Republican National Committee names Douglas in voter roll lawsuit

Voters line up on Election Day 2022 at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center in Gardnerville.

Voters line up on Election Day 2022 at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center in Gardnerville.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.

A federal lawsuit filed by the Republican National Committee claims that Douglas County has 4 percent more active voters than it has residents eligible to vote.

Lyon is accused of having 5 percent more and tiny Storey County has 13 percent more voters than voting age adults.

“The Secretary of State believes this lawsuit is meritless, and will be filing a motion to dismiss,” Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar said on Friday.

The lawsuit was received by the Secretary of State’s Office on Thursday. Douglas County Clerk-Treasurer Amy Burgans said she had yet to be served and referred to Aguilar’s statement.

The Nevada Attorney General’s Office, on behalf of the Secretary of State’s Office, previously sent a response letter back in December disagreeing with initial claims made regarding Nevada’s compliance with the National Voter Registration Act.

In the December letter, Aguilar said his office was implementing a top-down voter registration system approved by the 2023 Legislature, which would alter the former method of relying on the counties to determine their registration.

The system is scheduled to be implemented in July.

“This system will expedite the identification of individuals who have moved within Nevada’s counties and result in more efficient list maintenance,” Aguilar said.

Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties have Republican majorities. Through a purely political lens the actual target is likely Clark County, which has a majority of the state’s Democrats and where the number of active voters is allegedly 91 percent of the residents. Carson City is listed as having 92 percent.

The lawsuit was filed less than a week after the U.S. Census Bureau issued county population estimates for July 1, 2023.

According to the Census, there were 49,545 residents living in Douglas County, which was well below the Nevada Demographer’s estimate of 54,343 for the same date.

The Secretary of State’s Office reported there were 41,277 active voters registered in the county in July 2023. As of March 5, there were 43,403 active voters and 2,527 inactive voters registered in the county. Of those 21,561 were Republicans, with 10,165 nonpartisan and 7,935 Democrats.

Clark County accounts for 72 percent of the Silver State’s voters, with more voters registered as Independent Americans than there are people in Douglas County by any measure. There are 1.396 million registered voters in Clark County.

In a statement to The Record-Courier, a representative of the Census said people shouldn’t try to compare their estimates to recorded data like voter numbers.

“Due to the variance inherent in survey estimates, we do not recommend combining survey data from the ACS with administrative record data, such as those produced as part of voter tallies, in this way,” a spokesperson told The R-C in December. “This is especially true for smaller geographies, where the variance of estimates are larger than they are for the nation or state as a whole.”

The spokesperson said the margin of error could be around 90 percent, which would account for the difference between the Census and the State Demographer.


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