The Danger Within: Right-Wing Violence in Nevada
The Danger Within: Right Wing Violence in Nevada offers a detailed guide and history of far-right militias and White supremacy groups in Nevada. In the runup to the 2020 presidential elections, it also offers a toolkit for both citizens and public officials. This is a collaboration between Political Research Associates and two leading nonpartisan organizations in Nevada: the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) and Indivisible Northern Nevada.
This report was motivated by the increased presence of armed militia groups at political events around Nevada and by a growing number of violent incidents and plots in Nevada and nationwide. One concern is that such groups could carry out violent attacks both before and after the 2020 elections. Another is that armed groups will show up as “poll watchers” and attempt to intimidate voters. The report also urges public officials to aggressively use existing state laws, which are detailed in the report, to clamp down on illegal militia activity.
Political Research Associates is a national nonprofit entering its 40th year that provides research, analysis and strategy recommendations to understand and combat anti-democratic forces. PLAN is a coalition of nearly 30 organizations in Nevada that advocate for social, economic and environmental justice. Indivisible Northern Nevada is a nonpartisan, grassroots volunteer organization based on the belief that humanitarian values should inform public policy and that elected representatives should be held accountable.
With presidential elections just weeks away, Nevada faces a visible and growing threat of violence from White supremacists and far-right militias.
The FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have both recently warned that White supremacists and White supremacy groups constitute the biggest terrorist threats nationally. Just this month, the FBI charged six members of a Michigan militia group with plotting to kidnap and possibly kill Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Nevada has its own troubled history with White terrorism, going back more than a century, and that activity has reaccelerated in the past several years.
Among the national hate groups and informal militia groups that are currently active and visible in Nevada:
The Proud Boys, whose members have been arrested for violence in New York City and Portland and have been prominent at recent Republican rallies in Nevada.
The Three Percenters, who took part in armed standoffs by Cliven Bundy in Nevada and Ammon Bundy in Oregon.
The Boogaloos, three members of which were charged in Las Vegas this spring with plotting to throw Molotov cocktails at a Black Lives Matter rally and firebomb a Nevada Energy substation.
QAnon, whose supporters promote conspiracy theories about a “deep state” plot by Democrats that involves child sex trafficking.
In this report, we offer a roadmap to these and other groups. We document three key points:
First, Nevada has a deep history with White supremacy and right-wing violence, which continues to the present day.
Second, the potential for havoc will be especially high both before and after the elections on November 3—especially if President Trump appears to have lost. Trump has actively sought to smear the election process—and sued Nevada over its mail-in ballots—and he has tacitly encouraged groups such as the Proud Boys to engage in violence.
Third, Nevada has a wide range of laws against voter intimidation and private militias, and officials must aggressively enforce them. We offer a list of relevant laws as well as a list of ways that citizens can report on potential threats.
It is entirely possible that some of these groups will show up as “poll watchers” at election sites and as heavily armed protesters to discredit the election if it goes against President Trump.
It is possible, even likely, that militia groups will use symbols of hate and racism to provoke violent encounters and manufacture “race riots” that can be blamed on “radical leftists” and Democrats.
Nevadans and Nevada media must be on guard against such ploys and false narratives. Nevada’s public officials must aggressively enforce any and all laws and regulations against voter intimidation and political violence.
Roadmap: White Terrorism Today in Nevada and across the United States
Right-wing organizations, armed militias and White supremacy groups are a shifting concatenation of organizations that regularly expand, contract, split into factions and rebrand themselves to become less politically toxic.
Today, the focus is largely on names that barely existed 10 years ago: the Patriot Front, Proud Boys, Boogaloo Bois, Oath Keepers, Atomwaffen, and the Three Percent Militia.
Each of these groups has a visible presence in Nevada, and we will offer a rough roadmap to those groups, their ideologies and their varying appetites for violence and racism.
What’s important, however, is the overall trend: Domestic far-right organizations and White supremacists currently constitute the biggest terrorism threats in the United States.
