The Nevada race for secretary of state will be the focus of the 2024 election

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Republican voters in Nevada on Tuesday selected a vocal supporter of false allegations of fraud about the 2020 election as their party’s choice to oversee the 2024 election in that presidential battleground state, according to a CNN forecast.
The winner, Jim Marchant, a businessman and former Member of Parliament who lost a Congressional bid in 2020, was among the winners Better known candidates Seeking the GOP nomination for Nevada Secretary of State.
Other candidates in the GOP primary included former district judge Richard Scotti, who shared the election with Marchant approval the Nevada Republican Party and real estate developer and former state Senator Jesse Haw, who was the best-funded GOP contender after putting his own money into the race.
In his campaign, Marchant obliged to overhaul what he calls the “fraudulent voting system” in Nevada. He said he would not have confirmed President Joe Biden’s victory by more than 33,500 votes had he been secretary of state in 2020.
He has spoken publicly of a “Deep State Cabal” that he claims to have installed candidates incorrectly in office for years. And almost two years ago, he sued unsuccessfully to get a re-vote after losing to Democrat Steve Horsford in the state’s 4th congressional district by about 16,000 votes.
Marchant also organized one coalition by so-called “America First Constitutional Conservative” candidates. Their goals include ending most mail-in ballots, expanding voter identification, and encouraging “aggressive” cleanup of voter rolls.

And more recently, Marchant has urged local governments to stop using machines to cast and count votes. He wants to return to hand counting of ballots – a move experts say will lead to error and chaos in future elections.

(As we recently wrote, commissioners in Nye County, Nevada, took up the idea and voted Marchant 5-0 to recommend that county secretary-elect Sandra “Sam” Merlino drop the machines in this year’s election The controversy has prompted Merlino, a Republican, to bring forward the date of her resignation so she won’t be in office to oversee November’s election.)

Marchant did not respond to multiple interview requests from CNN.

His rise in recent months — and his struggle to elect like-minded election officials elsewhere — has raised alarm among national suffrage activists.

“Marchant’s rhetoric and record make it clear that he is a dangerous extremist who would work to undermine democratic elections,” Nick Penniman, the CEO of election monitoring group Issue One Action, said in a statement. “Elections should be conducted by dedicated officials who wish to conduct free and fair elections, not by rogue partisan activists who would overthrow the will of the people.”

swing state

Whoever becomes Nevada’s new secretary of state will oversee the election machinery in one of the country’s key presidential swing states.

Victory margins have tightened on this battlefield in recent years. Biden won the Silver State by just over 2 percentage points in 2020 compared to the Obama-Biden ticket’s 6-plus point win there in 2012.

The state is a top priority for Republicans this year as they seek to seize control of the US Senate. Former President Donald Trump is backing former Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who will win the Republican primary, CNN projects. Born into a powerful Nevada political family, Laxalt served as Trump’s co-chairman in Nevada in the last presidential election. He will run against the first term of Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in the fall.

Trump had not given approval in the GOP secretary of state, though Marchant has emphasized the former president’s support for his unsuccessful 2020 congressional bid during this year’s election campaign.

The current secretary of state and only Republican statewide incumbent, Barbara Cegavske, is on a tenure. She repeatedly defended the integrity of the 2020 election amid Republican fury over the results — and was censored by the Nevada GOP for it.

Marchant meets Las Vegas attorney Cisco Aguilar, who was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

The America First plaque

So far, the so-called “America First” list that Marchant promotes has had mixed results. Foreign secretary candidates backed by the group lost recent primaries in Idaho, California and Georgia.

But others in the America First group have advanced to November’s general election. That includes Republican gubernatorial candidate in Pennsylvania, Sen. Doug Mastriano, a leading voice in promoting Trump’s baseless allegations of voter fraud in Keystone state. In Pennsylvania, the governor appoints the secretary of state.

And last week, Audrey Trujillo — another member of the America First coalition and a critic of vote-counting machines — was formally nominated as the GOP’s nominee for secretary of state in New Mexico. Trujillo, who ran unopposed for the nomination, meets incumbent Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver. Trujillo likely faces a tough climb: Oliver won her first full term in 2018 by a 20-point landslide.

You must read

  • This story from CNN’s Dan Merica about the GOP candidates with ties to January 6th winning their primary.
  • An analysis by CNN’s Adam Wollner on the former Trump administration officials who are seeing success at the ballot box so far this year.
  • This piece by NBC on an eight-figure campaign to promote Democratic foreign minister candidates in several key states – another sign of the high stakes of these polling contests in the current political environment.

This article and headline have been updated for developments on Election Night.

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