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Governor Lombardo (R)with NV SOS Cisco Aguilar (D) at the signing ceremony of SB 406. (Photo: @NVSOS)

Governor Lombardo Signs Bill Protecting Election Workers

NV SOS Aguilar: ‘I want election workers to know that the secretary of state’s office has their back’

By Megan Barth, May 31, 2023 10:11 am

Yesterday, Republican Governor Joe Lombardo signed Senate Bill 406 which makes it a felony to harass, intimidate or threaten election workers. The law also makes it a felony to disseminate personal information about an election worker without their consent. The bill received unanimous support in the legislature, with Democratic Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar thanking Republican and Democratic leadership for supporting his legislation.

Aguilar cited that threats against election workers have increased across the country and in Nevada, leading to statewide vacancies. “I want election workers to know that the secretary of state’s office has their back,” Aguilar said at the signing ceremony.

According to the AP:

Over half of the top election officials across Nevada’s 17 counties stepped down between the 2020 election and 2022 midterms, with several citing election threats. Many of their staff members had resigned too, along with an exodus of workers in the secretary of state’s election department leading up to the 2022 midterms. That was due both to election burnout and better opportunities elsewhere, the office said at the time.

Similar legislation to SB406 has been adopted by Maine, Vermont, Washington and New Mexico, as threats against election workers have allegedly increased, Americans’ confidence in elections has dropped, and allegations of election fraud, by both parties, have escalated since the now-debunked allegation that Russians interfered in Hillary Clinton’s run for the White House.

In spite of the drop in voter confidence, Governor Lombardo’s efforts to increase confidence in Nevada’s elections have been thwarted by the Democratic majority.

His election integrity proposals found in Senate Bill 405 include: photo identification to vote; the last four digits of a social security or driver’s license number on the mailed ballot verified by the county clerk; mail ballots by request, thereby eliminating the voter’s existing requirement to opt-out; mailed ballots must be received at the close of business on Election Day, instead of four days after election day; and, eliminates unlimited ballot harvesting by an unauthorized ballot harvester. The Governor’s proposal limits ballot collection to 30 ballots and the harvester must submit an affidavit and report to the Secretary of State’s office.

In a press conference earlier last month, Aguilar refuted claims of election fraud in Nevada and warned that the Governor’s proposals may limit access to the ballot box. Although 36 states have enacted Voter ID laws, Democratic Attorney General Aaron Ford curiously claimed that Voter ID laws were unconstitutional with Assembly Majority Leader Steve Yeager adding that the Governor’s election proposals were a “non-starter” and that SB405 was a “solution in search of a problem…Our elections are safe and secure…we have the best elections in the country.”

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