Nevada secretary of state nominee Jim Marchant appeared on a right-wing radio program and said that he supports a proposal requiring voters to re-register. The program's hosts praised Marchant and didn’t explain to listeners that such a plan would violate federal law and was a mechanism of Jim Crow segregationists who used it to prevent Black people from voting.
Marchant is the leader of the America First Secretary of State Coalition, which consists of Republicans who are running for offices that oversee voting in their respective states. Those candidates support the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. The coalition collaborates with QAnon conspiracy theorists, and Marchant himself has ties to QAnon conspiracy theorists and appeared at a QAnon conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, last year.
One of Marchant’s favorite interview spots is the Reno, Nevada-based program America Matters with Eddie Floyd, where he has made over a dozen appearances since starting his campaign. The program airs on KFOY, an AM radio station.
In previously unreported remarks, Marchant repeatedly said on America Matters that he is considering having people re-register as voters if he wins office. Republican Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, who is part of Marchant’s coalition and is a QAnon supporter and January 6 insurrectionist, has floated a similar idea.
In covering Mastriano’s re-registration proposal, The Associated Press wrote that “scholars who specialize in election law said they had never heard of a state doing anything similar recently — probably because there are laws designed to prevent it. It is certainly barred by the National Voter Registration Act, at least for federal elections, and likely runs into significant protections under the federal — and possibly the state — constitution and laws, constitutional law scholars say.”
The AP added that “southern states, following Reconstruction, imposed annual re-registration requirements, with some of those laws lasting until at least 1971. The laws were regarded as one of the mechanisms used by those states to try to keep Black people from voting.” Yahoo! News similarly reported that “such sweeping moves would be a throwback to a time when Black Americans were routinely presented with hurdles that kept them from exercising their right to vote.”
On September 13, 2021, Marchant appeared on America Matters and was asked by Eddie Floyd how he is “going to clean up our voter rolls here in Nevada.” Marchant replied by falsely claiming that “we have a lot of illegals on our voter rolls” and then later said: “One of the things that I'm going to look at, and I don't know if we can do this yet, but it's something I’ll most certainly consider is wipe out the voter rolls completely and then have everybody re-register.”
He later reiterated his support for the re-registration of voters, saying: “I think if we just start over from scratch and have everybody re-register, I think that would be a great thing. And that’s something, you know, I don't know if we can do that, but I'm certainly going to look into it.”
Floyd did not dispute Marchant’s claim and instead went on to help him promote his campaign website.
EDDIE FLOYD (HOST): I'm scared to death because I remember you looking me in the eye and telling me, “Eddie, if I become secretary of state here in Nevada, one of the things I intend to do is clean up our voter rolls.” I would say you've got --
JIM MARCHANT (GUEST): Yeah, absolutely.
FLOYD: You've got a big job, Jim, but certainly not as big as California's, you know, voter rolls. But how you going to clean up our voter rolls here in Nevada, Jim?
MARCHANT: Well, I think, you know, there's a couple of options. You know, right now we send out cards and people are supposed to return them if there's any address change or that type of thing. And, you know, to date, it just hasn't worked out as good as I would like. And then also with the — that M.O.U. that Barbara did with the ACLU and La Familia Vota, we have a lot of illegals on our voter rolls. And how in the world are we going to get rid of them? Well, one of the things that I'm going to look at, and I don't know if we can do this yet, but it's something I’ll most certainly consider is wipe out the voter rolls completely and then have everybody re-register. And then I'm going to implement — if I can, and I may not be able to do this through the law, because the Democrats passed many laws that are kind of hidden, but one of the things I want to do is make sure they're a citizen. So if I can do that, when we re-register everybody, I'm going to try to verify citizenship. And like I said, the Democrats are going to fight me tooth and nail on that. And, but that's something that I'm going to try to do. But that's very important that we get our voter rolls cleaned up, because if — think about all of the thousands and tens of thousands of people that aren't, that shouldn't be allowed to vote here. People that have moved, people that are deceased. They shouldn't be allowed and they should not be on our voter rolls. And they are. And we've got to clean that up. So I think if we just start over from scratch and have everybody re-register, I think that would be a great thing. And that’s something, you know, I don't know if we can do that, but I'm certainly going to look into it.
Marchant made similar remarks during a November 12, 2021, appearance on America Matters. During that program, guest co-host and then-California gubernatorial candidate Leo Zacky asked Marchant: “How often do you think the state should be purging the voter rolls? … How often should be, you know, having people re-register?”
Marchant replied: “That's an idea that I thought about maybe implementing is to, you know, just totally wipe out the voter rolls and re-register. And that's something that I've got to look at a little closer to see if that's something that's feasible. But I would like that. I mean, I think if we just wiped it out and said, OK, everybody, you need to re-register, you need to prove citizenship at the same time and prove that you do live at a real address, not an empty lot, not, you know, a post office box or something like that, then that's something that I'm going to look at very strongly.”
Zacky responded “great” while Floyd said, “I like it.”