Politics & Policy

Nevada Early Voting Breaks Records, Sec of State Calls for Greater Transparency

Almost 88,000 more Nevadans have voted early compared to this same point in time in the 2006 mid-term election, said Secretary of State Ross Miller’s office Monday. However, most early voters will be in the dark about campaign spending reports.

“That’s a huge increase of about 75 percent,” said Miller in reference to the early vote turnout compared to the last election. “We’re encouraged by that and at the same time frustrated that so many voters will have no knowledge of some of the campaign practices and record amounts of spending we’re seeing until after they’ve cast their ballots. 

Miller said at the current rate of early voting, more than 250,000 Nevadans could cast their votes by the end of the day tomorrow and before campaign spending reports are made public. Campaign contribution and expense (C & E) reports are due to be filed by the end of the day Tuesday, October 26.

Reports sent by regular mail have to be received by 5 p.m., while those sent by certified mail must be postmarked tomorrow. Reports filed online must be filed by 11:59 p.m. tomorrow. Some of the reports may not be received and posted to the Secretary of State or county clerk/registrar websites until after early voting ends Friday.

“It’s time for some serious reform in our reporting laws, and I’m asking the public to help me make that happen,” said Miller, who has called for greater public access to information by:

  • requiring candidates and PACs to electronically file contribution and expense reports;

  • establishing a searchable campaign contribution database;

  • adding to the reporting period an additional contribution and expense report to be submitted prior to the start of voting;

  • requiring candidates to report 4 days prior to election day any contribution over $1,000 received since the previous reporting period; 

  • requiring PACs to update registration annually with the Secretary of State’s office;

  • increased penalties for election violations;

  • requiring the parties making independent expenditures to register with the Secretary of State’s office, include disclaimers on their materials, and to report their finances before voting begins. 

  • Subjecting independent expenditures to the same contribution limits as candidates. 

Miller, who is up for reelection this year, voluntarily filed his own C&E report two weeks early.

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