LVRJ: Lombardo Election Bill Represents Common Sense

(Las Vegas Review-Journal) – Gov. Joe Lombardo has offered a sensible election reform proposal — which stands little chance of emerging from a Legislature dominated by Democrats. Too bad.

The governor last week unveiled Senate Bill 405, which would eliminate a handful of “emergency” election changes that lawmakers passed during the pandemic. For instance, the legislation would end the practice of mailing a ballot to every registered voter, whether they requested one or not. It would also outlaw ballot “harvesting,” in which third parties collect and submit ballots from individual voters.

In addition, a voter ID requirement is included, as is a provision to move up the deadline for returning mail ballots to ensure votes may be tallied on Election Day.

Right on cue, Democrats accused Gov. Lombardo of trying to prevent Nevadans from exercising their right to vote. “Gov. Lombardo is making his priorities clear: rolling back voting rights,” Daniele Monroe-Moreno, chair of the state Democratic Party, said in a statement,

Balderdash. Not a single Democrat in the Legislature argued prior to COVID that Nevada was engaging in voter suppression by failing to enact universal mail balloting. Nor did they advocate for allowing political operatives to go door to door hunting for ballots.

The fact that Ms. Monroe-Moreno engages in political pandering rather than debating the merits of these policies through substantive argument speaks volumes. Demagoguery is the first refuge of scoundrels.

Democrats aren’t eager to change a system they created and exploited, but polls show that Gov. Lombardo’s election proposals are popular — and for good reason.

Voter ID requirements are grounded in common sense and include safeguards for rare hardship cases. Earlier deadlines for mail ballots will in no way disenfranchise anyone and will help election officials deliver timely results.

Meanwhile, harvesting dangerously disrupts the chain of custody for ballots, opening the door to all manner of chicanery. For decades, individual voters have been responsible for returning their own ballots or going to the polls to vote. What pressing problem does ballot harvesting solve without creating additional security concerns?

Similarly, universal mail ballots also exacerbate ballot security issues, particularly when the voter rolls are not regularly updated and purged. Yet Democrats also maintain that efforts to clean up registration lists are part of a nefarious GOP plot to keep the downtrodden from participating in democracy.

But of greater importance, Gov. Lombardo’s legislation might help quiet conspiracy theorists by striking a balance between election integrity and access when it comes to free and fair elections. The “anything goes” approach to balloting favored by today’s progressives achieves precisely the opposite.

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