Gov. Sisolak: Please allow amendment ballot petitions to be signed through Nevada’s secure online voter registration system instead of in person.
The Fair Maps Fair Maps Nevada Coalition led by the League of Women Voters of Nevada, Nevadans for Election Reform, Indivisible Northern Nevada and supported by the ACLU of Nevada, wants to abolish partisan gerrymandering in our state forever.
Nevada has ZERO laws to protect voters against partisan power brokers from ANY party who want to control elections by drawing maps to their advantage.
Currently Nevada law only allows us to collect signatures to get this petition on the November ballot in person, face-to-face. Our efforts, like everything else, have been affected by the necessary restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID.
On May 29, 2020, federal Judge Miranda Du She extended the deadline to August 4th. She explained that the Secretary of State's office had violated the First Amendment rights of Fair Maps Nevada by refusing to extend the deadline given the state of emergency and health guidelines.
Judge Du also indicated that the Governor can use his power to suspend laws during an emergency to suspend the mandate requiring petition signatures be gathered in-person.
Considering Governor Sisolak is working hard to keep the public safe from COVID-19, we are requesting that he sign an executive order under Chapter 414 of Nevada Revised Statutes to:
Allow amendment ballot petitions to be signed through the already proven, secure, and reliable online voter registration system. If it is good enough to verify our votes, It is good enough to verify our petition signatures.
Please support our right to engage in the most pure form of democracy: the ballot initiative.
From: [Your Name]
We are living in extraordinary times and you have shown great strength and wisdom in your efforts to keep us safe while also protecting our rights. So, today, we, the signers of this petition, are writing to you as Nevadans who believe in democracy and the right to vote.
We are requesting that you extend your wisdom to the ballot initiative laws that elevate our direct democracy process.
Fair Maps Nevada received a favorable ruling from federal Judge Miranda Du on May 29th to extend the deadline for submitting ballot petition signatures to protect the group's First Amendment Rights. But this ruling still forces us to gather signatures in ways that will most surely spread COVID-19.
As a state, we cannot in good conscience claim to support democratic principles while forcing many Nevadans to choose between staying safe or risking their health to sign paper petitions, with a possibly contaminated pen, in the presence of a petition circulator, who must necessarily converse directly and serially with dozens of people.
This in-person, face-to-face process will most certainly violate social distancing recommendations as it relies heavily on gathering signers together in large crowds to meet the signature submission threshold.
The list of high-risk groups who will be forced to choose include people of color, the elderly, individuals with chronic diseases, voters who are immunocompromised, many voters with disabilities, and the family members of these high risk groups who are trying their best to keep their loved ones safe and healthy.
And we can't forget Nevadans serving out-of-state or overseas in the military or in civilian capacities, who are always excluded from signing ballot petitions yet whose right to vote is guaranteed by state and federal law.
So, today, we are asking you to use your emergency powers granted under Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 414 and join the governors of Utah and Colorado and issue an executive order that will:
1. Set the new signature submission date for amendment ballot petitions to August 5th, close of business.
2. Allow amendment ballot petitions to be signed through the already proven, secure, and reliable online voter registration system.