SB216 – In Honor of Native American Heritage Month

To celebrate Native American Heritage Month, we are sharing all the favorable outcomes of the 82nd Legislative Session.

As all our relatives become more engaged in civic matters, please know that the bill which “Requires city  and county clerks to schedule meetings with Tribes located in whole or part of their county, no later than August of odd-numbered years to discuss details for the next year’s elections,” is now a law. 

(SB 216) Addresses the establishment of polling places on reservations and colonies, dates and times of operation for these polling places, deadlines related to Senate Bill 327, recruitment of poll workers, Tribal polling locations, and any other topic related to elections as necessary. 

→There should be another meeting before September 1 to confirm these details as practicable.
→Ongoing meetings through the election year as necessary.
→If a clerk is unable to contact a Tribe, they must notify the Secretary of State’s Office.
→Allows members of Nevada’s Tribal Nations to utilize the Effective Absentee System for Elections (EASE). EASE is currently available to uniformed-service voters, their families, and overseas voters.
→Allows Tribal members to register to vote online, including registering with their Tribal identification cards, and cast their ballot online.
→Counties are required to comply with these requests.

Previously, a Tribe could not opt-in to having a polling place on their land for each election. This bill changes it to an “opt-out” process. Cities and counties are required to establish a polling place at every reservation or colony within their boundaries unless they receive formal notification otherwise from a Tribe.

Tribes may opt to have a polling place, only on certain days or certain hours, opt to have a mail ballot
drop box instead of polling place, or other options (including opting out of a polling place entirely). 

Presidential Preference Primary:  Feb. 6, 2024                                                                                               
Tribes must opt out by Sept. 15, 2023                                                                                  

Primary Election:  June 11, 2024                                                                           
Tribes must opt out by Jan. 15, 2024                                                                                                   

General Election:  Nov. 5, 2024                                                                              
Tribes must opt out by June 15, 2024

For more information about Voting Services for Tribal Nations, click here .

The NEVADA INDIAN COMMISSION (NIC) is a State agency created by statute in 1965 to “study matters affecting the social and economic welfare and well-being of American Indians residing in Nevada, including but not limited to matters and problems relating to Indian affairs and to federal and state control, responsibility, policy, and operations affecting such Indians.”  Beginning on July 1, 2024, our agency will be known as the Department of Native American Affairs (DNA).