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October 21, 2020

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Sisolak denies request for extra scrutiny of ballot collectors


Matt Slocum / AP

A worker processes mail-in ballots at the Bucks County Board of Elections office prior to the primary election, Wednesday, May 27, 2020 in Doylestown, Pa.

Updated Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020 | 11 p.m.

Steve Sisolak

Steve Sisolak

Barbara Cegavske

Barbara Cegavske

Gov. Steve Sisolak has denied a request from Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske for extra scrutiny of people collecting and turning in multiple election ballots.

Last week, Cegavske requested an emergency regulation requiring anybody who returns 10 or more ballots to report any political, corporate or advocacy group ties to her office.

The request came after a bill passed in the last legislative special session expanded who can turn in ballots on behalf of other voters. The bill raised concerns from some Republicans that it could lead to fraud.

In a letter to Cegavske, Sisolak, a Democrat, said he was disappointed she would attempt to use “the emergency regulation process for what appears to be political reasons.”

The same bill expanded mail-in voting in Nevada to all active voters. President Donald Trump’s campaign is suing to stop the use of universal mail-in ballots in the November election.

In his letter, Sisolak said Cegavske’s request “echoes the voter suppression rhetoric being heard on the national stage with respect to Nevada’s voter assistance laws.”

“If you were truly interested in identifying and instituting safeguards for Nevada’s voter assistance laws, you could have worked with my administration directly — as we have on other projects since I took office — instead of announcing the request through the media,” Sisolak said.

Cegavske responded today, saying her office had made a number of requests to be involved in the drafting of legislation related to the upcoming election.

“Our requests were all dismissed or ignored, and my staff was only told what could be in the bill a day before it was introduced and heard in both houses,” Cegavske said.

“We received an actual copy of the bill at the same time it was made available to the public, roughly an hour before the Assembly heard the bill,” she said.