Nevada Election Legislation Highlights Partisan Divide

ema updated Sept. 21, 2020 Long lines for those who voted in-person in the June 9 primary show the need for corrective measures to forestall problems in November.  On Aug. 3, Gov. Steve Sisolak signed into law Assembly Bill No. 4, passed by Democrats in a special session.  The legislation includes provisions such as setting minimum numbers of vote centers per county based population and providing additional funds for preparation and distribution of mail ballots.  However, Republicans took a dim view of the legislation.  2018 Republican gubernatorial nominee Adam Paul Laxalt tweeted that Democrats are "ramming through mail-in balloting and ballot harvesting. They are massively altering our election 97 days out entirely without the SecState. They are working to steal our election."  The Trump campaign and the RNC quickly filed a lawsuit which sought to "invalidate AB4 as unconstitutional...[and] prevent the state’s liberal leadership from enforcing the legislation."  In a Sept. 21 ruling, U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan found against the Trump campaign, dismissing its claimed injuries as speculative and generalized.

Nevada State Democratic Party

July 31, 2020


Yesterday, Donald Trump once again co-opted an entire news cycle with a tweet. He floated postponing the November election and made yet another spurious claim that mail-in voting leads to widespread voter fraud. While Trump has no authority to move the election, allies of democracy everywhere must ardently denounce his rhetoric on mail-in voting. This is not the first time Trump has launched an attack on mail-in voting. In May, he threatened to withhold federal funds from our state after the Republican Secretary of State pursued an all-mail election.

The situation is even worse now and there are no guarantees of controlled outbreak as we move towards November. This is a health crisis unlike any we have seen in our lifetimes. For far too many, electing leaders equipped and willing to move us through this crisis with the guidance of science is a matter of life and death. As of this week, more than 150,000 Americans have died. That is why the state must take bold steps to expand voting access. But while Trump issues false claims of mail-in voting fraud and COVID cases rise, Secretary of State Cegavske makes a baffling claim that we are “no longer in an emergency situation” and do not need to expand vote-by-mail options. Nevadans feel differently — a recent poll found Nevadans overwhelmingly support expanded mail ballot access.

Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II released the following statement:

“Secretary of State Cegavske’s claim that ‘we are no longer in an emergency’ simply does not reflect the reality Nevadans are living through. We are at the epicenter of a global pandemic, averaging 1,000 new coronavirus cases a day. Yesterday, the Governor invoked an emergency special session to address voting access, recognizing the ‘extraordinary occasion’ demanded by our state’s constitution.

“In order to keep Nevadans safe as they exercise their civil rights, we must invest in expansive, robust voting options. We know that even in normal times, obstacles to voting are more prevalent in Black and Latino communities, the very communities that have been devastated by COVID-19. For this reason, expanding voting access is both a matter of democratic integrity and racial justice. Nevada Democrats have been in this fight for a long time. As we approach November, that fight becomes more important than ever. For the health of all Nevadans, for the preservation of democracy, we will continue to combat Trump’s falsehoods and work to expand ballot access in the state.”

Nevada Republican Party
August 2, 2020


Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael J. McDonald released the following statement after Democrats rammed through AB4, a bill that changes the rules to November’s election at the last minute, today during Nevada’s special session:

“With less than 100 days to go until Election Day, Nevada Democrats have upended November’s election and changed the rules at the last possible minute. Our state’s top election official, who has a plan in place to hold a traditional election safely, was not consulted on AB4 and only received the 100-page bill an hour before it was first heard in the Assembly.

“That begs the question: who wrote this bill? D.C. lawyers? Nevadans deserve to know who authored the wholesale changes to their elections.

“By throwing the integrity of the election results into question through mandating ballots be sent to all voters and legalizing ballot harvesting, Nevada Democrats have proven to be a callous and careless majority that is drunk on power. Voters should make the Nevada Democrat Party pay for this dangerous bill.”

Gov. Steve Sisolak
CARSON CITY, NV - August 03, 2020

Gov. Sisolak signs special session elections legislation

Today, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 4, a bill that ensures protections for Nevadans to vote safely at the November 3, 2020 General Election during the global pandemic.
The Governor issued the following statement on AB4:

"During this global pandemic, I made a commitment that we’d do all we can to allow Nevadans to safely cast a ballot in the upcoming November election. This bill will help prevent Nevadans from experiencing the long lines at polling locations they faced during the Primary election, which will protect their safety, safeguard their right to make their voices heard, and help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

 As I have said before, Nevada is widely recognized as being a leader in election administration, and this bill will enable election officials to continue to support the safest, most accessible election possible under these unprecedented circumstances. I am confident that Secretary of State Cegavske, in coordination with local clerks and registrars, will run a safe, fair and accessible election this November.”

AB 4 enacts provisions for conducting elections adversely affected by certain emergencies or disasters, including COVID-19. It revises provisions governing election procedures for all mail ballots during an “affected election” and ensures a minimum number of in-person locations to vote during early vote and on election day. AB4 provides additional safeguards against certain unlawful acts, and it allocates funds to assist Nevada’s County Clerks and Registrars in putting on a safe and successful November General election.


Donald J. Trump for President
August 05, 2020


Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., along with the Republican National Committee and the Nevada Republican Party, filed suit Tuesday night in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada to invalidate Nevada Democrats’ unconstitutional Assembly Bill 4 (AB4), which systematically attacks election integrity and tears down key election security safeguards, putting millions of Nevadans’ ballots at risk this November. This unlawful legislation mandates universal vote-by-mail in Nevada and allows ballots cast after Election Day to be included in the state’s results.

