by Democracy Docket, May 2, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last month, two lawsuits rooted in post-2020 Big Lie conspiracies were filed seeking to drastically expand election observation activities in two Nevada counties. Republican voters in Goldman v. Cegavske and Beadles v. Cegavske have sued the Republican secretary of state in Nevada, demanding increased opportunities for election observation during future voting and ballot counting processes. The plaintiffs argue that Nevada election officials failed to offer meaningful observation opportunities during the 2020 election cycle and suggest that observers — who had no legal role in election administration — were not able to review individual ballots or closely engage with ballot processing in violation of Nevada law. Attempts to implement the desired observation through the court system during the 2020 election cycle were rejected.
Despite the plaintiffs’ requests following the 2020 election, Nevada election officials do not plan to allow expanded election observation in future elections, allegedly inhibiting the plaintiffs’ ability “to ensure the integrity of the upcoming elections” through observation. The lawsuits ask the state courts to enact a slew of observation “rights” to address this, such as allowing election observers to be present at “every step of the election,” including at drop boxes and voting machines, and allowing the inspection of ballots to ensure that an election is “handled with transparency, integrity, and is done lawfully.” Today, the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada stated in its motion to intervene in both cases that none of the requested observation rights “appear anywhere in Nevada law, none are remotely necessary for any legitimate purpose, and, as the courts recognized the last time a similar effort was mounted, all carry with them substantial risks of impeding and threatening the crucial process of counting ballots, risking significant irreparable injury to Nevada’s election processes, and the rights of voters who participate in the state’s elections.”