Home>Legal>One of Two Election Integrity Ballot Initiatives Struck Down in Court

Voter at polls during presidential election, using paper ballots. (Photo: Rob Crandall/Shutterstock)

One of Two Election Integrity Ballot Initiatives Struck Down in Court

Voter ID can still appear on November ballot if enough signatures gathered

By Megan Barth, April 26, 2022 3:01 pm

As reported by The Globe, David G. Gibbs, Executive Director of the Repair the Vote political action committee, filed two ballot initiatives to appear on the ballot in the upcoming November election if enough signatures are collected for qualification.

The first petition is a proposed constitutional amendment that will require each person who votes at a polling location to show a government-issued photo ID. It also requires those who vote by mail to add a method, other than just their signature, of verifying their identification.

The second petition was a Referendum Initiative that asked voters to approve or disapprove three parts of Assembly Bill 321 that was passed by the Legislature in 2021: automatically mailing ballots to all active registered voters; ballot harvesting; and, allowing the elections department to count mail-in ballots received after election day that do not have readable postmarks.

Immediately following these filings, lawsuits were filed on behalf of two Nevada progressive activists by lawyers from the D.C. law firm of Marc Elias. The plaintiffs primarily alleged that the ballot initiatives proposed by Repair the Vote violate Nevada law; that voter fraud has been “widely debunked”; and, that voter identification suppresses minority voters and is cost prohibitive.

Yesterday, it was reported by The Nevada Independent that both initiatives were struck with fatal blows by a pair of Carson City judges: “A pair of Carson City judges struck what appeared to be fatal blows to proposed GOP-backed voting initiatives on Monday, invalidating efforts to roll back the Democrat-backed universal vote by mail law passed in 2021 and a measure implementing voter identification requirements.”

However, Sigal Chattah, counsel for Repair the Vote and candidate for Attorney General, told the Globe that the reporting by The Nevada Independent is not entirely accurate.

Although Judge Frances Doherty did block the referendum against AB321, Judge William Maddox allowed the voter ID ballot initiative to move forward—with amended language.

In a comment to The Globe, Chattah didn’t hold back, stating:

“The narrative has to be corrected and The Globe is the perfect place to do that. The petition on AB 321 is dead in the water. But, the judge amended the voter ID ballot initiative language and now the proponents of the initiative need to collect signatures.

Joey Gilbert, Brian Hardy and I did our part to successfully defend the initiative. It is now up to Republicans to recruit and finance the initiative. So all these candidates and donors talking about voter ID need to put their money where their mouth is and finance this ballot initiative to gather signatures and move it forward so voters can vote on it in November.

The Democrats are very organized in funding their causes and initiatives. It is time for Republicans do the same–we opened the door and handed them the keys to the castle. What are Republicans going to do with those keys?”

Repair the Vote will need to collect 140,777 verifiable signatures and they must come from all areas of the State–35,195 from each congressional district. The signatures must be collected no later than June 29th for the voter ID initiative to appear on the November ballot.

In a brief interview with the Nevada Independent, Gibbs said there was virtually no chance of getting the signatures needed to qualify the measures for the ballot by a deadline in the next few weeks. “I won’t say impossible, but it would be a miracle,” Gibbs said. “We just don’t have the time to get the signatures.”

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