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Non-compliance With In-Jail Voting Law Leads To ACLU To Threaten Lawsuits 

The ACLU of Nevada is set to file lawsuits against several county and city jails for non-compliance with a new state law enacted earlier this year to ensure detained individuals have the opportunity to vote. Executive Director Athar Haseebullah announced the planned legal action during a state legislative committee meeting, highlighting a mid-April deadline to address compliance issues before the June primary elections. 

"We're not here to yell or threaten counties or cities," Haseebullah said. "We're trying to ensure compliance with the law, and we're in a finite time period."

This urgency stems from already occurred disenfranchisements, as evidenced by the state's presidential preference primary in February. The ACLU's scrutiny revealed that out of 12 facilities contacted, half lacked policies or needed to be more responsive about voting access, with specific failings in same-day voter registration information and in-jail voting postings. Mineral County notably responded inadequately by merely "monitoring" the law. Despite these challenges, some detention centers reported participation in the recent primary, with a small number of inmates voting. 

"We had an election that has already happened," added Sadmira Ramic, a voting rights attorney with ACLU of Nevada, referring to the state-run presidential preference primary held in early February. "Disenfranchisement has already occurred."

The ACLU aims for compliance without litigation, emphasizing the finite time to ensure lawful adherence. State Sen. Skip Daly described the ACLU's timeline as "generous" but expressed concern over potential political motives hindering compliance. The law in question, Assembly Bill 286, received broad bipartisan support, underscoring the non-partisan intention behind enhancing voting access for detainees.

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