What Happens In Vegas May Not Stay In Vegas: Why The Nevada Challenge Could Be Important To The Presidential Election

It turns out that some things that happen in Vegas may not stay in Vegas . . . like voting. The Republican Party in the Silver State is now arguing that thousands of votes in the close presidential election were cast by workers who moved out of the state or even by deceased individuals. Various voters reported their deceased relatives receiving live ballots in the mail. Now, the Nevada Republican Party has sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department alleging at least 3,062 instances of voter fraud in the battleground state. The referral is substantially less than the “10,000” referenced earlier but the underlying allegation is still important. The early concern for many of us was that the system established in Clark County would be difficult to review for violations due to how the tabulation was handled and the record preserved. 

The allegations over ineligible voting were raised before Election Day. Many states like Nevada are relying on notoriously outdated voter lists and applying fairly lax standards for confirming the identity of voters for mail-in ballots. In Nevada, this is a particular concern because many workers moved out of the state due to the pandemic’s impact on the casino industry. You cannot vote if you moved out of the state over 30 days prior to the balloting. The problem is the accuracy of state voting and residency records in showing such changes shortly before an election.  Absent a system of authentication of residency and identification, it would be a system based on the honor system – an approach that no casino would allow even at the nickel slots section.

As courts deal with a flurry of lawsuits in various states, I have been focusing on the allegations in Nevada of thousands of ineligible or even deceased voters. That is the type of systemic failure that could cloud results in not just the Silver State but other states.  Nevada was one of the states that I identified before the election as one of three states that I was watching the most closely for election challenges. However, the problems raised in Nevada could raise concerns with shared elements to various states from Michigan to Pennsylvania. The reliance on questionable voter lists and the lack of authentication systems were raised months ago. The legal problem is not simply that such systems may allow for large numbers of ineligible votes but that they would not allow sufficient review of ballots to resolve such questions.

The criminal referral is substantially less than the “10,000” referenced earlier but the underlying allegation is still important. The early concern for many of us was that the system established in Clark County would be difficult to review for violations due to how the record was being preserved.

The Republicans are claiming that this is just the first set of identified voters with alleged ineligibility. Conversely, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, issued a statement arguing the state was “widely recognized as being a leader in election administration,” and that he had “the utmost confidence in the abilities of Nevada’s local election officials and Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske to accurately count every eligible vote cast in the Silver State.” We have no basis to rule in or rule out either claim.

I have repeatedly stated that we must not make assumptions on either side.  My concern is that it is not clear how a court could review these ballots in Clark County if it agrees that there appears to be systemic problems.  If the court believes that thousands votes illegally, that lack of a record could prove the undoing of the state officials. At some point, the burden can shift and courts demand proof that a problem was not systemic. If they cannot, the question will be raised whether the same vulnerability existed in other states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, or Georgia. A court could be presented with a decision of when the unknowable becomes the unacceptable.  If the court believes that thousands of unlawful votes were cases and the ultimate number impossible to confirm, the only certain way to address a systemic failure would be a special election – a prospect that few judges would relish and even fewer would seriously consider.

What we know is that we are rapidly running out of runway to deal with this problem.  The options range from a detailed review of ballots to the remote possibility of a new election. All of those options take time as we saw in 2000 with the Florida recount. If the time runs out, we could have an election with lingering doubt over the legitimacy of the vote count in states like Nevada – a poisonous prospect for any democratic process.

“Gonzo reporter” Hunter S. Thompson once said that “For a loser Vegas is the meanest town on earth.” The question for a court may be whether it is equally unkind to a winner if he cannot prove what he won.

88 thoughts on “What Happens In Vegas May Not Stay In Vegas: Why The Nevada Challenge Could Be Important To The Presidential Election”

  1. There’s no question dems are committing fraud all over the place. I don’t know what to say anymore. We thought the Trump resistance was something, just wait. The people have spoken, and I think we are all pretty tired of remaining silent. They can steal power, we don’t have to oblige them by doing anything they say. Another thing – if the dems think the police or military will be on their side after their shenanigans this past year, they are high.

