Critics rip proposed Nevada state law requiring polling places in jails: ‘Makes no sense’

Critics are ripping a proposed state law that would force city and county jails in Nevada to open polling locations for the prisoners incarcerated there.

Progressive state Sen. Melanie Scheible introduced Nevada State Senate Bill 162 earlier this month, which would require polling places to be set up on site at county and city jails throughout the state to provide a way for prisoners eligible and registered to vote to cast their ballots in person on the day of an election.

“It’s nice to see somebody from the other side recognizing how important in-person voting is,” U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., told Fox News Digital. 

“It’s the law until it isn’t. Nevada is one of the states that went to full-blown mail-in ballot stuff 90 days before the 2020 presidential [election]. And that’s still the law in Nevada. So, are you telling me that they don’t get mail? It makes no sense to me.


“Where’s the part that says we’re going to put them in churches and synagogues and all that other sort of stuff?” Amodei added. “I think the mail service works real well in the city and county jails, so I don’t know what messaging that’s for. But if it’s really about voting — like I said — I’m glad to see that somebody from Las Vegas that’s in the legislature values in-person voting.”

Amodei predicted that, should such a bill become law, it wouldn’t make much difference in terms of voter turnout and that the bill amounted to nothing more than “a messaging bill” designed to make progressives happy.

“I just don’t think that there’s a big underrepresented block on Election Day of people who can’t figure out how to vote under existing Nevada law. I’m sure somebody will think it’s a great idea, and I’m sure her constituents think it’s a great idea, but, as a practical matter, if you’re really about voting rights and reform, that seems to be a curious drop of sand in the hour glass.”


Fox News contributor and host Jason Chaffetz, who served as a Republican representative from Utah and the chair of the House Oversight Committee until 2017, told Fox News Digital the bill was evidence of Democrats prioritizing “lawlessness” over law enforcement.


“I’m not for this bill. We should be prioritizing victims. Period,” he said. “Quite frankly, if you’ve done something heinous enough to be in jail, I don’t think you should have the right to vote.

“I think this is something that has really changed. It used to be that there was bipartisan support for law enforcement and our military. But, more and more, Republicans are pro-law enforcement and pro-military, and the Democrats aren’t.”

Chaffetz argued that criminals knew Democrats are “softer on crime” and that Republicans were “tough on crime,” and that they would vote accordingly.

“There’s a clear choice in elections,” Chaffetz said. “So, if you feel like you’re in jail unjustly, you’ll want the Democrats in charge because you’ll be out on the streets sooner rather than later. And there are millions of people incarcerated right now, so Democrats want every advantage they can, including from the criminal element.”

Fox News Digital also spoke with another Nevada Republican who opted not to publicly speak out against the bill but predicted it would never make it to the floor of the state Senate.

Fox News Digital reached out to Scheible, who staunchly defended the bill’s aim of what she said was making a way for those not yet convicted of a crime to exercise their right to vote.

“Providing polling places in detention centers or jails does absolutely nothing to expand the population of eligible voters. It will not enable any incarcerated felons to vote,” Scheible said.

“Jails house people who have been accused of crimes and are awaiting trial. Preventing people from voting before they have been convicted in a court of law is unfair. Anyone who believes in the due process protections provided in the Constitution should support this measure.”

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