Bill makes intimidating election workers a felony

Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 2:50 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -“This is not a Republican or Democrat Issue.”

Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar is talking about a bill he promised to deliver during his campaign last year, making it a felony to threaten an election worker.

Secretary Aguilar gives examples: “They are walking to their cars,” he says. “They’ve been approached. They’ve been intimated. They’ve been harassed. We have individuals who, when they are at home with their families, have individuals knock on their door and know and say things that are inappropriate to hear -- especially children in the home.”

No doubt he heard from Washoe County’s former registrar.

Deanna Spikula officially resigned in June of last year after death threats and personal attacks; some of which filtered down to her children.

A loss for northern Nevada, but Aguilar says her resignation is not unique as of late.

“We need to make sure we have the best run elections in the country,” says Aguilar. “And that only happens when we have the talent to do it.”

Senate Bill 406 makes it a crime to not only threaten but to interfere with the work performed by volunteers and paid staff alike. If passed, Nevada would be the third state in the country to make threats or harassment towards election workers a crime.

The secretary says the bill has the endorsement of law enforcement. SB 406, he says, lets workers know the state has their back, and will encourage more people to work in elections offices as it will be a safer place to perform their duties.

SB 406 not only covers the intent to intimidate an elections worker, but it also covers retaliatory efforts if the election doesn’t turn out the way someone likes.