US House Administration Chair Seeks Clarity on Nevada Presidential Primary “Glitch”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Wis.), chairman of the Committee on House Administration, sent a letter Monday expressing concerns about a coding “glitch” that erroneously marked an unknown number of voters as having voted in Nevada’s Presidential Preference Primary (PPP), when in fact they had not.

Under the current system, Nevada counties each night upload voter registration data that is used to execute code creating the statewide voter registration file that users can see online. The secretary of state’s office said that the issue happened because there were additional necessary steps that needed to be taken — but weren’t — to ensure that the system reflects accurate voter history. 

The PPP was held on Feb. 6, just two days before the Nevada Republican caucus. The dueling events were a result of a Nevada law that transitioned the state from a caucus to a primary system, which caused issues among Nevada Republicans. The state GOP decided to also push forward with its caucus, which is the election that was used to award delegates.  

Steil’s letter, sent to Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar (D), acknowledged that the glitch had no impact on the reported results of the primary election, but argued that the incident undermined public trust and jeopardized “the foundational principles of freedom, fairness, and security of our electoral systems.”

“For Americans to have confidence in our elections, they do not need a zero-mistake system but instead one where mistakes are identified and corrected,” wrote the congressman, who added that voters need to believe that the glitch would not happen again.

The letter asks Aguilar to explain the facts of the issue, how it was discovered and what steps his office has taken to:

“(i) learn from this coding error and ensure proper steps are taken by all election officials; 

(ii) further train election officials on nightly voter registration update protocols;

(iii) minimize further errors during Nevada’s transition to a new voter registration database; 

(iv) prepare for the June 2024 primary election and November’s general election; and

(v) restore voter confidence in Nevada’s electoral process.”

Despite Aguilar’s office posting lengthy explanation for the error in mid-February, that was not enough to assuage Steil’s concerns, or those of the Republican National Committee and the Nevada Republican Party, which sent public records requests to Aguilar and Washoe and Clark counties seeking more information.

The requests ask for a full list of impacted voters who were told they were not currently eligible to vote, the full list of impacted voters who were wrongly told that their mail-in ballot in the PPP had been counted and the names of all individuals who have access and/or permission to modify the voter database and/or the Nevada Secretary of State website, according to the Nevada Globe.

Read the letter here.

Read more about the records request here.