State of Nevada

Nevada Elko County Jail Voting Policy Challenge

American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada v. Elko County, Nevada

Lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada (ACLU of Nevada) against Elko County, Nevada challenging Elko County Jail’s voting policy. In Nevada, individuals who are incarcerated before trial or serving a misdemeanor conviction retain their right to vote in jail. In 2023, the Nevada legislature passed Assembly Bill 286 mandating that county or city jail administrators establish policies to ensure a detained person may register to vote and cast their ballot while in jail. The new voting policy in Elko County — which requires the sheriff’s office to notify the clerk’s office which detainees want to vote, pick up the detainees’ ballots and deliver finished ballots back to the clerk’s office — fails to include several requirements specified in A.B. 286. These missing processes include: procedures for voting when a voter is detained in another county, procedures ensuring the secrecy of detainees’ ballots, the ability for voters in custody to cast their ballot without intimidation or coercion, same-day registration, safety procedures for election board officers who assist detainees in the voting process and a chain of custody for mail-in ballots cast by detainees. 

The ACLU of Nevada argues that these missing processes for voters being detained in Elko County Jail violate A.B. 286 and the Nevada Constitution, and ask the court to order the Elko County Sheriff Department to create a new voting policy for Elko County Jail, which includes these missing processes ahead of the June 2024 primary election and all future elections. 

STATUS: The ACLU of Nevada filed their complaint on May 6, 2024. Elko County has not responded yet. 

Case Documents

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