NV State Seal with text elections regarding Secretary of State

Is NV Secretary of State Abiding by the Law?

Open Letter to Nevada Secretary of State:

Introduction: A condensed version of an open letter to Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar of June 23, 2023 that makes the complaint that internet-based election systems eviscerate counties’ rights to designate places of elections and to regulate local elections.

Nevada Constitution: Art 1 Sec. 2: “All political power is inherent in the people[.]”

Nevada Constitution: Art 4 Sec. 20: “The legislature shall not pass local or special laws in any of the following enumerated cases—that is to say:

Regulating the election of county and township officers;

Providing for opening and conducting elections of state, county, or township officers, and designating the places of voting;”

The Nevada Constitution clearly states that “legislature shall not pass local or special laws” that interfere with local governance in the conduct of elections. Internet-based voting eviscerates those rights by its nature as a top-down system controlled by you.

Instead of the well-accustomed and secure system based on paper ballots, you have created a multi-tiered system of voting:

  • in-person
  • official mail
  • PDF ballot self-printed on unofficial paper sent by fax or by mail, using an unofficial envelope
  • email using PDF ballots

Counties have thus lost control of regulating elections and designating the places of elections in violation of their rights.

Your office controls the NV Effective Absentee System for Elections (EASE) system. Your office is sending and receiving PDF ballots to/from civilian voters, then digitally signing the PDF ballots in your office. Your office allows voters to print their own ballots using unofficial paper (and unofficial envelope if returned by mail )or paper alone if returned by fax.

NV EASE Demo (click link)

Your office has no way to know of the safety and security of a ballot for voters using NV EASE. You have not proven that the system itself is safe and secure. You have perverted the standard of counting and recounting ballots as enshrined in the Voter’s Bill of Rights because you offer both tangible and intangible ballots and don’t treat them equally under the law.

The three methods of voting that NV EASE provides offer three levels of security:

  • Return by mail = most secure
  • Return by email = secure
  • Return by fax = least secure

“Most secure” equates to greater security, but NV EASE fails to include in-person voting, which offers the greatest level of security possible, especially when combined with the voter’s presentation of a proper picture ID with signature and one’s ability to answer basic questions from a poll worker.

NV EASE’s failure to announce in-person voting or official mail voting as options is a violation of Consumer Protection rights pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 7001 (B).

Your rush to get the Voter Registration and Election Management Solution (VREMS) project online in time for 2024 is nothing short of reckless and ignores the advice of your staff. Mark Wlaschin, Deputy Secretary of State for Elections, stated before the Standing Interim Legislative Operations and Elections Committee on April 1, 2022, “It does not appear that we’ll be able to effectively implement the top-down voter registration (timestamp 11:35.32) prior to January of 2024, but the intent is not do it quickly, but do it properly. So, as it currently stands, I estimate prior to January 2026.”

Wlaschin continued, “The public perception, again, while very important, the goal is to make sure that it’s done right. Our electorate deserves it to be done right, first.”

Do you concur with Mr. Wlaschin on that last point that the project “be done right, first”?

I ask that you reconsider your zealous pursuit of new technology in elections and halt the extension of internet-based voting to disabled civilians that eviscerates county’s rights because the whole thing is controlled by you.

Please consider the gravity of my complaint and as it relates to the rights of counties and the system of bottom-up governance that I cherish as an elector.

I am the Elector, the primary stakeholder in elections, so I hope my words have bearing and import.

Thank you for your interest.

O Williams self photo(Oscar Dey Williams is a writer, historian, and election integrity advocate in Washoe County.)

(The views expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Nevada Signal.)