Updated September 21, 2022 - 10:30 am
The Republican National Committee filed a lawsuit against Clark County on Tuesday morning after the county allegedly failed to comply with a public records request that sought the political affiliations of its poll workers for the 2022 election.
“The RNC has consistently tried to work with Clark County to ensure that its election officials are following Nevada law by ensuring bipartisan representation among poll workers,” said party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel in a statement. “The County has refused our good-faith compromise and is hiding records that the public is legally allowed to see. Sunlight is the best disinfectant: we are suing Clark County to secure the election transparency that Nevadans deserve ahead of midterms.”
The RNC named Clark County, its election department and Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria as defendants in the lawsuit, according to the complaint filed Tuesday.
Jordan T. Smith, attorney for the party, wrote in the complaint that Nevada law requires a bipartisan team of poll workers at all polling locations, citing a Nevada statute that says “the registered voters appointed as election board officers for any polling place must not all be of the same political party.”
Nevada law also ensures elections are run openly and transparently by requiring election officials to provide records to the public about election processes, the RNC says.
“Like other government employees, poll workers are paid with taxpayer funds. Poll workers are also public facing at election sites around Clark County during early voting and on Election Day,” the complaint says.
Because they are paid with taxpayer funds, the RNC argues that information about poll workers is not confidential and is open to public inspection, Smith wrote.
According to the complaint, the party requested the county to produce the full name, title and political party affiliation of all poll workers employed in the 2022 primary election and those hired for the general. Gloria brought up privacy concerns as well as risk of harassment, so the RNC pledged that only its attorneys would view the information without releasing it to the public, according to the complaint.
The county has produced documents for other areas of the RNC’s requests, but not the information on poll workers due to “election security,” according to the complaint.
“Respondents’ denial of Petitioner’s public records request frustrates the public’s interests in open government and in ensuring a fair, transparent, and controversy-free election,” Smith wrote in the complaint.
The RNC filed similar lawsuits in Arizona and Michigan, two other swing states where former President Donald Trump claimed election fraud and where he claimed to have won in 2020. Arizona, Michigan, and Nevada are also part of the seven states where Republicans participated in the “Fake Elector” scheme where they signed documents declaring Trump to be the winner and sent them to Congress and the National Archives.
Dan Kulin, Clark County public information administrator, said in an email, “Clark County takes seriously the privacy of our poll workers to protect these citizens from harassment, threats, and other forms of intimidation. The integrity of our election process is critical and so is ensuring that those who are working to uphold the rights of all citizens to exercise their right to vote are not threatened by others who wish to unravel our election process.”