Nevada becomes latest to enhance penalties for election worker intimidation after statewide exodus | Gabe Stern/Associated Press

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed a bill into law on Tuesday that makes it a felony to harass, intimidate or use force on election workers performing their duties. The law was passed unanimously by the state legislature and was a core campaign promise from Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar. The law is meant to deter attacks against election workers who have faced increased scrutiny and threats in recent years. The law also makes it a felony to disseminate personal information about an election worker without their consent. The law is the latest in a series of measures taken by states to protect election workers. Other states that have taken similar steps include Maine, Vermont, Washington, New Mexico and Oklahoma. The law is a significant step in protecting election workers and ensuring that they can do their jobs without fear of harassment or intimidation. Read Article

Nevada: In response to Trump fake electors in 2020, bill passes legislature | April Corbin Girnus/Nevada Current

The Nevada Republicans who submitted fraudulent election certification documents after the 2020 presidential election will not face criminal charges for their actions, but a new bill, Senate Bill 133, has been passed that would make creating or serving on a false slate of electors a category B felony. If the bill becomes law, future fake electors could face a minimum sentence of four years in prison, a maximum of 10 years, and a fine of up to $5,000. They would also be prohibited from holding public office or jobs in state or local government. The bill is a response to the coordinated attempt made by the 2020 Trump campaign and allies to overturn the election results and the actions of fake electors, which were central to Trump’s failed plan for Congress to reject Joe Biden’s victory. The bill now awaits the decision of Governor Joe Lombardo, who previously expressed support for one of the fake electors. Read Article

Nevada Attorney General backs making fake elector schemes a felony in light of 2020 | Casey Harrison/Las Vegas Sun

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford has revealed that his office is unable to prosecute individuals who signed fake electoral certificates declaring Donald Trump the winner in Nevada after the 2020 election because there is no state law explicitly making such actions illegal. Ford testified in support of Senate Bill 133, which seeks to prohibit the creation and submission of false slates of presidential electors, making it a category B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $5,000. The bill aims to hold accountable those attempting to subvert democratic processes based on false claims. Ford’s office is also assisting the U.S. Department of Justice in its investigation into fake electors. Read Article

Nevada lawmakers consider requiring voting machines for all in-person voting | Sean Golonka/The Nevada Independent

After multiple rural counties attempted to eliminate or consider eliminating the use of mechanical voting machines last year, Nevada lawmakers are considering a bill that would require such machines to be used for in-person voting. The change would primarily affect Nye County, where county officials last year transitioned away from the use of electronic voting machines amid the spread of election fraud conspiracy theories that targeted Dominion Voting Systems, a major manufacturer and provider of voting equipment nationally and in Nevada. AB242, which comes from the Joint Interim Standing Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections, would prohibit the use of paper ballots for in-person voting, instead requiring the use of voting machines for in-person voting. Voting machines used in Nevada include the Dominion electronic voting machines used in 15 counties, including Clark and Washoe counties, and mechanical ballot marking devices used in Carson City and Lander County. Assemblywoman Tracy Brown-May (D-Las Vegas) presented the bill and said the measure was intended to “address the inadequacies in accessibility for people with disabilities to be able to cast their votes.”

Full Article: Lawmakers consider requiring voting machines for all in-person voting – The Nevada Independent

Nevada Secretary of State slams Governor’s election reform bill | Mark Credico/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Nevada Secretary of State Francisco Aguilar criticized an elections bill introduced by Gov. Joe Lombardo that would institute voter ID and end the practice of sending a mail ballot to every active registered voter. Speaking during a tour of Henderson’s voting facilities Monday as residents cast ballots in a special election to fill the vacant Ward 1 seat, Aguilar dismissed Senate Bill 405 as unnecessary. “I think it’s the solution to a problem that doesn’t exist,” Aguilar told reporters Monday morning. The measure, introduced last week, would require voters to show ID to vote, either in person or by mail, end universal mail balloting, require all mail ballots to be received by the county before polls close on Election Day and place limitations on so-called ballot harvesters who turn in ballots on behalf of others. Other Nevada Democrats have also criticized the governor’s proposed bill. Aguilar called the bill “a response to anecdotal information rather than facts.” He praised the current state of Nevada’s elections, saying they are “some of the most secure elections in the country” and are highly rated by third-party audits.

Full Article: Aguilar slams Lombardo’s Nevada election reform bill | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Nevada Governor targets mail ballots, wants voter ID | Jessica Hill/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo introduced legislation Monday that would make sweeping changes to Nevada’s election process, including repealing universal mail-in voting, requiring an ID to vote and moving up the deadline for completed mail ballots to be received. If passed, Senate Bill 405 would undo election-related legislation passed by the 2021 Legislature and signed by Lombardo’s Democratic predecessor, Steve Sisolak, that expanded voting access and led to the state receiving an “A” grade on its election report card from the Institute for Responsive Government. “Governor Lombardo submitted SB 405 as part of his ongoing promise to fight for common sense election reforms in Nevada,” said Elizabeth Ray, Lombardo’s spokeswoman. “SB 405 will help restore faith and timeliness in our election system, so that every Nevadan has confidence that our voting process is free and fair.”