Indeed, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned on October 6 that violent White supremacy is the “most persistent and lethal threat in the homeland.” That echoed a similar warning by FBI Director Christopher Wray, who recently told Congress that White “racially motivated violent extremism,” mostly from White supremacists, made up the majority of domestic terrorism threats.
Those assessments contradict President Trump’s continued insistence about the dangers posed by “Antifa” and other “radical left” movements. Notably, the DHS did not make its assessment public until after an agency whistleblower charged that top administration officials had blocked its release.
To be sure, White nationalists, neo-Nazis and other violent far-right militants constitute a tiny minority of Americans. That is true both nationally and here in Nevada, where voters have elected a Democratic governor and state legislature as well as an overwhelmingly Democratic congressional delegation.
The concern, however, is that even a tiny minority of far-right activists and White supremacists could cause havoc both before and after the presidential election on November 3. White supremacy groups and Patriot movement militias are real in Nevada. They are active. Most dangerous of all, they have been encouraged by President Trump’s false claims about election fraud and his all-too-explicit message to “stand back and stand by.”
It is possible that right-wing militia members, perhaps even dressed in full camouflage, will show up as “poll watchers” on November 3—a clear move at voter intimidation. If President Trump loses the election, it is not inconceivable that some groups will threaten or even carry out armed resistance.
Perhaps the most immediate concern, however, is that far-right groups will provoke violent incidents that can be blamed on Democrats, progressives and groups seeking racial justice.
The people of Nevada, not to mention its political leaders, need to brace for a torrent of canned narrative. We have already seen the distorted demonization of Black Lives Matter and of political rallies to spur police reform. Given that President Trump has been loudly and falsely discrediting the election process for months, it is not too early to worry that an apparent loss for Mr. Trump would spur an even bigger tidal wave of false vilification, false incarceration and White supremacist violence.
White nationalist and far-right ideas are already moving from the margins to the mainstream in Nevada. In a recent survey, 15% of Nevadans placed the blame for the Holocaust on the Jews themselves, and 13% of young Nevadans surveyed thought neo-Nazi beliefs “are acceptable.”
With that in mind, we offer a rough roadmap to national far-right and White nationalist groups that have a visible presence in Nevada.
The Proud Boys: Launched in 2016 by Gavin McInnes, who has since disassociated himself, the Proud Boys presents itself as an edgy male drinking club for “Western chauvinists.” Officially, the group denounces racism and even showcases members of color. Officially, the group’s focus is on gun rights and antigovernment libertarianism.
But the Proud Boys’ aim is to provoke liberal outrage. It is also distinctly militant and periodically violent. Its members often wear frat-style black and gold polo shirts, but they carry weapons and often flirt with racism and White nationalism. To reach the fourth and highest “degree” of Proud Boy membership, a person is supposed to get arrested or be involved in a physical altercation with a political opponent.
Much of the group’s purpose is to provoke outrage. As noted by Political Research Associates, which has studied far-right and Patriot movement groups for years, the group exists “almost entirely to antagonize left-wing and Democratic opposition.”
Though the Proud Boys disassociated itself from the infamous neo-Nazi march and violence in Charlottesville, VA, some of its members participated in it. One member, Jason Kessler, was a key organizer. “We’re going to be triggering Antifa to protest and force the Alt-Light’s hand,” Kessler wrote in a chat message that was obtained by Unicorn Riot, a nonprofit journalism collaborative.
The Proud Boys have been regularly filmed physically assaulting antiracist activists. Several were arrested and convicted on felony charges for physically assaulting anti-fascist protestors in New York City.
The FBI designated the Proud Boys an extremist group with ties to White nationalism, and the group has been suspended from Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.
The group attained new fame in the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Biden, when Trump refused to denounce their activities and told them to “Stand back and stand by.” The group immediately turned the phrase into a slogan for T-shirts.
