Election Integrity Paper Offers Path to Better Balloting

Kevin Dietrich

It’s an election year in Nevada, which means we can expect questions about long tabulation times, voter roll veracity and diminished confidence in our electoral process.

In an effort to improve the above, Nevada Policy has authored Efficient, Timely and Reliable: A Framework for Election Law in Nevada. The 42-page paper examines best practices and highlights what we can do to improve organization, transparency and voter confidence.

Among topics examined are voting-by-mail difficulties, problems associated with ballot harvesting and issues created by the state’s policy of receiving and counting ballots days after polls have closed.

“Trust in our electoral system has declined in recent years, but we believe our solutions can help reverse that trend,” said Nevada Policy President John Tsarpalas. “Nevada’s elections should be free, fair and transparent, and our paper explains what we can do to ensure that happens.”

Nevada has become a key battleground state in recent years with national attention focused on its elections. Sweeping modifications made during the Covid lockdown, including universal mail-in balloting, not requiring voters to show identification and allowing the collection and submission of completed mail-in or absentee ballots by a third party, has increased skepticism in state elections.

In addition, Nevada has a deserved reputation for being among the slowest states in the nation at counting votes, a fact which undermines public confidence in the election process.

Among recommendations in Efficient, Timely and Reliable: Requiring voters to write distinctive number identifiers on their mail ballots, such as drivers’ license numbers or the last four digits of their Social Security numbers; restoring the state’s longstanding prohibition on third party ballot collection with limited exceptions; and requiring all ballots be received for counting by election day.

Voter convenience and ballot integrity should not be seen as red or blue, Democratic or Republican causes, Tsarpalas said.

“Improving the election process requires everyone to understand that there are going to be inevitable trade-offs between good things,” he added. “There is no such thing as a perfect system, but that doesn’t mean Nevada can’t strive to improve the way it runs its elections.”

 

Kevin Dietrich

Kevin Dietrich

Kevin Dietrich joined Nevada Policy in 2022.

He has more than 20 years of experience in communications, including serving as the director of communications and marketing for the South Carolina Bankers Association, working as a speechwriter for South Carolina governor Mark Sanford and assisting with internal communications for CVS Caremark.

Kevin graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in Journalism and a minor in History. A fifth-generation Californian, he spent a decade as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, New York, New Hampshire and South Carolina.