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Marchant denounces mail ballots, despite using them multiple times

Updated September 26, 2022 - 9:40 am

While touting false claims that mail-in ballots contribute to election fraud, Republican secretary of state hopeful Jim Marchant has voted on multiple occasions with a mail-in ballot while a registered voter in Florida.

Marchant voted in Florida with mail-in ballots in 2006, 2008 and 2010, as first reported by CNN.

A former Nevada assemblyman, Marchant has been a prominent election denier since 2020 when he lost his bid for Nevada’s 4th Congressional District against Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford, claiming that like former President Donald Trump, he was also a “victim of election fraud.” In December 2020 he stood alongside the six Nevada Republicans who signed fake electoral certificates claiming Trump won Nevada, although he lost to Biden by about 30,000 votes.

As president of the America First Secretary of State Coalition — which includes four other Trump-endorsed candidates across the country — Marchant vows to reform Nevada’s election system through implementing voter ID, paper ballots, single-day voting, voter roll clean-ups and poll watch reforms as well as eliminating mail-in ballots, according to the coalition’s website.

Shifting positions

Before he lost his election in 2020, however, Marchant did not denounce the use of mail-in ballots.

In May 2020, he tweeted, “Mail-in Ballots have mostly arrived. Be sure and follow the directions perfectly. We would not want your vote to be thrown out because of a mistake. Please Vote for Jim Marchant for Congressional District 4 in Nevada!”

Following his election loss, he and many other Republicans began pushing unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 election was stolen, and mail-in ballots were part of the problem.

In December 2021, after a Las Vegas man was caught for voting twice using his dead wife’s name, Marchant called for an end to mail-in voting, saying on Twitter that it is a “broken system that can not be ignored!”

In May 2022, Marchant tweeted “NO Mail-in ballots! We need to protect our election integrity! VOTE Jim MARCHANT in 2022 to FIGHT voter fraud!”

Marchant was unavailable for an interview, but his campaign spokesperson Rory McShane called the CNN story “idiotic” in a statement.

He said the article fully acknowledged that Marchant followed all laws and regulations during the time he was in Florida “and even voluntarily removed himself from the voter rolls when he (re)located full-time to Nevada. This is a blatant attempt to distract from the fact that (Democratic secretary of state nominee) Cisco Aguilar won’t support the most basic election security measures like voter ID.”

In response, Aguilar’s campaign manager Gabriel Di Chiara said in a statement that it is “not surprising” Marchant voted by mail for years only to be against it after he lost.

“The fact is, Nevada runs some of the most accessible and secure elections in the country with the policies we already have on the books. All of his proposals, from ending early voting to wiping the voter rolls to getting rid of mail ballots, are solutions in search of a problem that doesn’t exist,” Di Chiara said.

While Nevada has done a lot to make its elections accessible and secure, Aguilar will propose legislation to protect Nevada’s election workers from threats and harassment that they have been subjected to since the 2020 election by protecting their information, Di Chiara added.

Nevada No. 13 in United States

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Election Performance Index, which assesses how election administration functions in each state, rated Nevada 13th in the country based on factors like data completeness, voting problems related to disability and illness, mail ballots rejected, whether post election audits are required and voter registration rates.

Nevada Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske’s office spent more than 125 hours investigating claims of fraud that the Nevada Republican Party brought forward, but found no widespread evidence of fraud would have altered the results of the election.

But many Americans do support some sort of election reform. A Monmouth University survey from 2021 found that the majority of Americans support instituting voter ID laws such as requiring a photo ID to vote. It also found the majority support making early voting easier.

After the CNN article was published, critics took to social media calling Marchant “hypocritical.”

When asked if he could comment specifically about the hypocritical charges the CNN article noted, McShane did not respond.

This may not be the first time Marchant’s comments could be perceived as hypocritical. While criticizing his opponent Aguilar for not knowing much about owning a business — even though Aguilar does own a business — Marchant faced multiple lawsuits for one of his companies that resulted in more than $4 million of legal settlements.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on Twitter.

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