LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A bill discussed at the Nevada Legislature’s special session on Friday details modifications to the November general election.
Assembly Bill 4 — 100 pages in all — was discussed Friday as lawmakers sought answers and election officials walked through the legislation. Lawmakers had little time to review the bill before the hearing, and they had many questions.
The concern behind the legislation is the ability of all Nevada counties to keep all polling locations open if the pandemic were to cause staffing problems or close polling locations as the election draws near. The legislation lays out how an emergency declaration would trigger a required move to mail ballots.
The discussion is proceeding now, and you can watch here:
A link to AB4, where you can read the bill:
READ: Assembly Bill 4
Questions from lawmakers centered on how and when voters could use mail ballots to cast votes, and possible problems that could come up for voters.
Clark County Registrar Joe Gloria spoke during the hearing, describing the problems that were found in the primary and how this legislation would resolve some of those problems.
Gloria said it would be wise to provide mail ballots to active voters in advance of November balloting. If the pandemic were to get worse, the state should be prepared ahead of time, he said.
During the primary, mail ballots were sent to all registered voters, active or inactive. Under this proposal, only active voters would receive mail ballots.
Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson questioned Gloria on eliminating waits to vote.
Gloria said plans are in place for 35 early voting sites in Clark County. There will be 159 voting sites on Election Day, with supporting staff.
Voters would be allowed to request an emergency ballot as late as 5 p.m. on Election Day, either electronically or delivered in person in extreme circumstances. Gloria said those requests have been rare in the past.
Assemblywoman Lisa Krasner, a Republican representing District 26 in Washoe County, stressed the need for voter access and election integrity.
Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel, representing District 20 in Clark County, questioned the ability to make a challenge to ballots cast under the changes that have been proposed.
Republican Assemblywoman Alexis Hansen, representing rural District 32, which extends into seven counties, asked for the Secretary of State’s Office to explain how the bill would change authority over decisions on how to conduct the election.
Deputy Secretary of State Wayne Thorley responded that the legislation would create the “mail ballot” as a new type of ballot in addition to absentee ballots, and the office would lose control over when an “affected election” would be mandated. The time frame would be determined by the legislation, and if that time frame triggered an “affected election,” that decision would no longer be made by the .