Home>Feature>Nevada ranks second-to-last in new survey of election integrity

A new 'Election Integrity Scorecard' released by Heritage Foundation rated Nevada elections 50th out of 51, ahead of only Hawaii.

Nevada ranks second-to-last in new survey of election integrity

Heritage places Silver State 50th of 51

By Ken Kurson, December 14, 2021 9:31 am

With two statewide races expected to be closely followed across the nation, and all four congressional seats up for grabs next November, a new “Election Integrity Scorecard” released today places the state 50 out of 51, ahead of only Hawaii.

Heritage.org has created a brand new scorecard, released today, that ranks all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. The survey says that “There are many vulnerabilities in our system that make election fraud easy to commit and hard to catch… Not only does fraud diminish voters say in their government but it also diminishes their faith in the integrity of our unique American experiment.”

According to the foundation’s Election Fraud Database, “election fraud occurs all too frequently in American elections.”

Heritage cites the Pew Foundation report that finds troubling statistics, including that approximately 24 million voter registrations were either no longer valid or significantly inaccurate. That’s nearly one of every eight voters, including nearly 2 million deceased voters deceased Americans who are listed as active voters and almost 3 million who are registered in more than one state.

The survey ranks all 50 states plus DC based on 12 categories with the top three categories —Voter ID, Accuracy of Voter Lists and Absentee Ballot Management—weighted most heavily.

Nevada scored a pathetic 28 out of 100 possible points. The state receives only 2 out of 20 possible points for Voter ID implementation, 16 out of 30 for accuracy of its voter registration lists and 3 out of 21 for absentee ballot management.

Other areas of concern include vote harvesting, which is always attractive to powerful unions that can apply pressure to members (Nevada gets 0 of 4 possible points). And on verification of citizenship, also worth a possible 4, Nevada gets another zero because it doesn’t verify the citizenship voters through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement (SAVE) program, and state officials do not utilize state and federal jury information to verify citizenship.

Across all 12 categories, it’s remarkable how little Nevada does to ensure election integrity.

The state’s election litigation procedures, for example, are worth a possible 3 points. The state gets zero because a) the state legislature does not have standing to sue; b) court-advised changes to the state’s election laws do not require the approval of the state legislature; and c) residents do not have standing to sue election officials who do not abide by state election laws. In short, there’s virtually no accountability at any stage of the election.

This is especially troubling in a state like Nevada where statewide elections are always close. Obviously, the incentive to steal a point here or there is much greater if the election is expected to be within five points.

In 2018, Steve Sisolak defeated Adam Laxalt 49.4 to 45.3%, a margin of less than 40,000 out of about a million cast. In 2016, Catherine Cortez Masto defeated Joe Heck 47.1 to 44.7 — a margin of only 26,000. With Laxalt hoping to challenge Cortez Masto this year, and Sisolak facing off against whoever wins the Republican gubernatorial primary, a couple points could possibly swing either election. The new Heritage survey makes a compelling case that, whoever ultimately wins election, we all lose if we lack confidence in that election’s integrity.

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Ken Kurson
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