The Proud Boys have been highly visible in Nevada. They were prominent at the Republican Party’s “Mask Free Nevada” and “Re-open Nevada” rallies in September. They’ve also been at right-wing rallies in Reno, Carson City and Minden, NV. Reno Iron Front, a group of self-described antifascist researchers, compiled this profile of a “third degree” Proud Boy based in Reno.
Boogaloo Bois: Launched in the early 2010s, the boogalooers are a decentralized group that is ostensibly libertarian but has ties to White supremacists and violence. Their trademark look is a Hawaiian shirt under an armored vest, weapons and ammo clips.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which covers the boogaloo movement as a hate group, describes it as having “started as a racist meme” and existed almost entirely online until fairly recently. The name stems from the 1984 movie “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo,” but it has long been associated with racist violence and the prediction of a second civil war.
According to the SPLC, “the term is regularly deployed by White nationalists and neo-Nazis who want to see society descend into chaos so that they can come to power and build a new fascist state.”
That vision came close to realization in Las Vegas on May 30, 2020. Three Boogaloo members were arrested on their way to a Black Lives Matter rally and charged by federal prosecutors with conspiring to “maliciously damage or destroy, by means of fire and explosives, buildings and other personal or real property.” According to the prosecutors’ complaint, the three had originally planned to firebomb a Nevada Energy substation, but instead they went to the Black Lives Matter rally with the intention of tossing Molotov cocktails.
III%, aka The Three Percenters: Founded in 2008, this is a loosely defined and decentralized paramilitary group that pledges armed resistance against “government overreach,” especially restrictions on gun ownership, federal ownership of land and environmental regulations.
The name stems from the claim, which is false, that only 3% of the American colonists bore arms against the British during the American Revolution. Ostensibly, the group’s focus is to “defend the Constitution” and “push back” against a tyrannical government. The group says its goal is NOT to overthrow the government, but that it does intend to “utilize the fail-safes put in place by the founders to rein in an over-reaching government and push back against tyranny.”
Those “fail-safes” include the possibility of armed battle against federal and state officials. Political Research Associates compiled quotes from Three Percenter cofounder Michael Brian Vanderboegh:
In 2010, he called for breaking the windows of Democratic Party offices, and a slew of such attacks followed. He called for armed resistance to Obamacare and has published personal information about the families of legislators who voted for gun control measures. At the 2015 Salem, Oregon rally against state gun control legislation, he threatened “civil war” (as he did at the Bundy Ranch) as a response to the new laws. He also called Oregon Governor Kate Brown and others in the state government “tyrants” and “domestic enemies of the Constitution,” before saying, “this country has long had a remedy for tyrants—a second amendment remedy. So be careful for what you wish for, Madam—you may get it.
The Three Percenters have deep ties to Nevada. Several of its members were involved in Cliven Bundy’s armed standoff in Bunkerville against the Bureau of Land Management, as well as in Ammon Bundy’s 2016 armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
One of the most visible Three Percenters in Nevada is Corey Lequieu, who was sentenced in 2016 to 2.5 years in federal prison for his role in the 41-day armed occupation of Malheur. Lequeiu is a vocal and avowed racist who celebrates the Confederate flag in person and on social media. He also supports QAnon, which foments the conspiracy theory that a “deep state” dominated by Democrats is conducting child sex trafficking.
Lequieu has appeared in full camouflage gear at many recent right-wing counterprotests against racial justice rallies in Reno, Carson City and Minden, NV. On June 7, he joined a dozen or more members from the III% and Northern Nevada Light Foot militias. In August, in Minden, he raged against Black Lives Matter in a video interview.
Perhaps the most chilling clue about Nevada’s Three Percenters, however, came in this 2019 post by a local militia leader who called himself Mastodon (boldface added):At this moment we don’t know exactly who the enemy will be, whether government at various levels will be with us or against us.
And, we don’t know whether we will be able to act overtly or we may need to act covertly. What rules of engagement are we going to follow?
