Law varies by state; current Nevada rule allows counties to accept for 4 days post-election
CARSON CITY, Nev. (KLAS) — Nevada Republicans formally submitted a proposal Wednesday to limit the acceptance of mail-in ballots to Election Day and not four days after an election as is current state law.
Republican Assems. Danielle Gallant, Ken Gray, Bert Gurr and Toby Yurek submitted Assembly Bill 230 to the record Wednesday.
The bill would change the deadline for a county clerk to receive a ballot to Election Day at 5 p.m. A voter would have to mail their ballot before the end of the early voting period.
Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo said in his State of the State Address in January that he would support such a measure. Republican Assem. Gregory Hafen II, of Pahrump, introduced similar legislation in February. Hafen’s bill would also require voter identification.
Nevada law allows mail-in ballots to be accepted for four days after an election. The change in the law, passed and signed by former Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, was a compromise and changed from seven days.
Colorado, which is a universal mail-in ballot state, requires all ballots to be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day. In contrast, Utah, also a universal mail-in ballot state, requires ballots be postmarked one day before Election Day and received before the county canvass, several days later, according to vote.org.
Nevada is not a universal mail-in ballot state. Voters can choose to vote in person or by mail early or in person on Election Day. Registered voters can also opt out of receiving a mail-in ballot if they wish.
It took several days to tabulate hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots in Clark County during the 2020 and 2022 November elections. Former Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said the speed issue was less about volume and more about “statutory deadlines that prevent[ed] [him] from finishing early.”
There were more than 1.3 million registered voters in Clark County as of Wednesday. All mail-in ballots are processed in one location.
“It’s time Nevada elections stopped being the national laughingstock, and that we return to getting results Election Night,” the Nevada Republican Party tweeted about the bill’s proposal.
Several people attempted to vote twice in the November election in Nevada, but not enough to sway any race result, the 8 News Now Investigators first reported in December. State investigators have identified people who attempted to vote twice, whether purposely or on accident. Each case is treated seriously until investigators determine no criminal intent.
State and county security measures identified the attempted double votes, tossing their second attempts from the system. The votes are not counted.
Measures the Nevada Legislature put in place in 2021, alongside the mail-in voting law, scrubbed voter rolls of non-eligible and deceased voters.
It is unlikely the Republican-introduced election bills will move forward with a Democratic-controlled legislature. In his January address, Lombardo said should the legislature not work to make these changes, he would work to put the measures before a public vote.