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Grade TL;DR

Nevada made significant pro-voter progress over the past two years. In 2021, we saw a number of pro-voter initiatives passed, including permanent vote-by-mail, shifting to a gold-standard AVR system, and more. The legislature that year managed to pass nearly every pro-voter improvement it could have. While the Legislature did not meet in 2022, the secretary of state’s office worked diligently all year to implement the pro-voter initiatives passed the previous year. Due to the robust, impactful progress made by the state, Nevada received an A on this year’s scorecard.

Looking Back

Where Nevada Started in 2020

  • Automatic Voter Registration: Front-End AVR
  • Online Voter Registration: DMV ID
  • Same-Day Registration: Yes
  • Restoration of Rights: Prison Disenfranchisement
  • Vote by Mail: No-Excuse
  • Electronic Registration Information Center Member: Yes
  • Early Voting Opportunities: Regular Ballot Early Voting
  • ID Requirements: No Document Required

Relying on the Cost of Voting Index for Nevada as of 2020, we considered the state a middle tier state for pre-existing voting policy and compared its 2021-22 activity against other middle tier states.

How Our Tier Compares:

  • COVI (2020): 28th
  • EPI Score (2020): 13th
  • CLC State Scorecard (2022): 9/10
  • MAP Democracy Rating (2022): MEDIUM

2021: Two Years Ago

Legislative Action

During the 2021 legislative session, Nevada passed several important pieces of legislation that massively expanded voting rights in the state.

  • Under AB 321, Nevada became the sixth state in the nation to shift to a permanent vote-by-mail system. All registered voters can now automatically receive a mail ballot for every election and voters, or any individual of the voter’s choice, may return those ballots via mail, in person, or at one of the dropboxes counties are required to provide. AB 321 also allows qualified individuals to register to vote through Election Day.
  • AB 432 allowed the state to remove unnecessary barriers to voter registration. The state shifted its existing front-end automatic voter registration (AVR) system to a back-end system. Now, all qualified citizens that provide proof of identity and citizenship will be automatically registered to vote during their DMV transaction. The state also expanded the list of agencies that can offer AVR beyond the DMV to include the Department of Health and Human Services, agencies that receive Medicaid applications, and the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, among others. The bill also allows tribal agencies to choose to offer AVR, pending approval by the governor.
  • AB 422 transitions its decentralized voter registration system to a streamlined top-down system. Under AB 422, the individual county-maintained voter registration systems are shifted to a centralized top-down database overseen by the secretary of state. The bill also requires the secretary to perform a risk-limiting audit of the 2022 general election and requires counties to continue performing risk-limiting audits through 2024.

2022: This Past Year

Legislative Action

The Nevada Legislature meets biennially during odd-numbered years, and therefore did not meet in 2022.

Implementation/Administrative Action

  • The secretary of state’s office is diligently working to enact all of the pro-voter improvements that were passed by the Legislature during the 2021 session.