Politico's Nov 15, 2023 Nevada attorney general is investigating false electors who aided Trump in 2020 includes the following, quoting Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford:

...an American lawyer and politician serving as the 34th Attorney General of Nevada, since 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, (Ford) previously served as a Nevada State Senator for the 11th district from 2013 to 2018, which encompasses parts of the Las Vegas Valley including portions of the communities of Spring Valley and Enterprise.

“As you all know, I have been silent on Nevada’s fake electors, except to say that the matter was on our radar,” he said in testimony to the state’s legislature. “With it on our radar, we ascertained that current state statutes did not directly address the conduct in question — to the dismay of some, and I’m sure, to the delight of others.”

In that hearing, he testified in favor of a proposal to ban people from acting as fake electors, the Nevada Independent reported. The bill passed through the state’s Democratic-controlled legislature and was vetoed in June by its Republican governor, Joe Lombardo.

Then, in September, Ford appeared to change his tune. “I’ve never said that we’re not going to prosecute,” he told 8 News Now. “It is not that I’ve said that I can do nothing. What I have said, and I’ve been precise with my wording on purpose, is we don’t have statutes in this state that directly address the issue.”

Question: How did Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo explain why he vetoed a bill that would ban people from acting as fake electors? Did he make an argument for fake electors? Cite constitutional concerns? Something else?


1 Answer 1


You can read the letter of objections Lombardo attached to the bill when he returned it to the Nevada Senate here. His argument against the bill is essentially that it introduces "disproportionately harsh penalties" for offenders, rather than doing anything to improve the security of elections.

I believe ensuring the sanctity and security of our elections is paramount to maintaining public confidence in both our electoral processes and in elected officials. There should be strict punishments for those seeking to undermine that confidence, including those engaged in schemes to present slates of false electors.

That said, it is difficult to fathom how the penalty for being engaged in such a scheme should be harsher — in terms of time-served and by requiring a permanent relinquishment of certain unrelated employment rights — than the penalty for high-level fentanyl traffickers, certain domestic violence perpetrators, and even some of the most extreme and violent actors on January 6.

Because SB 133 does nothing to ensure the security of our elections and merely provides disproportionately harsh penalties for an, admittedly, terrible crime, I cannot support it.

  • 1
    To provide context: 1) "SB 133 does nothing to ensure the security of our elections", the Gov proposed his own election security bill SB 405 which contained such greatest voter suppression hits as Voter ID requirements and restricting vote-by-mail, 2) "merely provides disproportionately harsh penalties" SB 133 would make it a category B felony, same as treason (which, one can argue, fake presidential electors are at that scale of crime) and some security exchange crimes.
    – Schwern
    Nov 21, 2023 at 5:37

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