Our friend Morning in Nevada PAC President Adam Laxalt has alerted us to the details of the “election reform” measure Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and the Democrat-controlled legislature rushed through in an emergency special session — on a party-line vote, in just a 48-hour period over the weekend, with no members of the public present, and under the cover of night.
And it’s even worse than we thought.
Mr. Laxalt says there are so many problems with this “reform,” not only in how it was passed, but also in its contents, as well as its being just the latest example of the Governor’s inconsistent and self-contradictory approach to the COVID outbreak (much more on the latter topic in ITEM 2, below).
Especially troubling is the way it will leave Nevada’s elections susceptible to rampant fraud this November, thanks to its radical embrace of universal mail-in voting as well as California-style “ballot harvesting.”
As Adam Laxalt put it in an op-ed for RealClearPolitics: “All of this adds up to strong reason for Nevadans to be gravely concerned about the integrity of their vote this November. … What [Democrats have] just done constitutes a shameful, dangerous, and hyper-partisan assault on election integrity in our state.”
Some of the measure’s most dangerous provisions include:
Requiring that all active voters receive a mail ballot, whether they’ve requested one or not.
Providing that ballots received by election officials without a postmark for up to three days after Election Day be considered valid by default.
Allowing ballot harvesting on a broad scale, and for multiple ballots to be submitted in a single envelope with only a single signature required on the envelope, and no signature requirement for the enclosed individual ballots — leaving it to the discretion of election officials to decide whether the votes should count.
Allowing for an individual to sign a ballot on another’s behalf.
And allowing for drop boxes for collecting ballots with no signature requirement — an especially dangerous form of ballot harvesting, which conventionally at least requires a signature.
Laxalt summed things up this way:
“Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak and his legislative allies claim [the bill] … is a necessary safety precaution in the face of the COVID-19 epidemic. In reality, it’s a blatantly partisan attempt to radically overhaul Nevada’s elections in a way that blows the door wide open to widespread voter fraud.”
And of course, it’s painfully obvious that Democrats fully expect to be able to leverage the new vulnerabilities in our election system in order to cheat their way to victory this November.
It was all just begging for a legal challenge.
ITEM #1: Fortunately, it didn’t take long for such an effort to get under way.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that:
“The campaign of President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit against Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske over changes to the state’s general election plan passed by the Legislature on Sunday.
“Trump’s campaign, the Republican National Committee and Nevada Republican Party filed the lawsuit in Nevada District Court on Tuesday evening. They allege several provisions of Assembly Bill 4, the election changes adopted by the special session on Sunday, ‘lack clear standards to guide the actions of county and city officials administering certain parts of Nevada’s elections.’
“‘Democrats changed the rules of the game at the last minute to try and rig this election,’ RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said in a statement Wednesday. ‘AB4 will destroy the confidence every voter deserves to have in our elections.’”
The President deserves a lot of credit for his leadership in elevating this issue, said Laxalt, including early on, when he retweeted Laxalt’s initial tweet in response to the bill:
“In reality, it’s a blatantly partisan attempt to radically overhaul Nevada’s elections in a way that blows the door wide open to widespread voter fraud.”
Laxalt’s original tweet has already garnered 22,600 likes and 16,500 retweets, and the tweet has 1.6 million impressions as of this writing — making it clear that people here in Nevada and indeed all across the country are rightly fired up over this issue.
ABC News Chief Political Analyst Matthew Dowd, not surprisingly, took issue with Laxalt’s tweet, responding: “Ummm, they are trying to make it easier for all to vote. Why is that a problem?”
Don’t worry, said Mr. Laxalt, we’ll deal with this in ITEM 4 below.
ITEM #2: “Consistency in responding to COVID has never been Gov. Sisolak’s strong suit,” Laxalt observed in his op-ed.
Boy is that ever true.
Laxalt drove home this point in an interview about the “election reform” bill this week with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, noting:
“In the bill is that there’s going to be more in-person, early-vote election sites than ever in our history in Las Vegas, in Clark County, and more Election Day. So I thought this was about COVID. I thought it was too dangerous to vote in person. We’re going to have the largest in-person election at the same time. So this Governor, who tells us that construction of the Las Vegas Raiders Stadium has to go on during the entire COVID, with positives in these sites, is now telling us it’s not safe to vote.”
Expounding further in his RealClearPolitics op-ed, Laxalt wrote:
“While taking a heavy-handed approach to shutting down economic activity in some industries, and also implementing draconian limitations on church attendance, [Sisolak] has allowed for politically favored construction projects to move forward, for casinos to be packed with visitors, and for restaurants to stay busy, while also saying and doing nothing to stop the swell of protests that recently broke out across Nevada. Yet apparently it’s so crucial for Nevadans to practice social distancing that we need a revolutionary expansion of mail-in voting? Which is it, Governor?”
Laxalt’s take on Gov. Sisolak’s mind-boggling inconsistency prompted a tweet from Newt Gingrich:
The hypocrisy of Nevada’s so-called election reform bill is pointed out brilliantly in this piece by @AdamLaxalt. Casinos and restaurants can be packed with people, but churches and voting sites pose too much of a health risk.
