The Republican National Committee (RNC) filed a lawsuit against Clark County, Nevada’s election department and registrar of voters on Tuesday for refusing to comply with public records requests regarding the political affiliations of the locality’s poll workers for the upcoming 2022 elections.
According to an RNC press release, the GOP group “has tried negotiating in good faith with Clark County to try and determine whether it’s fulfilling its obligation to have bipartisan poll worker representation for the  election,” but Clark County has refused “repeated requests for this information.”
Under Nevada state law, “[t]he registered voters appointed as election board officers for any polling place must not all be of the same political party.”
“To verify [Clark County officials’] compliance with this provision, [the RNC] served an NRS Chapter 239 Nevada Public Records Act (“NPRA”) request seeking information about the partisan breakdown and political affiliation of Clark County’s poll workers,” the lawsuit reads. “Like other government employees, poll workers are paid with taxpayer funds. Poll workers are also public facing at election sites around Clark County during early voting and on Election Day. Thus, information about poll workers is not confidential and the requested information is presumptively open to public inspection under the NPRA.”
The lawsuit goes on to claim that even though “it had no obligation to do so,” the RNC offered to treat any information turned over as “‘attorneys’ eyes only’ to alleviate any privacy concerns that may legitimately exist.” Despite the pledge, Clark County election officials still refused to produce any documents.
“The RNC has consistently tried to work with Clark County to ensure that its election officials are following Nevada law by ensuring bipartisan representation among poll workers,” said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel in a statement. “The County has refused our good-faith compromises and is hiding records that the public is legally allowed to see. Sunlight is the best disinfectant: we are suing Clark County to secure the election transparency that Nevadans deserve ahead of midterms.”
Nevada is hardly the only state with alleged disparities in party representation among its poll workers. In Michigan, cities such as Kalamazoo and Flint reportedly hired vastly more Democrat poll workers than Republicans ahead of the 2022 elections, with Kalamazoo hiring 132 Democrat election inspectors and only 60 Republicans. The difference in Flint was even worse, with the city hiring 442 Democrat workers and 27 Republicans.
Similar issues have also been reported in Maricopa County, Arizona, where the locality hired 857 Democrat and 712 Republican poll workers for its August primary elections.