    1. James,
      If the last 4 years has proven anything to the American people, it’s that the law and justice are not the same thing. If Biden prevails, the outcome of this election will be protected by law, but under no circumstances will the 68 million voters and their families ever conclude the results to be legitimate. The America that President Trump has built over this period is now awake to what we can achieve to be a great nation once again. As far as justice is concerned, these next two month will likely be very revealing.

      1. I’d like to think so, too, but at this point, it looks as though the House and the Senate are being stolen as well. I have little doubt the rules will then be changed to keep things that way indefinitely. The law as it exists may cease to be altogether, and the average American is woefully ignorant of it, anyway. No political situation in this country has ever caused me to consider expatriating before this week. At the least, my wife and I are definitely moving to another state when the dust settles somewhat. It’s all absolute madness, and the complicity of the media, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood are just jaw-dropping.

        1. If the senate flips, then we can forget what 68 million people may or may not know about anything. This country will be in for one party rule and all the evil that will come from that. We will be on the clock for a revolution and it won’t be peaceful.

  2. Professor Turley’s blog is speeding toward becoming another Q anon haven with calls for civil war and unchecked executive power. Sad stuff.

    1. The people are being radicalized by the obvious fraud in this election

      They come to understand, billionaires can always buy results

      They come to understand, billionaires are the overlords, the plutocracy, the hidden hand of power

      All government agencies seem to serve their interests; all mass media and all social media; they won it; and universities are under their control too
      The Federal Reserve has conjured up trillions for them this year, adding to their power, as we suffered
      Trump, did he ever have a chance? They sabotaged him for his entire term
      a million mercenaries in key positions sabotaged him, and another million rioted

      They billionaires should be expropriated, their wealth taken by the people for the common good;
      they should be arrested and tried for crimes against the people and hung in gibbets along wall street lamposts

      All laws come from politics and all politics entail either the implicit or explicit threat of force and organized violence
      they use it against us and we must use it against them, or be ever more reduced to weak, neutered, tax slaves forevermore

      Individualism and “constitutional” promises have proven over our history to mostly protect only the richest elements and their quislings
      the workers and middle class always get shafted. they must turn on the lordships and hang them until dead and rewrite the whole system

      then a newer stronger America will rise from the ashes

      -Saloth Sar


    In 1861, President of the United States Abraham Lincoln took two steps intended to maintain order and public safety in the now-divided country.

    In his capacity as commander in chief, Lincoln declared martial law in all states and ordered the suspension of the constitutionally protected right to writs of habeas corpus in the state of Maryland and parts of the Midwestern states.

    – Robert Longley

    Democrats have criminally engineered, corrupted and commandeered the U.S. election process commencing Civil War II.

    President Trump must declare martial law, suspend Habeas Corpus, prosecute the criminal election fraud perpetrators, seize voting apparatus in all 50 states and conduct a complete recount of “legal” votes.

  4. The silver lining on this election fraud farce is that Americans are losing confidence in the system

    That’s good, because, the system has benefitted the richest men all along. That was not so bad for the first 3/4 or so, but, going back to the bicentennial we can see the gap between rich and the rest growing sharply

    There are so many billionaires who are of like mind to get rid of Trump that 50 of them can cancel out 50,000,000 of us

    They control the government and social institutions

    In the end there is always one way to finally destroy any plutocracy. Organized violence

    Organized violence is actually inherent in all law and order, which is basically a set of rules for imposing it.

    Implicit in politics of all kinds, is some latent threat of violence organized different in new laws

    I will bring forth the political objective that Republicans should consider if they really want a fair election next time

    How to arrest, expropriate, and severely punish billionaires, by whatever means.

    There is no political power if you have no political power to harm your enemies.

    Billionaires stole this election and they are the enemy. Billionaires are the enemy. The Republican party must now espouse policies to punish their enemies, the billionaires, openly
    If they do not immediately adopt a sharp rhetorical line against not only certain billionaires like Soros but the very concept of plutocracy itself, then they are bought off too.

