Voter Registration List Maintenance
Voter registration list maintenance is performed in strict accordance with Federal and State laws and in conjunction with established conforming policies, procedures, and reporting requirements. List maintenance is an ongoing process that incorporates daily activities as well as periodic list maintenance programs. It is imperative that no valid voter is inadvertently disenfranchised due to list maintenance.
Federal and State laws require that we maintain accurate and current voter registration lists and that reasonable efforts are made to remove ineligible voters, while at the same time incorporating specific safeguards and remaining compliant. Federal laws that apply to voting and voter registration rights include the Civil Rights Act, The Voting Rights Act, Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act, The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), the National Voting Rights Act (NVRA), and the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Along with these Federal laws, we must also comply with all state laws as outlined in Title 24 of both the Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) as well as the Nevada Administrative Code (NAC).
Safeguards include that any program related to list maintenance must be uniform and nondiscriminatory.
Cancellation of Voters from the voter rolls*
Voters may only be canceled if they meet certain requirements, which include:
- upon request of the voter,
- have been convicted of a felony and are incarcerated for that felony,
- court-ordered mentally incapacitated, or other court orders,
- voter is deceased,
- our office is notified by the Secretary of State through access to both Social Security as well as Nevada Vital Statistics,
- our office will look through and match individuals through posted obituaries in the local paper,
- individuals can fill out a notification form in our office to tell us that someone has passed.
- voter has moved,
- our office is notified through the United States Postal Service and its National Change of Address (NCOA) program,
- Nevada is a member of the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC); therefore our office receives reports that allow for maintenance programs to address voters who have moved,
- Election mail being returned undeliverable, in which case we will send address confirmation cards to the voter after the election to confirm that the voter moved and was not simply temporarily forwarding their mail.
- voter application is incomplete, and voter cannot be verified,
- All voter applications received must be added to the system, however if the information cannot be confirmed or verified and attempts to contact the voter cannot be made, then the voter record is canceled.
- voter record inactive for 2 Federal election cycles
- If a voter status is changed to inactive, they cannot be canceled unless they remain inactive for 2 federal election cycles. This means that a voter can be inactive for 3-4 years depending on when they become inactive in the calendar cycle.
Voter’s information cannot be “removed” from the voter rolls, all voter applications and information must be maintained in the voter registration system. Voters cannot be canceled for simply not voting, there is no period of time that if an active registered voter does not vote their voter status will change. The requirement for missing two (2) federal elections applies to voters whose status is inactive, that if they have not voted and updated or corrected their voter registration the record will be canceled.
Voting is a right and is not taken away lightly. There are safeguards in place to ensure that a valid voter is not inadvertently disenfranchised. Maintenance of the list is a daily activity with new registrations, registration updates and cancellations. If an application is received that is incomplete a letter is sent to the applicant advising them of what information is missing; if enough information is missing, they are sent a new application. If there is a question or notification is received that a voter may have moved, correspondence is sent to the voter to confirm that information. In any voter list maintenance correspondence, the voter or applicant has 30 days to respond to the correspondence before any action can be taken on the voter record. These activities have expanded with automatic voter registration through the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. Set to begin January 1, 2024, additional state agencies will also offer automatic voter registration.
During Election years, per the National Voter Registration Act, there is no voter list maintenance programs that may occur during the 90 days prior to an election. This is to ensure that no valid voter is removed and unable to vote. This does not mean that voters cannot update or register to vote, but it does restrict the department from any list maintenance program where we would mail the voter a letter or card that would require a response. The NVRA also requires that all voters have 30 days to respond to any voter maintenance program and Nevada law has stated that 3 days are needed to determine the correspondence mailed. This means that any list maintenance program must be sent out no later than 123 days before the next Election Day.
Due to Nevada being an all-mail election state, we now have additional opportunities to send list maintenance correspondence to voters after each election for any ballot that is returned to the department as undeliverable, as long as it can meet the timeline listed above before the next election.
Processing Voter Applications
When a voter application is received, the application is scanned, and staff begins to process the application:
- Check the voter through the provided driver’s license number or social security number, then confirm that the other information provided matches, including date of birth. If any of those things do not match, the voter application is put in a “pending” status and correspondence is sent to the application address, and the applicant has 30 days to respond. If no response is received, then the record is canceled for inability to verify the voter.
- Verify the address to see if it is already in the system: does it show as a valid address through the Washoe County Assessor and is it a capable of receiving mail through the United States Postal Service. If the address provided is a restricted address, then correspondence is sent to the applicant advising them that the address provided is a non-residential address and to respond with a residential address. The applicant has 30 days to respond. If no response is received, the record is changed to an inactive status, which requires the applicant to update their information before they can vote and that no mail ballot will be sent to them.
- Missing information: depending on what information is missing, there are different actions that may be taken in the processing of the application. If, for example, the applicant did not choose a political party, their record will be made active and default to nonpartisan, and correspondence will be sent to the applicant to update their party affiliation if they wish. If, however, they do not sign the application or do not provide information needed to verify the application, a new application is sent to the voter to fill out and send back to be processed, while the current application is made “pending” for the 30 days that they have to respond. If they do not respond, or the correspondence comes back undeliverable, the record is canceled. If a response is received within 30 days, the new application is processed.
About the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) (http://www.ericstates.org/)
ERIC is governed and managed by member states and uses information from motor vehicle departments, Social Security Administration records and other databases to compare voters within Nevada and in other member states in an effort to identify deceased individuals and those registered to vote in more than one state. ERIC reports are provided to the Secretary of State’s office and local election officials for processing and possible further action, which could include correcting the voting rolls or removal of ineligible voters.
ERIC Maintenance Reports
- In-State Updates
- List of records of individuals registered in Nevada who appear to have moved to a different address within a county or to another county within the state
- Cross-State Updates
- List of records of individuals registered in Nevada who appear to have registered to vote in one of the other member states
- List of duplicate records within your county and within the state
- List of records of individuals registered in Nevada who are likely deceased based on the SSA death index
- NCOA – National Change of Address Program
- Reports provided by USPS
National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) aka “Motor Voter Act” - Section 8 of the Act creates the requirements for voter registration list maintenance for States:
The United States Department of Justice:
U.S. Code Title 52 – Voting and Elections:
Subtitle I—Voting Rights (§§ 10101 – 10702)
Subtitle II—Voting Assistance and Election Administration (§§ 20101 – 21145)
Subtitle III—Federal Campaign
Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) - Subchapter III, Part A:
§21083 Computerized statewide voter registration list requirements and requirements for voters who register by mail:
Nevada Revised Statutes – Title 24 NRS 293.525 – 293.548 & 293.675:
Nevada Administrative Code – Title 24 NAC 293.454 – 293.476:
Office of the Nevada Secretary of State: