Politics & Policy

Nevada Secretary of State Acted Swiftly in Overseas Ballot SNAFU

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has praised Nevada elections officials for working “quickly and cooperatively” to address a delay in mailing ballots to voters overseas due to the failure of a vendor to deliver some printed ballots on time.

The DOJ and the Nevada Secretary of State’s office have been working together during the current election cycle to monitor and enforce the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE Act), which requires local elections officials to mail ballots to uniformed and overseas voters 45 days before the election.

The 34 voters in question, 25 of whom are members of the military or their spouses, all have addresses in Elko County, where the vendor chosen to print the ballots failed to deliver them to the county clerk’s office on schedule. 

As a result, Secretary of State Ross Miller’s office filed an emergency regulation on October 6th allowing Elko County an additional six days to receive and count ballots from the voters. 

Prior to the adoption by Congress of the federal MOVE Act, Secretary Miller worked with the Nevada Office of Veteran’s Services to draft and adopt AB 41 during the 2009 session of the state Legislature. The new state law allows uniformed and overseas voters to register to vote, request and cast their absentee ballots electronically by fax or email. 

“We lobbied hard for AB 41 so Nevada men and women serving overseas can be further reassured that they will have the time and the options they need to vote in a timely way,” Secretary Miller said. 

In a statement issued Friday, Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ Civil Rights Division said he was pleased that “Nevada officials worked quickly and cooperatively with the department and adopted measures that will ensure the state’s military and overseas voters will have their votes counted in the upcoming election.” 

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