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EDITORIAL: Democrats ignore election security, create distrust

National Republicans have filed two lawsuits challenging Nevada’s election laws and procedures. One of the filings alleges the state fails to maintain accurate voter rolls. Another questions the legality of counting mail ballots received after Election Day.

Democrats have naturally stepped up the criticism.

“This lawsuit is little more than political theater,” maintains a legal brief from the Democratic National Committee in the voter roll dispute, “designed less to address any real (much less substantial) issue with Nevada’s voter registration lists, than to sow public distrust in the security and integrity of our electoral systems.”

Whether or not these GOP legal salvos succeed will be determined in a court of law. But if anyone is searching for those seeking to “sow public distrust” in the election process, they might begin with the Democratic lawmakers who overhauled Nevada’s election system for partisan political ends.

You don’t have to embrace Donald Trump’s stolen election guff to recognize that many of the voting reforms which have emerged from Carson City in recent years under the guise of expanding access to the franchise have been designed with little regard for election security.

For instance, universal mail ballots — necessitating the delivery of ballots to every registered voter, whether they requested one or not — was originally imposed as an emergency pandemic measure to ensure Nevadans didn’t have to risk disease at the polls. Nevada Democrats later made the approach permanent despite photos of ballots piled up at cluster mail boxes and numerous instances of ballots being mailed to the wrong address.

Progressive lawmakers have also sanctioned ballot harvesting, under which activists may collect and return votes, obliterating any chain of custody protections. They consistently block voter ID laws. They legalized mail ballots that arrive up to four days after Election Day, even if they have no discernible postmark. They created automatic registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles without a citizenship check.

And anyone who dares question the changes is smeared as a racist advocate of voter suppression.

In fact, none of these reforms does anything to inspire public confidence in the electoral process. The fact that there’s scant evidence of widespread fraud in Nevada’s recent balloting doesn’t make the current system less susceptible to it.

Encouraging participation in the democratic process is important. But safeguards to ensure the integrity of the vote are equally vital. Nevada Democrats have swung so far toward the former for political gain that they now virtually ignore the latter. That this has created more electoral skeptics should be no surprise. If they truly seek to mitigate “public distrust” in our elections, it’s time Democratic lawmakers embraced a more balanced approach.

This commentary initially appeared in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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