    The Republican party must become the vanguard party of the working and middle classes and outgrow the old conservativism and failed bad habits of self restraint and timidity.
    They must become more powerful, more populist, more organized, more nationalistic, more economically focused against the oligarchs, and more sharply critical of the billionaire rackets, more relentlessly critical of the comprador capitalist elites, more critical of failed universities, more critical of the deep state, and most of all, relentlessly attack all mass and social media
    Republicans must become more aligned with unions. For example, Republicans must make some strategic deals with unions who can benefit, and then, turn on a dime against “right to work” operatives of the Kroch brothers, who were Trump haters and must now be punished. They should become the party of organized American national labor, against the globalists. There are a thousand things that can be done now if they have the sense to seize the opportunities. But 100% of what worked and will work more is along the lines of “economic nationalism” & populism.

    Address this problem with vigorous anger and there will be victory ahead. https://www.epi.org/publication/decades-of-rising-economic-inequality-in-the-u-s-testimony-before-the-u-s-house-of-representatives-ways-and-means-committee/

    They must become ready to contemplate the essence of politics, organized violence, and like Lenin, ponder, “What is to be done?”

    Saloth Sar

    1. There is legal non-violent “Consumer Voting” – vote with your purchases. Actually more powerful than electoral voting.

  5. Some other non-partisan reforms to consider:

    1) Maine’s “ranked-choice” voting model, which still benefits the two major parties but is more democratic in representing voters’ priorities.
    2) Have an official “Referendum Election” about 6 months before the candidate-elections, since some issues appeal to all political parties. This polling
    information is impossible to obtain any other way, since many don’t cooperate with pollsters.
    3) National Gerrymandering reforms.
    4) Early voting at churches, post offices, etc. to minimize mail-in voting.

    1. Ranked choice voting has myriads of problems – but it is superior to recounts.

      Every means of selecting congressional districts is “gerrymandering” – there is no objectively correct means to redistrict.

      Actual gerrymandering is an inconsequential problem – the more a party attempts to maximize the number of seats they hold the more likely they are to see large numbers of seats flip against them with small changes in voter preferences.

      Early voting is an abysmally bad idea – nearly as bad as mail in voting.

      Every choice except in person voting on a single day increases the oportunity for fraud.

      The longer that things continue – before and after “election day” the greater the opportunity for fraud.

      If you want “early voting” – set election day as a 24hr period – the exact same 24hrs from coast to coast.
      All votes must be case in person with ID and counted when the ballot is scanned by the voter that day. No filled in ballot should be touched by an election official until after the results are reported. Filled in ballots should NEVER be in the hands of anyone but the voter and never outside the polling place. All results are reported simulataneously 1 hr after the polls close.

  6. Trump is a lying, demented scoundrel without a shred of decency or integrity.

    Yet Professor Turley likes him, go figure.

  7. What a frigging hack our host is. No, Turley, the Nevada challenge is not important to the Presidential election.and your attempts to sow doubt about the result is despicable. Guess who lost a presidential election by 77k votes combined in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania but then had the cojones to concede early the next day and wish her opponent well. Did she file bogus and irrelevant challenges and try to sow doubt aboutthe process? F..k no! She had the guts to show up on the inauguration stage to show her support for the system and our government. Now we have a whiny b..ch in the WH who can’t face the music and tools like Turley trying to help him throw a tantrum instead of taking responsibility and acting like an adult and like a man.You lost by 4 million votes! GTF out.Trley, STFU!

  8. Turley is wrong in claiming that someone who left Nevada more than 30 days ago automatically becomes ineligible to vote. It all depends on their intention. If someone, say a casino worker who became unemployed because of the pandemic shut down, leaves the state to temporarily stay with a family or friend out of state because they can’t make their rent, but has every intention of returning once his or her job opens back up, that person has not moved away from Nevada, and is still a legal resident. That issue came up in the case of Senator Evan Bayh when he purchased a house in DC. He did not intend to change his legal residence, and that was the key issue.

    As usual, Turley has nothing to say about Trump’s unhinged lying about nonexistent voter fraud, filing frivolous lawsuits and bellicose attitude. Here’s the thing: Trump has never achieved 50% approval of the American people most of whom did not vote for him in 2016 or 2020. If trends in Pennsylvania hold, Nevada becomes irrelevant.

