Republican Backed Voter Suppression Effort Stopped By State Supreme Court


The Nevada state Supreme Court has issued a formal opinion denying an earlier Republican push for further GOP involvement in the already generally nonpartisan process of reviewing the signatures submitted with ballots in Clark County, which is the state’s largest by population and includes Las Vegas.

The GOP court effort originated before Election Day in this year’s midterms, and the court already issued an order denying the Republican push to compel action by local authorities in the county, but now issued is an opinion that voting rights lawyer Marc Elias said solidifies the win. The Republican National Committee, which is the main, national party organization of the GOP, originally brought this case arguing that staff involved with verifying mail-in voters’ signatures should be subject to state requirements for the partisan composition of election boards, although these staff members don’t necessarily constitute such a procedural body. “The Legislature has placed such express requirements in other statutes governing the election process, and it is for the Legislature, not this court, to determine whether similar requirements are warranted for signature verification of mail ballots,” the court said in its earlier order in this case.

Allowing the GOP to have its way could have opened up opportunities for chaos in the process of verifying the signatures Nevada voters submitted with ballots. This year in the state, Dems prevailed in a race for U.S. Senate in which the GOP candidate, Adam Laxalt, previously pushed conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, but Republicans won in the state’s race for governor. Dems generally ran ahead of expectations elsewhere too, though, like in Arizona, where candidates from the party won in races for governor, Secretary of State, and Senate. In that state, the Secretary of State fulfills some responsibilities ordinarily associated with the position of lieutenant governor elsewhere. Lawsuits in which losing GOP candidates in Arizona races for governor and Secretary of State challenged their losses have failed, as did as a case in which the Republican who lost the race for state attorney general challenged his defeat. The substantive and reasonably incontrovertible evidence for intentional misconduct affecting the election results just wasn’t there.