But, Nevada and Reno are currently under Democrat control. Locally law enforcement is mostly on our side. But what I’m talking about is direct lethal actn. Of course, only in the foreseeable extreme circumstances.
So, you can guess what comes next. Target selection, identification and location, methodology and planning.
That’s the sort of thing I’m interested in exploring. Not exactly politically correct but certainly not illegal since the sort of circumstances that would allow such action does not exist and probably can’t exist under normal rule of law. We’re talking civil war and basically WROL.
In that situation it would be nice to have good teams and plans in place that ID targets, locations, and methodology. Because, the internet isn’t secure and may be down when we need to locate a targeted person’s address, etc.
Oath Keepers: Formed in 2009, Oath Keepers presents itself as an organization of current and former members of law enforcement, the military and other first responders. Its stated purpose is to organize and train its members to refuse to obey “unconstitutional orders.”
Oath Keepers claims to be law-abiding, a more respectable counterpart to the Three Percenters. But it quickly established itself as a far-right group by participating in armed confrontations with the federal government.
In Nevada, members of Oath Keepers and its founder, Stewart Rhodes, participated in Cliven Bundy’s 2014 armed standoff against the Bureau of Land Management in Bunkerville, NV. (Embarrassingly for Rhodes, however, the group was kicked out of the Bundy camp when he became frightened by false rumors that then-Attorney General Eric Holder was planning a drone attack.)
Oath Keepers, armed with assault rifles, also showed up in Ferguson, MO, in opposition to the uprising over the police shootings of Michael Brown. Some members were also on hand at Ammon Bundy’s armed standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, though the Proud Boy organization itself denounced the occupation.
Two weeks before the 2016 presidential election, Oath Keepers issued a “call to action” for its members to station at polling places and guard against purported election fraud. At the time, then-candidate Donald J. Trump was making vocal accusations that the election would be “rigged.”
In September 2020, less than 2 months before the presidential election, Twitter banned Oath Keepers for violating its policies on violent extremism. According to many media reports, the group had fired off a tweet predicting “open warfare against the Marxist insurrectionists by election night.” Facebook recently blocked the group as well.
It’s unclear how many members Oath Keepers still has. Given the group’s ties to the Bundy standoff, however, it’s likely that former and current members remain active in Nevada.
Atomwaffen Division: A notorious neo-Nazi group that has been eager for a race war and whose members have conspired to carry out attacks on Jewish institutions, Attomwaffen has been highly active in Nevada. In 2018, according to ProPublica, the group held a three-day “hate camp” in the desert for training on weapons and fighting. The event’s organizer, Michael Lloyd Hubsky, was based in Nevada. In 2019, federal prosecutors charged a Las Vegas man, Conor Climo, with plotting to firebomb Jewish sites in the city. As reported by ProPublica, the federal complaint explicitly linked Climo to Atomwaffen, saying he shared its ideology and communicated with its members.
Milestones of Far-Right Violence in Nevada
Far-right violence, from armed antigovernment movements to White supremacist groups, is not new to Nevada. The recent outbreaks of violence and the highly visible displays by armed militias tie into a history that dates back more than a century. To appreciate the deeper significance of what may seem to be fringe groups, it’s important to understand that historical context.
1988-2018: An Abbreviated Timeline of Nazi Skinhead Violence in Northern Nevada
In December 1988, Tony Montgomery was murdered by two skinheads, who were angered by a woman’s report at a Sparks party they attended that she had been sexually assaulted by a Black man. According to court records, they said, “Let’s go kill a n—r,” got a .22-caliber rifle and went to northeast Reno, which they referred to as “brown town.” After one of them shot Tony Montgomery, they exchanged a high five and a Sieg Heil.
In 1994, Lon Mabon began working with right-wing churches and organizations like the Christian Coalition in Nevada to pass a pernicious antigay initiative. It received widespread media coverage and created an overall climate of antigay bigotry.