    1. Didn’t the Kobach Commission find numerous examples of widespread voter fraud except that they didn’t?

    2. Nat: “Turley is wrong . . .”

      Proving (once again) that your little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

      “. . . has every intention of returning once his or her job opens back up, that person has not moved away from Nevada, and is still a legal resident.”


      NV and Clark County, NV laws are very clear on this issue. To be considered a resident and to be eligible to vote, such a person must maintain a physical address.

      Re Evan Bayh: *Indiana* residency/voting requirements have nothing to do with Clark County, Nevada. (And even in that case, you’re misrepresenting the facts. He did have a physical address in Indiana.)

    1. It’s becoming pathetic now. No one is trying to steal anything, other than Trump. Virtually all of the ballot counting is done in the presence of both Republicans and Democrats. So Gingrich is complaining that disallowing observers somehow will prove that the election is being stolen from Trump? In every state, there are both Republicans and Democrats physically present at the vote-counting. For Gingrich to claim that the absence of additional observers amounts to stealing the election is not just a stretch–it’s a lie, and it is not just irresponsible for Fox to put out drivel like this–it stirs up the more unhinged elements of Trump’s base–those who have been showing up at the ballot counting locations, with their Trump flags and guns, screaming all sorts of unhinged and stupid things. I spoke with a client today who works in a pharmacy–they’ve been closing early every day, except for filling drive-through prescriptions, fearing violence. That’s Trump’s legacy.

      He cheated to get into the White House in 2016 and has lied to the American people every single day since then, His campaign was shameful–name-calling, insults, false accusations of Biden being senile, being a socialist, false associations with radical left-wing elements, warning of dire consequences if Biden won, without any evidence, constant pandering to racism, misogyny, insulting Kamala Harris and the Democratic party. It’s becoming clear that the American people have rejected Trump once again, but this time the Electoral College won’t deliver for him. So, consistent with his narcissism and lack of patriotism, he refuses to concede to the will of the American people. This thing can end ugly or Trump could try to find some sense of personal dignity and patriotism that’s been lacking up to now. The problem is, he is not and has never been a patriot. He wanted the presidency for the power and adulation, and now, that’s going away, but instead of accepting it, he continues to lie and bluster. He resorts to his usual weapon of litigation. Instead of planning a concession speech, Trump has been on the phone, demanding that more Republicans defend his lies about the election being stolen. He’s up tweeting into the wee hours. This conduct is embarrassing for this country, and the rest of the world is watching us, with pity.

  9. I would suggest a Special Election in every State that was not clearly decided by a vast preponderance of the votes cast by all means.

    The Special Election should resort to traditional methods of voting….in person with a cross check for eligibility, curb side for the Invalid or Disabled, Absentee for the Military voting can use the existing mail in votes, and this time….regular rules on Absentee Voting where the Voter personally has to initiate the request for the Absentee Ballot….then the signature must be cross matched before the Ballot is accepted. Most importantly…..NO MAIL IN VOTING outside of the long existing Absentee Methods in each State. Allow both Parties full access as Observers….to include Video Surveillance and presence of Un-Armed Law Enforcement Officers inside and outside the polling places….with armed Officers on. standby in case criminal acts occur and are reported by the Un-Armed Police.

  10. This election closely resembles that found in a third world country. Without a generally accepted fair process, division will remain and likely worsen.
    And to quote John Adams, “Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”

  11. I don’t live in Nevada but a relative of mine received two ballots, one in her maiden and in her married name. Others I know have similar stories. When you add that kind of problem to the possibility that some may have voted in-person, in addition to mailing in a ballot (or ballots), a real question arises as to how accurate the voting was in this election. The media reports record turn-out this year. Could that be, in part, due to unscrupulous behavior (or, perhaps, simply mistakes in a confusing voting environment) on the part of some? I really hope the resources and integrity exist to assure that the voting in this election was legal and accurate. The worst possible outcome of this election would not be who wins or loses, it would be a loss of confidence in the integrity of the system.

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