020 election – not only will you lose in court, as the Nevada GOP did, but you’ll lose in the court of public opinion. See: “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”
Coming up next: Electile Dysfunction: Phantoms, Sleepers and Hiders, Oh, My!
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“If even one vote has been illegally cast or if the integrity of just one election official is compromised, it diminishes faith in the process.” – U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams
Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views, and founder of CampaignDoctor.com. You can sign up for his conservative, Nevada-focused e-newsletter at MuthsTruths.com. His views are his own.