State legislation to introduce universal mail-in voting has raised the stakes in this blue-tinted battleground.
Election Integrity Grade
Barbara Cegavske (R)
Elected - In Office Since 2015
Budget Allocation For Elections: $5,673,383
Per Capita Investment In Elections: $1.84
In Nevada, elections are overseen by the Secretary of State, a directly elected state officer who serves a four-year term. The current Secretary of State is Republican Barbara Cegavske; Cegavske defeated Nelson Araujo (D) in 2018 to win re-election to a second term. Cegavske will be up for re-election in 2022.
Nevada Democrats, led by Governor Steve Sisolak, took action to address the need for enhanced mail-in ballot access by passing legislation in August introducing universal vote-by-mail. The Trump campaign immediately and inaccurately painted this as an "illegal coup', setting the stage for a legal fight.
Secretary Cegavske has, by all public accounts, attempted to remain above the fray - she objected to mail-in voting in an op-ed, but, since the legislation passed, has executed the duties of her office, including filing a motion to dismiss the Trump lawsuit.
Statements on Voter Fraud
Support for Vote By Mail
Nevada is at the forefront of many baseless Republican claims of voter fraud, including former Senator Dean Heller claiming residents would be able to vote twice. Deputy Secretary of State Wayne Thorley pushed back with public comments. (B-)
Nevada is using state and federal funds to hire additional poll workers in anticipation of need prior to November's election. This effort includes boosted pay, training, and additional workers to monitor health and safety conditions. (A-)
Nevada made news when Donald Trump's reelection campaign filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block the state's plan to mail ballots to all registered voters. Sec. Cegavske herself has been quiet, but her office moved to dismiss the suit. (B-)
Nevada uses voting machines that provide an auditable paper record, but does not require elections officials to complete cybersecurity training, and its system for post-election auditing and reconciliation is not in line with best practices. (C)
This summer's legislation to address electoral logistics was met with accusations of partisanship. It drew a response from Sec. Cegavske blaming "partisan activists on the left" in an op-ed that otherwise made the case for bi-partisanship. (C)
Nevada has a relatively clean electoral history, with a competent administrative service and few instances of controversy. MIT's Elections Performance Index rated Nevada as a top ten state in its handling of the 2016 contest. (A-)
KEY PUBLIC STATEMENTS
Former U.S. Senator
He’s lying about our state leaders and threatening a bogus lawsuit simply because Democrats made it easier for people to vote.
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.
Dep. Secretary of State
Nevada has many protections in place to ensure elections are fair and accurate, including safeguards that ensure no voter is allowed to cast more than one ballot in any given election.