Jeff Fuentes Gleghorn
The two main candidates for Nevada’s Secretary of State this year are both focused on mail-in voting. Republican candidate Jim Marchant is the head of the America First Secretary of State Coalition, a collection of conservative secretary of state candidates that argue the 2020 election was stolen. The coalition Marchant leads calls for an end to mail-in voting and early voting. In contrast, the campaign website for Democratic candidate Cisco Aguilar says that “Cisco will also protect our freedom to vote early, before Election Day by mail or in a drop box.”
Currently Nevada requires county and city clerks to send all active, registered voters a mail ballot before every primary or general election. This became law in 2021 after Democrats in the state legislature passed a bill along party lines to permanently adopt an all-mail voting system.
“At a time when State legislatures across the country are attempting to roll back access to the polls, I am so proud that Nevada continues to push forward with proven strategies that make voting more accessible and secure,” Sisolak said when he signed the bill. “Nevada has always been widely recognized as a leader in election administration and with this legislation, we will continue to build on that legacy.”
Mail-in voting is particularly important for communities outside of Clark County, where voting stations are sometimes hours away. Nearly two out of three people in Nevada live in Clark County, which means the other third of the residents are spread out across the rest of the expansive state. This makes for long drives to the polls for some communities. For example, in 2016, two Native American tribes had to drive nearly 100 miles round trip to make it to a voting station. Mail-in ballots are important for communities like theirs to have a reasonable chance to vote.