Voter fraud virtually nonexistent in Nevada, report shows

FILE - Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar speaks before Gov. Joe Lombardo signs an election worker protection bill into law at the old Assembly Chambers in Carson City, Nev., May 30, 2023. To fight a poll worker shortage that is especially pronounced in rural counties, Aguilar is taking a page from counterparts elsewhere and proposing that the legal community be tapped to help address the problem. (AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes, File)

By Casey Harrison

April 16, 2024

The Nevada Secretary of State’s Office investigated 146 potential cases of fraud stemming from the 2022 election, which represents 0.0001% of the total ballots cast.

A new report from the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office released Monday showed “no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Nevada” stemming from the 2022 election, noting that many claims did not amount to a violation of the law.

Secretary of State Francisco Aguilar’s office said the state investigated at least 146 reports of alleged instances of double voting, which is a felony in Nevada, and that 14 election-related cases (which include double voting and other crimes) have been referred for possible prosecution since the 2020 election.

The 146 cases represent just 0.0001% of the 1,023,617 ballots cast during the 2022 general election and further dispel unfounded claims by former President Donald Trump and his allies that Nevada’s recent elections have been “rigged” against conservatives.

“There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Nevada, at any point in our state’s history,” Aguilar said in a statement released with the report, which his office notes will be updated quarterly. “That has not stopped the secretary of state’s office from receiving a major increase in questions about election fraud and integrity.”

The report also listed six alleged cases of double voting linked to the 2024 presidential preference primary, two of which remain open. The other four were closed with no violation found, the report states.

According to the report, even if an individual is caught voting twice, a crime only occurs if that person intends to break the law. It listed examples in which individuals who share a name (such as a father and son) and live in the same household may mistakenly cast the other’s mail ballot.

In that example, the secretary of state’s office would still investigate the matter, but if the office determines the error was a mistake, a civil notice letter would instead be sent to the double voter detailing the situation and the outcome of the investigation. The notice would also state no further action would be taken by the secretary of state’s office, unless more information is revealed, according to the report. The second ballot is not counted.

Of the 146 cases of suspected double voting, 44 cases were referred for further investigation by the Nevada Department of Public Safety and three were referred to the Nevada Attorney General’s office for prosecution. Another 29 were closed with no action taken, 15 were closed after a civil notice was issued, and 29 more were investigated by the secretary of state’s office with no criminal intent found.

MORE: Trump says he’s pro-worker. His record says otherwise.

Additionally, 26 cases remain open for “cross-state” voting violations, which happens when an individual casts a ballot in multiple states. Because Nevada has a partnership with other states and agencies, investigations in these cases begin after the secretary of state’s office is notified of a voter who may have voted in Nevada and another state during the same election. An example of this, the report says, is if a Nevada voter casts a mail ballot prior to election day, but moves out of state and tries to vote in their new home state on election day.

Since 2020, Nevada has primarily conducted its elections by utilizing mail voting. Lawmakers in 2021 passed a bill establishing universal mail voting, meaning each of the state’s registered voters are mailed a ballot to their address on file.

Aguilar, a proponent of universal mail voting, has said previously the shift has expanded voter access and will lead to greater election turnout. But in conjunction with the state’s deadline for processing mail votes—which can take several days before results are made official—the state’s universal mail ballot program has allowed Trump and other conservatives to seize on unfounded claims dating back to the 2020 race that mail voting is ripe with fraud.

Trump’s rhetoric, Aguilar has said previously, has resulted in his office and county-level elections offices to be inundated with calls ranging from legitimate questions about the election process to bogus fraud claims.

“We receive a large number of reports that did not consist of any actual violation of election law,” Aguilar continued in his statement. “This happens for a number of reasons; from lack of understanding of the law to attempts to overwhelm our office during an election cycle with unfounded allegations. Regardless, we take every allegation seriously and investigate them to the fullest extent of the law.”

  • Casey Harrison

    Casey Harrison is political correspondent for The Nevadan. Previously, he covered politics and the Oakland Athletics' relocation to Southern Nevada for the Las Vegas Sun, and before that, was a digital producer at The Detroit News. Casey graduated from Michigan State University in 2019.



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