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VICTOR JOECKS: Trump lost his Nevada lawsuit. But election integrity questions remain unanswered.

The Trump campaign lost its Nevada court case, but questions it raised about Nevada’s election system remain unanswered.

On Tuesday, the Nevada Supreme Court rejected the Trump campaign’s election appeal. In one of its filings, the Trump campaign noted it had less than three hours to submit its supplemental brief.

Democrats hailed this as validation of the integrity of Nevada’s election. The Trump campaign “never once presented sufficient evidence of widespread fraud,” Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford tweeted. “Yes, they spouted nonsense in the media. But they never backed it up in court.”

Ford’s dismissal of fraud is like a cop showing up to a bank whose vault doors are swinging open and declaring nothing was taken. Government officials need to find out what happened, not jump to conclusions based on preferred political outcome.

That’s why what the Trump campaign found is still concerning. This isn’t about Trump winning a second term. What happened in Nevada was never going to stop Joe Biden from becoming president. It’s about the integrity of Nevada’s election system, both in 2020 and going forward.

Start with evidence that didn’t get considered. The District Court allowed the Trump campaign to subpoena some documents. The DMV produced a list of “non-U.S. citizens who obtained identifications,” according to a Trump campaign filing. The campaign then cross-referenced that list with the voter rolls and identified 3,987 non-U.S. citizens who voted. The court didn’t accept this list because of a timing issue.

This is a plausible claim. Nevada has automatic voter registration, which can register noncitizens who receive driver’s licenses. In 2018, the California DMV announced that it improperly registered around 1,500 noncitizens to vote.

State officials should investigate this. Maybe it’s nothing, but credible leads should be followed up, not dismissed out of hand.

The evidence of double, dead and out-of-state voters deserves similar consideration. The Trump campaign says it identified tens of thousands of questionable voters, which it submitted under seal. It based that claim on database comparisons. Its expert said his analysis had a less than 5 percent margin of error.

The District Court’s decision didn’t detail specific errors in those lists. Instead, it relied on Michael Herron, an elections expert for the defense, to avoid wading into specifics. Herron looked at Nevada elections from 2012 to the 2020 primary. He concluded “the illegal vote rate totaled at most only 0.00054 percent,” according to the ruling.

To reach that number, he examined reported cases of election fraud, which is unlikely to include all illegal acts. A few Google searches couldn’t tell Herron — or anyone — about people who committed voter fraud and were never caught. The implication that people who commit voter fraud turn themselves in after the fact is nonsensical.

Herron also looked at voter fraud literature in the United States and concluded the Trump campaign’s allegations were highly unlikely. That would be like someone in 2006 saying that the housing market is fine across the country so don’t worry about a Las Vegas bubble. I tried to reach Herron via phone and email, but he didn’t respond.

The Clark County Election Department doesn’t have anyone to investigate fraud. It refers concerns to the secretary of state’s office, which has one part-time investigator for this issue. There are a half-dozen personnel in another division who can help if needed. Ford, Nevada’s top prosecutor, is openly hostile to those concerns.

How do election officials uncover voter fraud when they aren’t looking for it? You don’t, which is exactly what many of them seem to prefer.

— Contact Victor Joecks at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Listen to him each Monday at 3 p.m. with Kevin Wall on AM 670 KMZQ. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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