Election Rules Approved by Secretary of State Despite Concerns

CARSON CITY – A Clark County Republican Party official and concerned Nevada voters Friday continued their assault on regulations proposed by Secretary of State Ross Miller to guide the 2012 election process.

More than a dozen speakers expressed concerns with different sections of the proposed regulations at a second public hearing.

Following the sometimes contentious hearing, the Secretary of State’s office adopted the regulations, which will now be considered by a legislative panel next week. Lawmakers have the final say on the new rules.

Photo courtesy of Joebeone via Wikimedia Commons.

Miller, a Democrat, was taken to task for attempting to move forward with the regulations at such a late date and without adequate time for public review. He was also accused by some Republican speakers of engaging in partisanship with the proposed changes.

But Miller said the changes are in line with Nevada statutes now on the books and that there was plenty of time for public comment before the first hearing.

“The meeting was posted 19 days prior to being held, and during that time, public comment could be submitted but we received only one submission,” Miller said in a statement last week.

Woody Stroupe, vice chairman of the Clark County Republican Party, said the proposed changes would open the electoral process to voter fraud, and he along with other speakers urged them to be tabled.

The Legislature, not a single state agency, should consider the proposed changes, he said.

But the Secretary of State’s office has said the proposed regulations do primarily relate to changes associated with Assembly Bills 81 and 82 as well as Assembly Bill 100, all passed by the Legislature this session.

The changes are not intended to erode the electoral process but rather to strengthen safeguards, contends Miller’s office.

“It is unfortunate that these individuals apparently haven’t taken the time to fully read the proposed regulations or completely digest their impact,” said Deputy Secretary of State Bob Walsh.

Concerns about the regulations include objections to changes to the process for allowing active members of the military to cast absentee ballots, the process for allowing inactive voters to cast ballots, the discretion given to election workers to decide whether a form of identification is valid, and election board discretion as to when polls will close and whether and when any late comers will be permitted to vote, Stroupe said.

“We should all be for fair elections, and we should all be for drafting regulations that ensure we have fair elections,” Stroupe said.

“The Nevada’s Voters Bill of Rights guarantees a fair vote for legal voters. Mr. Secretary, that is all we are asking,” said Stroupe during testimony.

Walsh said the claims that Nevada’s electoral process is or will now be susceptible to widespread fraud are unfounded and “erode confidence in our electoral process.”

“If these individuals have any actionable evidence of election law violations in prior elections, they should report it immediately to our Election Integrity Task Force so that we can aggressively investigate,” said Walsh. “Without any evidence, it is simply irresponsible to broadcast unsupported claims challenging the integrity of Nevada’s electoral process.”

The regulations are scheduled to be considered for approval by the Legislative Commission’s Subcommittee to Consider Regulations on Dec. 29. If adopted, they will govern the 2012 election process.

Elizabeth Crum also contributed to this story.

-

Audio clip:

Woody Stroupe, vice chairman of the Clark County Republican Party, says the proposed changes will lead to voter fraud:

122311Stroupe :22 we are asking.”

  • Tonys Take

    I have seen many a politician lie through his teeth while smiling, but Ross Miller has perfected it into an art form.  He licks the boots of the Socialists who wish to keep hold of their power.  Ya Ross, tell me it’s raining while you are relieving yourself on my leg.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eric-Boyer/100001905276024 Eric Boyer

    Tony, your take is kooky at best. In a democracy people vote, and some of them don’t vote for the people you like. Get over it. Spreading your paranoia and the “Fraud” lie, undermines faith in a system that has worked pretty well for a couple of hundred years. You right wingers just can’t accept that not everyone believes your garbage. Making it harder for American citizens to vote is the most UN-American thing you can do.