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Nevada: Protections Against Intimidation of Voters and Election Workers

This resource details state laws and policies protecting against the intimidation of voters and election workers and the disruption of the voting process.

Published: October 28, 2022
View the entire Laws Protecting Voters and Election Workers from Intimidation series

Voters in Nevada have the right to vote free from intimidation under federal and state law. footnote1_p7ils1e 1 18 U.S.C. §§ 594, 241; 52 U.S.C. § 10101(b); Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 293.710, 293.730, 293.740(1), (4). The federal protections that apply to all states are explained here. The following are expressly prohibited by state law:

  • Using or threatening to use any force, intimidation, coercion, violence, restraint, or undue influence in connection with an election. footnote2_8qbsjje 2 Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.710(1)(a).
  • Exposing, publishing, or threatening to expose or publish information on another voter in order to pressure them to vote or not vote for a particular candidate or question. footnote3_w6ra28o 3 Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.710(1)(c).
  • Impeding or preventing a person from exercising their right to vote by abduction, duress, or fraud. footnote4_lnzc2bg 4 Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.710(1)(d).
  • Interfering with the conduct of an election by remaining inside or outside a polling place. footnote5_2b7ilcm 5 Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.730(1)(a).
  • Asking another person inside a polling place for their name, address, or political affiliation or for whom they intend to vote, unless asked by an election board officer in performing their official duties. footnote6_fs38k10 6 Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.730(1)(f).
  • Electioneering inside a polling place or within 100 feet of the entrance to the building or other structure in which a polling place is located. footnote7_d3o895m 7 Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.740(1), (4).

The below addresses the laws and policies that serve as guardrails against specific threats of intimidation.

Intimidation by Poll Watchers

Under Nevada law, any member of the general public, other than members of the press, may act as a poll watcher to observe the conduct of voting at a polling place. footnote8_n9fwxew 8 Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.274. However, Nevada strictly regulates the conduct of poll watchers:

  • Poll watchers may not electioneer inside a polling place or within 100 feet of the entrance to the building. footnote9_ps7d3wj 9 Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.740(1), (4).
  • Poll watchers are prohibited from initiating talks with voters in a polling place, using a cell phone or computer, arguing for or against or challenging any decisions of county or city election personnel, interfering with the conduct of voting generally, and advocating for or against a candidate, political party, or ballot question. footnote10_b8zgkkg 10 Nev. Admin. Code § 293.245(2).
  • It is a felony for anyone to use or threaten to use force, intimidation, violence, restraint, or undue influence in connection with any election. footnote11_h3hwz63 11 Nev. Admin. Code § 293.710.

City and county clerks have the discretion to remove any poll watcher from a polling place for violating any election law or if the number of watchers in a polling place threatens public safety, voter privacy, or order at the polling place. footnote12_89hprgw 12 Nev. Admin. Code § 293.245(2)–(3).

Intimidation of Poll Workers and Election Officials

Nevada regulates individuals’ conduct at the polls to protect election officials from intimidation:

  • Interfering with or obstructing an election official in performing their official duties is a misdemeanor in Nevada. footnote13_nexkydt 13 Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 197.090, 197.190.
  • Any person who uses or threatens to use force, intimidation, coercion, violence, or undue influence in connection with any election is guilty of a felony. footnote14_5mljdtb 14 Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.710.
  • Poll watchers are prohibited from arguing for or against or challenging any decisions of county or city election personnel or interfering with the conduct of voting. footnote15_dwd00ql 15 Nev. Admin. Code § 293.245(2).

 Challenges to Voter Eligibility at the Polls

In Nevada, a voter’s eligibility to vote may be challenged by any registered voter of the same precinct. footnote16_pit38pb 16 Nev. Rev. Stat. 293.303(1)(a). However, there are limits to the kinds of challenges one can bring:

  • Nevada law limits the grounds upon which a voter may be challenged. footnote17_d4h067p 17 Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.303(2).
  • A challenger must submit an affirmation signed under penalty of perjury stating that the challenge is based on the individual’s personal knowledge. footnote18_9e1z01q 18 Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.303(1)(a).

When challenged, a voter is entitled to receive a ballot and vote if they swear an oath stating they are entitled to vote and, in the case of challenges questioning the voter’s identity or residence, provide identification. footnote19_jjd9kks 19 Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.303(6)–(8).

Voter Intimidation by Poll Workers

The Brennan Center and All Voting is Local published a detailed resource on the rules and constraints for Nevada poll workers here.

End Notes