The hypocrisy of Nevada's so-called election reform bill is pointed out brilliantly in this piece by @AdamLaxalt. Casino and restaurants can be packed with people, but churches and voting sites pose too much of a health risk.https://t.co/dYKM25razD
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) August 5, 2020
Clearly, the Governor’s standard in making these decisions is whatever he feels like — and whatever best conforms to his partisan political agenda — on a given day.
ITEM #3: As you’d expect, the left is already circling the wagons in defense of the bill. Matthew Dowd, mentioned above, is just one of many examples.
As we’ve noted several times before, the fact that mail-in voting increases the risk of voter fraud has long been recognized across party lines. It’s only recently that Democrats and their friends in the press have made it a partisan issue in order to advance their own interests.
A bipartisan report of the Commission on Federal Election Reform, which was chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and James Baker III, found that “vote buying schemes are far more difficult to detect when citizens vote by mail.” And even the New York Times acknowledged that “there is a bipartisan consensus that voting by mail … is more easily abused than other forms.”
Now, Mark Levin has discovered yet more evidence of this bipartisan consensus, and discussed it on his show this week. As the show’s synopsis reads: “Democrats Jerry Nadler and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz have both gone on the record years ago to say that paper ballots are highly susceptible to fraud. Yet, the Democrats are pushing for voting by mail with paper ballots, not with voting machines that leave a paper trail.”
ITEM #4: By the way… did you see this?
“A government investigation concluded that the United States Postal Service ‘improperly coordinated’ with a postal workers union that supported Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
“The investigation, as documented in a report from the Office of Special Counsel, said the USPS granted employees union leave time off, at the request of the union, to do political activity — which OSC concluded was a ‘systematic violation’ of a law regarding the political activity of federal employees.
“The report said the practice was longstanding, perhaps ranging as far back as the 1990s.”
But yes, we should all feel confident that the Postal Service will perform its crucial role in an all-mail voting scheme with complete honesty, diligence and fairness, said Laxalt.
ITEM #5: Democrats and their media parrots like to argue that concerns over mail-in voting are overblown and politically motivated. They claim there’s no reason to believe that when put into practice, it will actually lead to any problems.
Well, one reporter decided to put it to the test. Writing for Townhall, Beth Baumann shares an illuminating story:
“A reporter from WRDW in Pennsylvania decided to conduct an experiment. The reporter’s team set up a PO Box and mailed numerous sets of fake ballots all across Philadelphia. The idea was to simulate people returning ballots to the local election office. They initially mailed 100 mock ballots. Two days later, they mailed another 100 ballots. The PO box was checked a week later.
“When the reporter opened up the PO box, there was a slip saying the box owner had to pick up the mail from behind the counter. When the reporter went to retrieve the mail, the postmaster told him there was nothing back there.
“‘I don’t see anything there for you,’ the woman behind the counter said.
“The reporter eventually talked to a manager, explained what they were doing and suddenly she found a box of mock ballots that were ‘somewhere else.’
“As the reporter went through the mail, it was discovered they obtained two pieces of someone else’s mail, including a birthday card.
“The worst part: 21 percent of all the mock ballots hadn’t materialized after four days. The first batch, which had been sent out a week prior, also had some ballots missing.
“‘So out of our 100 ballots, 97 arrived, which sounds pretty good, unless you consider the fact that means that three people that tried to vote by mail in our mock election were, in fact, disenfranchised by mail,’ the reporter stated.
“Three percent may not sound like a lot, but it can be pivotal, especially when elections are close.”
Just imagine the consequences if this were to be played out across an entire state — or, indeed, the entire country.
ITEM #6: Even if one grants that mail-in voting won’t intentionally be manipulated (a highly dubious premise, but let’s go with it for the sake of argument), there are serious practical problems with such an approach.
Here’s Laxalt again from his op-ed:
“[T]here are significant procedural and logistical challenges that would come with trying to effectively implement such a dramatic electoral overhaul in a high-stakes presidential election year. New York state’s recent primary debacle, in which the huge influx of mail-in ballots led to disaster in trying to determine the results, should serve as a warning to other states — including Nevada, where the secretary of state’s office has fewer than five investigators assigned to protecting our elections — of the kinds of problems that may well ensue this November as a result of taking a similar path. The more states that go down the mail-in road, the more likely it becomes that the entire nation will be plunged into confusion and chaos this fall.”
For more on the New York disaster, check out this piece from Michael Goodwin, who reports that, “Five weeks after the Democratic primaries, no winners have been declared.”
Do Nevadans understand the disaster Democrats have just set Silver State voters up for?
As President Trump tweeted, “Nevada has zero infrastructure for mail-in voting. It will be a corrupt disaster if not ended by the courts. It will take months, or years, to figure out.”
We are with President Trump, Adam Laxalt and Morning in Nevada PAC on the dangers of the Nevada Democrats’ dangerous universal mail-in voting scheme. If you’d like to learn more about Adam Laxalt’s fight to preserve free and fair elections in Nevada go to Morning in Nevada PAC.
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Photo “Steve Sisloak” by Steve Sisolak CC4.0.