(Chuck Muth) – Yesterday, Republican Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoed Senate Bill 404 (SB404), characterizing it in his message to Democrat Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro as “a bad bill.”
The bill passed both houses of the Legislature on straight party line votes; 28-14 in the Assembly and 13-8 in the Senate.
But while the Democrats have a 2/3 super-majority in the Assembly to override the governor’s veto, they are one vote short in the Senate as long as no Republican switches their vote.
The governor reminded Cannizzaro that “voting is one of our most important and sacred rights” and that we should “make it easier to vote while also making it harder to cheat.”
As he pointed out, SB404, among other things, “weakens residency requirements” and “restricts a voter’s ability to challenge another voter’s eligibility.”
As for the residency issue, the governor noted that the bill “would potentially allow voters who no longer reside at a previous address to vote without sufficient proof the voter indeed resides at the location provided in their identification.”
This goes to the heart of the mission of our Pigpen Project.
It’s quite easy, indeed common, for a voter to move to a new address without advising the election department of the move. Or even changing their address on their driver’s license for that matter.
And that gets to the second BIG problem with this “bad bill.”
“By restricting voter eligibility challenges,” the governor wrote, “SB404 would serve to decrease confidence in elections by limiting the mechanisms by which voters themselves can prevent fraudulent voting.”
If SB404 had been passed into law, it would prohibit anyone from challenging “the ability of a registered voter to vote by mail ballot.”
Here’s why this is so bad…
If a questionable voter shows up in person who is suspected of not living where they’re registered, existing law allows someone to challenge their eligibility at the polling location and the voter must prove their residency before being given a ballot.
However, if, say, the Pigpen Project identifies and CONFIRMS that a voter no longer lives at the address where they’re registered, we would be unable to challenge that voter BEFORE mail-in ballots are automatically mailed out.
And THAT makes it easier to cheat.
Gov. Lombardo’s own proposed election reform bill, SB405, never even got a hearing, let alone a vote.
As the governor noted, his bill “would have enhanced election integrity by requiring some form of government identification to vote,” adding that “this is basic common sense.”
“After all,” Lombardo continued, “we already unquestionably require all citizens to carry identification to drive, buy age-restricted items, get a hotel room, board a plane, open a bank account, apply for Medicaid or Social Security, etcetera.”
Like the man said…common sense. Which is obviously sorely lacking in legislative Democrats.
“SB 405 would have ended universal mail-in ballots,” the governor added. “Anyone and everyone who wants or needs a mail-in ballot can and should have the right to request and receive one, but they should not automatically be sent to every voter at an exorbitant cost to the State each election cycle.”
“For these reasons,” Gov. Lombardo concluded, “I veto this bill and return it without my signature or approval.”
Ah, the difference a Republican governor makes.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“We know, and I guarantee you’ll agree, the voter rolls are not clean. You can ask the person next to you if they’re aware of somebody [that] moved out of the house two years ago and they’re still getting their ballots, and that ballot’s still available for anybody to grab and take the chance of filling it out.” – Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo
The Pigpen Project is a project of Citizen Outreach Foundation, an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) grassroots organization founded in 1992. Donations are tax-deductible for federal income tax purposes.