“Every American who is eligible to vote should be able to freely do so,” the lawsuit states. “Republicans have always supported efforts to make it easier for voters to cast their ballot. At the same time, however, the electoral process cannot function properly if it lacks integrity and results in chaos. Put simply, the American people must be able to trust that the result is the product of a free and fair election.”

Jenna Ellis, Trump 2020 Senior Legal Advisor: “Democrats know President Trump is gaining ground in Nevada, so they fully and fundamentally overhauled Nevada’s election laws in a rushed 72-hour attempt to rig the election. This unconstitutional legislation implements the exact universal vote-by-mail system President Trump has been warning against for months, making it nearly impossible for every Nevada voter’s ballot to count. Nevada Democrats are allowing ballots cast after Election Day to count, practically inviting Nevada’s elected liberal leaders to hold the election open until their political operatives harvest enough ballots to swing the election in their favor—ultimately delaying the election. President Trump will not stand for this attack on election integrity, and he is fighting to protect Nevada’s right to vote.”

Ronna McDaniel, RNC Chairman: “Democrats changed the rules of the game at the last minute to try and rig this election. They overturned a bipartisan ballot harvesting ban to allow strangers to pick up a ballot for anyone, including the most vulnerable to COVID-19, and have thrown out many important safeguards. Nevadans saw the dangers of automatically mailing ballots during their June primary. The integrity of the election was at risk then, and it is even more so now. AB4 will destroy the confidence every voter deserves to have in our elections."

Nevada Democrats’ unconstitutional law:

  • Implements the chaos-ridden universal vote-by-mail system President Trump has consistently warned against
  • Requires the state to blindly mail every voter—verified or not—a ballot, whether they want one or not
  • Allows ballots cast after Election Day to count, legalizing Democrats’ efforts to hold the election open until their political operatives harvest enough ballots to swing the election in their favor
  • Makes Nevada the first place where ballot harvesters can openly harvest ballots after Election Day
  • Invites the chaos and voter disenfranchisement seen in New York City’s and California’s primaries into Nevada during the general election
  • Permits paid ballot harvesters to fill out ballots on behalf of voters 65+ under the guise of “voter assistance,” legalizing intimidation of older voters
  • Opens the door to fraud by allowing multiple ballots to be mailed back to the election office in a single envelope, though the bill ironically provides for each mailed ballot’s prepaid return postage
  • Effectively makes it impossible for results to be delivered in Nevada on Election Night
The Trump campaign’s lawsuit seeks to:

  • Invalidate AB4 as unconstitutional
  • Prevent the state’s liberal leadership from enforcing the legislation
To read the full lawsuit filing, click here.

Nevada State Democratic Party

For Immediate Release

August 7, 2020

Contact: Molly Forgey

NV Dems, DNC Release Joint Statement on Motion to Intervene in Trump’s Lawsuit

Today, the Nevada State Democratic Party and Democratic National Committee released the following joint statement after filing a motion to intervene in the Trump campaign’s partisan lawsuit that took aim at expansive voting measures enacted by Assembly Bill 4:

“Republicans have a long and sordid history of erecting barriers to the ballot box, and the Trump campaign’s baseless lawsuit is yet another example. Voting by mail is safe, secure, and more critical than ever as our country continues to grapple with the devastating fallout from Donald Trump’s failed pandemic response. These unfounded attacks on Assembly Bill 4 ring hollow given Trump and his allies’ own history of voting by mail. Yet again, Trump and his inner circle are playing by a different set of rules, while forcing vulnerable communities to choose between their health and their constitutional rights. 

“Make no mistake: the Trump campaign and Republicans are exploiting a public health crisis to deny equal access to our democracy because they know voters will reject Trump’s failed record otherwise. Together, Nevadans fought hard during the special session to pass Assembly Bill 4 and ensure no Nevada voter is forced to risk their health and safety in order to exercise their right to vote. Today’s motion to intervene continues that fight, and we will not rest until it is easy and safe for every American to make their voices heard in November.”  

Assembly Bill 4 was signed into law on August 3 by Governor Steve Sisolak and ensures that eligible Nevada voters can participate safely in the November election by expanding mail and in-person voting. This legislation codifies safe voting measures during emergency directives, including mailing ballots to all active registered voters and ensuring each county has a sufficient amount of in-person polling locations commensurate with a normal election. 


Nevada State Democratic Party
September 21, 2020

NV Dems Statement on Dismissal Against Trump Lawsuit

Today, Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II released the following statement in response to the dismissal of Trump and Republicans’ partisan lawsuit to limit voting in Nevada:

“Today is a win for democracy. Donald Trump and Republicans have been hell bent on limiting voting options for one clear reason: Republicans will lose if more Nevadans vote in this election. Democrats prioritized Nevadans’ voting rights by passing Assembly Bill 4, legislation that ensures voters have options to make their voice heard even in the midst of a global pandemic.

“Unfortunately, we know this won’t be the end of Republicans’ voter suppression efforts. That’s why we’ve launched a robust voter education program including both a bilingual website and hotline to assist voters by providing the information they need to register to vote and to participate safely in this election. Nevada Democrats will always work to expand access to the ballot box and Republican tactics and frivolous lawsuits won’t stand in our way.”