Nevada: GOP filed baseless election fraud allegations
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske said Wednesday that her office reviewed election fraud allegations that state Republican Party leaders delivered to her office in March and found that some allegations were already under investigation, while the vast majority were baseless or inaccurately interpreted.
“Our investigation revealed that these allegations and others are based largely upon an incomplete assessment of voter registration records and lack of information,” said Mark Wlaschin, Cegavske’s Deputy Secretary for Elections.
In a 13-page report released on Wednesday, the Election Division specifically refuted the majority of the thousands of allegations of double-voting, voting with fake addresses and ballots being cast under the names of registered voters who recently died. The report said that 10 out of 1,506 allegations of ballots being cast in the names of the deceased and 10 out of 1,778 allegations of double-voting remain under investigation.
The findings are in response to reports that Nevada Republicans — led by state party chair Michael McDonald — submitted to Cegavske after she repeatedly said that no evidence of widespread voter fraud had been found in the 2020 election. Republicans said the boxes contained more than 120,000 specific allegations, but an inventory by the Secretary of State found 3,963 Election Integrity Violation reports — less than claimed, but significantly more than in past election years.
While the only Republican elected to statewide office in Nevada, Cegavske has been the subject of intense criticism from her own party. She has repeatedly pledged to investigate allegations, but angered some party-members for insisting no evidence of fraud or a stolen election has arisen.
She has also put out “Facts vs. Myths” pamphlets defending the vote-counting machines used by counties and debunked conspiracy theories, for example about the Pakistani government accessing voter information.
“It was essential that we took the time to fully evaluate each complaint and to make a determination based on the merits of each report,” she said.
President Joe Biden defeated former President Donald Trump by 33,596 votes, or 2.4 percentage points, in Nevada. Republicans challenged the results in months that followed, filing lawsuits alleging outdated voter rolls, flawed signature verification procedures and irregularities stemming from the Democrat-controlled Legislature’s decision to send all active voters mail ballots ahead of the election.
None of the efforts have yielded evidence of widespread, systemic voter fraud. Republican leaders have appeared at “Stop the Steal” rallies and openly questioned Biden’s victory. McDonald and other county-level Republican Party leaders held a mock elector ceremony outside of the Legislature in December.
The state Republican Party voted to censure Cegavske earlier this month and accused her of not upholding her oath of office.
Sam Metz is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.