Nevada: GOP filed far fewer election complaints than claimed

People protest in support of counting all votes in the Nevada vote in front of the Clark County Election Department, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Las Vegas.

CARSON CITY — Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske announced Tuesday that staff had inventoried the contents of boxes that state Republican leaders delivered to the capital on March 4 and found far fewer complaints of alleged election fraud than state Republican Party Chair Michael McDonald had claimed.

McDonald said the four boxes that he and other Republican leaders hand-delivered for investigation contained proof of more than 120,000 instances of voter fraud that called into question the integrity of the 2020 election in the western swing state. The Secretary of State’s review found only 3,963 Election Integrity Violation reports submitted in McDonald’s name, which is less than one-third of the documents he claimed to have delivered.

The Secretary of State allows people to fill out the two-page Election Integrity Violation forms when they believe they have witnessed people breaking election laws, which staff subsequently investigate. Secretary of State spokeswoman Jennifer Russell said staff would continue to examine the complaints, some of which were already under investigation by law enforcement.

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In response, Republicans disputed the Secretary of State’s count. Jessica Hanson, the Nevada Republican Party’s executive director, said in a statement that the party had submitted 122,918 unique complaints on 40,669 election integrity violation forms, consolidating several similar complaints on some of the forms.

Hanson blasted Cegavske, who is also a Republican, for previously claiming no evidence of voter fraud existed and emphasized the fact that thousands of allegations were being examined or under investigation.

“Her office is validating our assertion that there is voter fraud in the 2020 election by claiming many of these reports were ‘already under investigation,’” she said of Cegavske. “We need better transparency from our elected officials investigating these matters, especially with so many Nevadans questioning the integrity of our voting process.”

Authorities have not yet determined that the allegations in the forms constitute voter fraud. Since November, Republicans have challenged Nevada’s election results in court, alleging outdated voter rolls, problems with signature verification and mail-in ballot irregularities. None of the efforts have yielded evidence of widespread voter fraud.

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Sam Metz is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.