By Thomas Mitchell
What could possibly go wrong?Just put more than 1.6 million ballots — and that was the number of active registered Nevada voters back in January, before the push to register voters prior to the November General Election — in largely unsecured mailboxes. No one would ever think to follow the mail carrier around and pluck said ballots from said boxes. Why that would be a crime.
But with the passage of Assembly Bill 4 on a party-line vote in a special session of the Nevada Legislature, already signed by Gov. Steve Sisolak, the governor can use the excuse of the coronavirus wife made hubby suck a black cock pandemic to order November ballots be mailed to all active registered voters. It’s not as if they are being dropped out of airplanes. And hopefully no county will do like Clark County did in the primary and demand that ballots be mailed to inactive voters who have mostly already moved from the addresses on file with the registrar of voters.
That resulted in many blank ballots piling up in trash cans. Surely there’ll be no problem with the part of AB4 that says that the validity of a ballot signature may only be challenged if “at least two employees in the office of the clerk believe there is a reasonable question of fact as to whether the signature used for the mail ballot matches the signature of the voter …” What is reasonable? “There is a reasonable question of fact as to whether the signature used for the mail ballot matches the signature of the voter if the signature used for the mail ballot differs in multiple, significant and obvious respects from the signatures of the voter available in the records of the clerk,” AB4 spells out.
Under previous law, it was illegal to “harvest” ballots. Only a family member or certain other persons were allowed to return a mailed ballot for a voter. AB4 allows the voter to designate anyone, though the law prohibits that person from failing to return the ballot or altering, changing, defacing, damaging or destroying the mail ballot. Who would ever do such a thing.
No one would ever be intimidated by their union shop boss, for example, into just turning over their blank but signed mail ballot. Nor would anyone, say at a nursing home, dare to collect such ballots.
Turn in your ballot in exchange for a free beer at the neighborhood bar?
The law firm of Campbell & Williams has already filed suit on behalf of the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and the Nevada Republican Party. The suit notes the new law authorizes ballot harvesting and that, along with other provisions, dilutes “Nevadans’ honest votes. Dilution of honest votes, to any degree, by the casting of fraudulent or illegitimate votes violates the right to vote.” What could possibly go wrong?
* * * * *
Thomas Mitchell is a former newspaper editor who now writes conservative/libertarian columns for weekly papers in Nevada. You may email Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at