This spurred a rash of antigay hate crimes, including hate-motivated murders in Reno and in Las Vegas. On July 8, 1994, a White supremacist stabbed William Metz, an advisor to the UNR Gay and Lesbian Student Union, at least 22 times. He later said he wanted to carve a swastika into Metz’s body but didn’t have time.
In November 1999, five White supremacists attempted to firebomb Reno’s Temple Emanu-El. It was the third incident at the temple that year, the previous ones involving rocks thrown through two stained-glass windows and the egging of a replacement window. The five were sentenced to 5-15 years in prison.
In January 2001, an unidentified arsonist attacked Temple Emanu-El, setting its front door on fire.
In 2004, unknown vandals spray-painted backward swastikas and made a death threat against the Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El.
In 2004, on the first day of Hanukkah, vandals spray-painted a Nazi SS symbol, two swastikas and the words “Die Jew” on the doors of Temple Bat Yam in South Lake Tahoe.
In 2018, on two consecutive weekends, fliers referencing the “local Stormer book club,” a reference to the neonazi website, The Daily Stormer, were posted outside Temple Emanu-El blaming Jews for the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
1993-2000: Sagebrush Rebellion: Patriot Movement Violence in Nevada
In December 1993, Nye County passed resolutions declaring all federal lands and all roads on federal land would be under local control. The “New County Movement” was a revival of the Sagebrush Rebellion, which had begun in the 1970’s to bring federal public lands under state control. The “rebellion” was in reaction to rural resentment against increased fees for grazing livestock and mining on federal lands, as well as to demands for more public access to lands under their control.
On October 31, 1993, an unidentified perpetrator threw a bomb on the roof of the state headquarters of the Nevada Bureau of Land Management office in Reno and caused substantial damage.
On July 4, 1994, Nye County Commissioner Dick Carver bulldozed past a Forest Service ranger to re-open a washed-out road within the Toiyabe National Forest.
A month later, a Nye County official threatened to charge federal agents who acted “outside of their authority” within county borders.
In December 1995, two Douglas County men attempted to explode a 100-pound bomb at the IRS building in Reno.
On March 29, 1995, a concrete toilet in a Forest Service Campground in Elko County was blown up by a pipe bomb.
On March 30, 1995, the Carson City office of the Toiyabe Forest Service was bombed, shattering windows and blowing a hole in the wall of the office.
On March 31, 1995, the Toiyabe National Forest headquarters in Sparks, NV, had to be evacuated after a receptionist reportedly received a call saying, “You are next.”
On August 4, 1995, U.S. Forest Service ranger Guy Pence’s home was bombed while his wife and children were there. The Forest Service later transferred him to Idaho for his own protection.
In 1999, Humboldt-Toiyabe Forest Supervisor Gloria Flora said she could not guarantee the safety of her employees and resigned from her position.
In 2000, the Forest Service launched an investigation into dozens of alleged instances of intimidation and harassment against its employees in Nevada.
2014-Present: Far-Right Mobilization in Southern Nevada
In April 2014, Lincoln County rancher Cliven Bundy, who grazed cattle on public land without a BLM permit based on his false idea that the federal government had no authority to manage public lands, summoned White militia groups involved in the antigovernment “Patriot Movement” to participate in an armed standoff against government officials.
In June 2014, Jerad and Amanda Miller, White supremacists who joined with militia groups in Cliven Bundy’s armed standoff, went on a shooting spree in Las Vegas. The couple killed two Metro police officers in a restaurant and a third local resident who confronted the Millers at a nearby Wal-Mart. Jared Miller was killed in a shootout with police, and Amanda committed suicide.
In July 2016, Glenn Franklin Jones detonated two bombs in Panaca and shot himself. While the motive for the bombing, which left a 3’ deep crater, has not been conclusively established, Jones left behind a journal referencing the Patriot movement and a planned attack on the Bureau of Land Management Field Office.
