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Nevada Assembly bill would address potential voter registration fraud

CARSON CITY — Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske told an Assembly panel on Tuesday that there’s no evidence of voter fraud in the last election, but there have been cases of voter registration fraud.

Some problems came from third-party voter registration drives, and the secretary of state has requested legislation intended to address some of those shortcomings. Cegavske made her comments during a presentation Tuesday before a joint meeting of the Assembly Judiciary Committee and the Assembly Committee on Corrections, Parole, and Probation.

“We don’t have any evidence that anybody illegally voted,” Cegavske told the panel.

The state office has seen fraud associated with voter registration drives and petition drives. Two arrests have been made, and other cases are being investigated.

Assembly Bill 45 would add requirements to groups and individuals involved in voter registration and petition drives. For example, non-government groups mailing voter registration information to people would have to include a notice that they aren’t official elections agencies. The law also allows the secretary of state’s office to adopt regulations that determine qualifications, such as training, needed to participate in voter registration and petition drives.

In one case, Renaldo Johnson of Las Vegas was arrested on a 15-count felony indictment for his work on the Nevada Green Party’s ballot access petition. Charges include six counts of misconduct for Johnson allegedly signing a person’s name without authority.

In the other case, a Pahrump woman was indicted for allegedly fasifying the party affiliations of voters in Nye County before the June 2016 primary.

Wayne Thorley, deputy secretary of state for elections, told lawmakers there were no significant issues with voter intimidation in the 2016 election.

Historically, there are isolated cases of illegal voting. In 2014, A Washoe County voter living in the U.S. illegally was sentenced to 103 days in jail for registering to vote under a false name and casting ballots in the 2008 and 2010 elections.

Hortencia Segura-Munoz, also known as Mariela Reyna, was given credit for time served in the sentence imposed by Washoe County District Court on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump has suggested that an investigation into voter fraud is needed. The claim has drawn skepticism amid a lack of hard evidence, even within Trump’s party. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told CNN this week that no federal funding should be spent on an investigation in voter fraud.

Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-0661. Follow @BenBotkin1 on Twitter.

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