As the November election, and early voting quickly approaches, disenfranchising voters is a topic that is the focus of many conversations across the country.
“It is really concerning, and it’s something that we’re always looking for,” said Amy Rose, the legal director at the ACLU of Nevada.
Election officials are always determining who to remove from the state’s voting rosters. But how do they decide?
Organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union say states with Republican secretaries of state are trying to influence the vote by disproportionately removing minority voters from lists of active registered voters because they tend to vote Democrat.
“We want to make sure that if somebody is being taken off the rolls and their voter registration is canceled, that that is done in a non-discriminatory manner,” Rose said.
Rose says there’s no evidence of discriminatory voter maintenance practices in Nevada, but the organization does take issue with the interstate crosscheck system that some states use to check for double-voting.
The secretary of state’s office says although Nevada participates in crosscheck, the program has never been used for voter registration list maintenance. Also, the registrar of voters in each county is responsible for maintaining the voter rolls.
Joe Gloria is Clark County’s registrar of voters and he says his department reaches out by mail to voters who are inactive or who have moved, according to post office records.
“With that notice, they need to tell us ‘I’m still here,’ or ‘yes, I moved, here’s my new address,’ or ‘please cancel me, I’ve moved out, and I should no longer be eligible to vote,'” Gloria said.
Seventy percent of the state’s registered voters are in Clark County, and according to Gloria, his office very carefully follow federal law when maintaining the voter rolls.
“In December, the people who have been inactive and didn’t vote in 2016 and 2018, they will be removed from the list,” Gloria said.
According to Gloria, the bottom line is to get more voter participation, not less. That includes registering to vote for the November midterm election.
Those who need to register to vote can learn more about registering online here.