On October 1, 2017, on the Las Vegas Strip, Stephen Paddock committed the deadliest mass shooting by a lone shooter in U.S. history. Law enforcement officials concluded there was not enough evidence to assign a motive to Paddock’s actions, but he did hold far right-wing beliefs such as his convictions that the Federal Emergency Management Agency was running concentration camps and that the government was preparing to confiscate all of the guns in America.
In 2018, Atomwaffen, a group that embraces hatred of Jews and minorities, was highly active in Nevada, including holding a three-day “hate camp” in the desert for training on weapons and hand-to-hand fighting. Atomwaffen had been connected to five murders around the country and to a plot to blow up a nuclear power facility in Florida.
On July 13, 2018, QAnon supporter Matthew Wright was arrested on terrorism charges for using an armored vehicle to block traffic on the bridge near Hoover Dam.
On August 8, 2019, neo-Nazi sympathizer Conor Climo (photo right) was arrested for planning bombing and shooting attacks on a synagogue and an LGBT bar in Las Vegas. He pleaded guilty to charges related to the plots and acknowledged being a member of an offshoot of Atomwaffen.
On May 30, 2020, three former U.S. servicemen and members of the Boogaloos were arrested on their way to a Black Lives Matter protest in Las Vegas for preparing gasoline and glass Molotov cocktails. They hoped to create civil unrest in the George Floyd uprisings and were charged for federal explosive and firearm violations.
On June 7, 2020, White nationalist, QAnon supporter, and member of the Three Percent Militia, Corey Lequieu, formerly of Fallon but now living in Carson City, was observed in full military gear with approximately a dozen or more members from the Three Percenters and Northern Nevada Light Foot militias around downtown Reno to “keep the peace” at a Black Lives Matter vigil for George Floyd. In 2016, Lequieu was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for his involvement in the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Existing Laws that Restrict Far-Right Militias
The presence of armed groups at political demonstrations presents an intimidating threat to peaceful protestors and to the constitutional right of free expression. If armed groups go one step further and show up as purported “poll watchers” at voting places, they will effectively be engaging in voter intimidation—a felony—and threatening the most fundamental practice of democracy.
In light of the visible presence of heavily armed civilians in military attire at many political events in Nevada, it’s crucial that law enforcement agencies look out for public safety and civil rights by enforcing state laws that already prohibit private militias.
As a matter of law, the U.S. Supreme Court has twice ruled that nothing in the Constitution, including the Second Amendment on the right to “keep and bear arms,” prohibits states from outlawing private militias. All 50 states, including Nevada, have such prohibitions on their books.
Though the definition of a private militia can be murky, and Nevada allows individuals to carry guns in most public places, de facto private militia groups do not have the law on their side.
After the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA, which led to violence and death, Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP) successfully sued on behalf of the city of Charlottesville and obtained an injunction against additional rallies of the same type.
ICAP has since released a 50-state catalog of laws in each state that prohibit private armies at public rallies.
The Nevada Constitution takes up the issue in Article I, Section 11, which provides that “the military shall be subordinate to the civil power” and thus expressly forbids militias not under state authority. The Nevada Revised Statutes contains numerous provisions that take up the issue in more detail.
*NRS 412.604, in the chapter on “State Militias,” covers the “unlawful drill or parade with arms by voluntary company or voluntary organization without license.”
Subsection (1) states: “It is unlawful for any body of persons whatever, other than the Nevada National Guard and the troops of the United States, to associate themselves together as a volunteer military company or volunteer military organization to drill or parade with arms in any city or town of this state, without the license of the Governor, which license may at any time be revoked.” Violation is a misdemeanor.
*NRS 203.080, in the chapter on “Crimes Against the Public Peace,” prohibits people associating with unauthorized military companies.
Subsection (1): “It shall be unlawful for any body of individuals other than municipal police, university or public school cadets or companies, militia of the State or troops of the United States, to associate themselves together as a military company with arms without the consent of the Governor.” Violation is a misdemeanor.
