How Flaws in the Laws are Keeping Nevada Voter Lists “Dirty”

(Chuck Muth) – Here’s a fact: There are thousands of voters on the active voter registration lists in Nevada who no longer live at the address where they are registered – which is a violation of state election law.

Now here’s the problem…

Election officials are complying with existing “list maintenance” laws regarding removing such voters from the voter rolls, however…

There are flaws in the law.  And the process election officials are following – as outlined under current law – misses thousands of voters who fall through the cracks.

You see, the current process requires election officials to mail a confirmation postcard to voters who fail to vote in two successive federal elections.

And if the cards are returned by the post office, the voter is moved from “active” to “inactive” status – which means they’ll no longer automatically receive a mail-in ballot.

However, they only mail those cards right after an election.  And the change-of-address notices folks fill out when they move are only in effect for six months, unless they renew.

So if the voter moves more than six months before the election department mails out the confirmation cards, the confirmation cards are NOT returned by the post office and the voter remains on the active voter registration list.

That’s where the Pigpen Project comes in.

While election mail is no longer returned by the post office after six months, the change-of-address notice remains on file in the National Change of Address (NCOA) database – which we now have access to – for three or four years.

So we’re able to identify thousands of voters who have notified the post office that they’ve moved PERMANENTLY from the Nevada address where they’re registered to somewhere else even though the post office no longer returns their mail to the election department.

In addition, in the 17 states so far where we’ve obtained access and data, we’re able to identify, match and confirm thousands of former Nevada voters who have not only moved to another state but have since registered to vote in that new state.

The good news is, so far we’ve only found one example of a voter who was registered in two states and voted in both states in the same election.  And we filed an Election Violation Report on the voter back in March (which is still under investigation).

However, as long as ballots are being mailed to people who no longer live where the ballots are being sent, the potential for voting fraud remains high – even if we haven’t been able to identify it in previous elections.

Now, the Secretary of State and the county clerks/registrars have access to this same information.  However, this is a long, complicated, ongoing problem for which they maintain they don’t have the staff they need to do it.

So we’ve been doing it for them.  However…

Even though we’re using the same official government data approved by the Secretary of State – the NCOA list – state law has goofy restrictions on how we can report and submit what we find to election officials.

And until that problem is worked out, we’re limited to the long, time-consuming/labor-intensive process of going door-to-door to get Non-Residency Reports signed by current residents stating that the former resident/voter no longer lives there.

Problem here is that some residents refuse to sign the form while others aren’t home when our volunteers knock on the door. So we’re still missing a lot even with “boots on the ground.”

As we continue trying to work all this out with election officials, our crack research investigator, Dan Burdish, has put together some information to give you an idea of just how bad this problem is.

Based on official government NCOA data, here’s a map of blue dots showing where all the Clark County voters we’ve identified as having moved out of state are still registered…

This map of red dots shows where those active registered voters now live…

Dan has also pulled together some additional interesting numbers on how this affects each Clark County commission district – based on limited data we’ve acquired and reviewed so far.  I’ll use my own Clark County Commission E district as an example…

  • 770 active registered voters have moved to another state
  • 179 active registered voters have moved to another county within Nevada
  • 727 active registered voters have moved within District E
  • 238 active registered voters have moved into District A
  • 229 active registered voters have moved into District B
  • 157 active registered voters have moved into District C
  • 273 active registered voters have moved into District D
  • 143 active registered voters have moved into District F
  • 378 active registered voters have moved into District G


And this is a problem almost no one is talking about and which isn’t addressed in state law.

State law only provides for “challenges” to voters who have moved from the address where they’re registered if they move to another county or another state.  And even then, under extremely strict conditions that block our organization from filing such challenges.

If a voter moves from one county commission district to another within the same county, there’s no provision in law to challenge such voters even though they’re being allowed to vote in a county commission race where they no longer live.

Why should someone who no longer lives in my county commission district be allowed to vote for who is going to represent me on the county commission?  Why should someone now living in Mesquite be allowed to vote for the commissioner who will represent their old district in Laughlin?

They shouldn’t. But there’s nothing in existing state law that enables us to challenge them and force them to re-register and vote in the district where they now live.

This applies to state senate and state assembly races, as well.

Overall, using the limited data we currently have access to, Dan has identified and confirmed over 30,000 voters currently registered in Clark County who are now living in another state.

And of those, we have identified and confirmed that over 10,000 have since registered to vote in their new state.

Trust me, as confusing and complicated as this all sounds, it’s actually far worse.

But we’re on it.  Making progress one step at a time, slowly but surely.  And I’ll keep you posted as we continue our efforts to fix this problem so Nevada voters can have a higher level of confidence in the security of Nevada elections.


“When you have dirty voting rolls, you can have dirty elections.” – Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch

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.

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