Fair Maps Nevada Press Release: Agreement Reached & Executive Order Needed

Today, the Fair Maps Nevada Coalition announced successfully negotiating an agreement with the Secretary of State and our election officials.  Please see the press release and letter to Governor Sisolak below.


Fair Maps Nevada

Press Release

The Fair Maps Nevada coalition reached an agreement with the Secretary of State’s Office and our county election officials today that sets the new signature submission deadline for our ballot petition to Monday, August 3, 2020.  We thank the Secretary of State and the county clerks and registrars for working with us on this compromise.  Every member of Fair Maps Nevada works constructively with our election officials throughout the year to ensure we have exemplary election processes. We appreciate their dedication to safe and secure voting, especially in these challenging times.

We are, therefore, now calling on Governor Sisolak to use his discretionary authority, as other Governors have, to issue an executive order that allows us to use the secure, reliable, and efficient online voter registration system, which Nevada has successfully used for many years, to gather signatures electronically, instead of the currently unsafe in-person signature process.  This system, that validates Nevadans eligibility to vote, can also securely and reliably validate signers who are eligible to sign our petition.

In fact, by using this system, which will validate eligibility to sign our petition at the point of signature, we will alleviate the usual burden on our county clerks and registrars to manually validate signatures after the petition submission date and ensure that we have no signature fraud.

Furthermore, if we are forced to engage in signature gathering activities that defy social distancing guidance, we could very likely spread COVID-19 and numerous groups could be excluded from signing our petition because they are at high risk for contracting and succumbing to the virus.  This includes the elderly, individuals with chronic diseases, voters who are immunocompromised, many voters with disabilities, minority communities who have already been disproportionately affected by the virus, and the family members of these high-risk groups who are trying their best to keep their loved ones safe and healthy.  These groups will be avoiding answering their doors and attending large events where petitions will circulate.  

Significantly, Nevadans serving out-of-state or overseas in the military or in civilian capacities also will suffer as they are always excluded from signing ballot petitions despite the fact that their right to vote is guaranteed by state and federal law.

“If Nevada can transition our entire primary election to an all-mail-in voting process, including a new electronic signature program that allows voters to “sign” their ballot envelopes virtually to add missing signatures, we assert that we should be allowed to protect Nevadans’ direct democracy rights through an existing electronic signature process.” –Sondra Cosgrove, Fair Maps Nevada

A federal judge ruled last week that our right to advance a constitutional amendment as a ballot question is protected by Nevada’s constitution and the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  We hope the Governor will recognize our right to ask all eligible Nevadans to help qualify our amendment without endangering anyone’s health and well-being.  We have supported the Governor’s wise executive directives to protect our community from COVID-19 and we will continue to support his directive to practice social distancing, but we need his help to continue to comply.

Finally, we thank our attorneys at McDonald Carano who have helped us navigate our state’s frustrating, confusing, and arduous petition process with a level of care and dedication far and above what we expected as clients.

Letter to Governor Sisolak:

Letter to the Governor

Letter to the Governor II