Other provisions in the Nevada Revised Statutes cover issues that also pertain to formal or informal militia activity. These cover the usurpation of law enforcement authority, including people who falsely impersonate police or the military; the display of deadly weapons; and the publication of materials aimed at inciting the commission of a crime.
*NRS 197.120 includes a provision on “Crimes By and Against the Executive Power of the State.” It provides that “Every person who shall falsely personate [sic] or represent any public officer … or who shall willfully exercise any of the functions or perform any of the duties of such officer, without having qualified therefor[sic] … shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.”
This statute should disqualify armed groups that claim to be defending property that they don’t own themselves, which is a function of law enforcement agencies. Contrary to the apparent perception of many armed militias, nothing in the law allows them to usurp the duties of official law enforcement officers; in fact, any such usurpation is plainly illegal.
*NRS 202.320 is titled “Drawing deadly weapon in threatening manner.” Although the title only refers to “drawing” a deadly weapon, Subsection (1) also prohibits exhibiting a deadly weapon “in a rude, angry or threatening manner not in necessary self-defense.”
*NRS 203.040 contains a chapter on “Publishing matter inciting breach of peace or other crime.” This subsection (1) makes it a gross misdemeanor to “willfully print, publish, edit, issue, or knowingly circulate” any document “advocating, encouraging or inciting or having a tendency to encourage or incite the commission of any crime, breach of the peace, or act of violence, or which shall tend to encourage or advocate disrespect for law.”
Among other things, this provision would appear to prohibit and punish the distribution of any literature that advocates or encourages the formation of voluntary armed militias. But it would most certainly prohibit discussions, on the Internet or on paper, about the likes of an imminent civil war.
Call to Action
The best way to prepare for this next election and any potential confrontation with these groups is to know your rights. According to Georgetown Law’s ICAP, the Second Amendment “does not prevent the prohibition of private paramilitary organizations.” In fact, it is illegal under Nevada state law to act as a private militia.
While poll watching is legal, voter intimidation is a felony. Make sure you understand what is allowable and what constitutes illegal voter intimidation. Rather than confronting a suspected member or group, document any perceived threats or bullying behavior. Write a detailed account of any suspicious activities that you witness or experience. If possible, take photos or videos.
Report any troubling actions to a poll worker and call and report to the nonpartisan Election Protection Hotline: 1-866-OUR-VOTE or the U.S. Department of Justice’s Voting Section at: 1-800-253-3931. Finally, you can look up your state board of elections contact and notify them of the incident.
Most importantly, do not be misled by the efforts of some to delegitimize the results of this election. Understand that there are some unique challenges because of COVID-19, so we cannot expect to know the results on election night. Please remember that voting is one of our most important rights as Americans, and election officials have the duty to ensure every eligible vote, each voice, is counted. Do not become impatient for the victor to be determined; remember, you can trust the process.
Because the first call to action is to know your rights, American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, published a comprehensive issue, Know Your Rights / Voting Rights.
In our country, there is a long history of voter suppression and intimidation. To gain not only a historical perspective, but also a current understanding of terminology, laws regarding, and strategies to prevent such actions, Voter Intimidation: What Is It and What to Do is an important document to digest.
To also understand legal definitions and laws regarding militia in Nevada read Fact Sheet: Unlawful Militias in Nevada.
If you need to report any perceived violation of yours or others voting rights, you can follow the process as outlined in Report Potential Election Law Violation In Nevada.
To comprehend the extent and effect of the disinformation campaign regarding mail-in ballots, this study outlines the facts regarding Mail-In Voter Fraud: Anatomy of a Disinformation Campaign.
Because of these disinformation campaigns that have been so prevalent in social media and some news outlets, it is important to learn the body of evidence regarding voter fraud. The Brennan Center has compiled a vast amount of research which is accessible in its publication, The Myth of Voter Fraud.
If you would like to learn to become an election defender, you can sign up at the following, https://www.mobilize.us/thefrontline/event/321224/.