Full Article: Lombardo bill would make sweeping changes to Nevada elections | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Nevada Senate bill: Repay state for unused voting machines | Taylor R. Avery/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Counties and cities could be on the hook for repaying the state for unused voting machines under a bill considered by lawmakers Thursday. Senate Bill 215, presented by state Sen. James Ohrenschall, D-Las Vegas, would require counties and cities that choose to stop using voting machines purchased with state funds to return the money to the state. The bill comes in response to some counties that considered using paper ballots and hand counting, ostensibly to ensure election integrity. The bill would not be retroactive, meaning counties that have already opted to stop using voting machines wouldn’t be required to pay the money back. If passed, the bill would become effective on July 1. The proposed legislation was suggested by an interim legislative committee, which voted in August to request a version of the bill be introduced during the 2023 legislative session.

Full Article: Nevada Senate bill: Repay state for unused voting machines | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Nevada elections head pushes training, manual amid turnover | Gabe Stern/Associated Press

Amid widespread turnover among county election officials in Nevada as the 2022 midterms approached, the clerks and registrars thrust into new roles often had a dual approach: running elections while learning how they operate. Democratic secretary of state Cisco Aguilar vowed to address the loss of institutional election knowledge to a state Senate committee Thursday, perpetrated in part by election denialism and hostility toward election officials, along with adapting to changing election laws and a host of other duties that some clerks and clerk-treasurers are tasked with. This includes managing decades of public documents and safeguarding millions in public funds. The fallout has been stark: 10 of the state’s 17 counties have changed top election officials since 2020. Several left in the months leading up to the pivotal 2022 midterms. The departures included large portions of county election staffs and the secretary of state’s elections office, where eight of the department’s 11 positions experienced turnover between the 2020 election and October 2022. Aguilar, who took office in January, presented a bill that would mandate his office to prepare biennial training courses and an elections procedures manual for county and city clerks, which would be at the ready for sudden departures and new staff heads leading up to the 2024 election and beyond. Several county clerks and voting rights groups testified in support of the bill.

Full Article: Nevada elections head pushes training, manual amid turnover | AP News

Nevada Secretary of State seeks $30M to create state-run voter registration database | Casey Harrison/Las Vegas Sun

Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar is asking state lawmakers for approximately $30 million to help aid in establishing a statewide voter registration database that would modernize the way elections are administered. Signed into law during the 81st legislative session in 2021 — before Aguilar took office — Assembly Bill 422, had sought to create a centralized statewide database of registered voters known as the Voter Registration and Election Management Solution, or VREMS. According to Aguilar, that’s different from the current system where such information is kept on a county-by-county basis, putting workers in his office in frequent contact with county clerks. In a final assessment issued by former Secretary of State Barbra Cegavske last year, she advised the VREMS system not be fully implemented until 2026 to ensure the project “not be rushed,” while remaining a top priority. The problem with that, Aguilar told the Sun, is that much of the technology being used for the database, such as source coding, could be obsolete by the time it’s ready for use and thus costing the state more in the long run by continually playing catch-up.

Full Article: Secretary of state seeks $30M to create state-run voter registration database – Las Vegas Sun Newspaper

Nevada: “They don’t trust us”: Election Workers Still Face Pressure and Harassment | Alex Burness/Bolts

Election administration used to take up a fraction of Lacey Donaldson’s headspace. “An every-two-years kind of thing,” she said. But these days, Donaldson, the elected clerk and treasurer of Pershing County, Nevada, can hardly run an errand without being reminded of how much has changed since 2020 for elections professionals like her. “It’s not just people questioning you at work. It’s at the grocery store, or at your niece’s birthday party,” she said. Her county covers an area almost as big as New Jersey but has a population of just over 6,700 people. “I pretty much know everyone,” added Donaldson, a Democrat starting her fourth term in a county then-President Donald Trump won by 51 points in 2020. “They don’t trust us. We’re letting them watch the process, but you can’t really argue with those people that have believed misinformation. It doesn’t matter how long they’ve known you. They’ll say, we know you’re doing it the right way, but the county next door isn’t. Well, that doesn’t make you feel any better about your job.” This relatively new stressor is part of the long tail of election denialism that was kicked off by Trump during the 2020 presidential election. It remains as an animating belief among some on the right that entire electoral systems—and the people who run them—are irredeemably untrustworthy.

Full Article: “They don’t trust us”: Nevada Election Workers Still Face Pressure and Harassment | Bolts

Nevada: Nye County Clerk lerk says hand count was ‘more accurate’ than voting machines | Robin Hebrock/Pahrump Valley Times

Nye County’s decision to switch to paper ballots and utilize a hand count in the 2022 election cycle captured the country’s attention, grabbing national headlines and even prompting legal action from the American Civil Liberties Union in an attempt to stop the move. Despite the pushback and a two-week delay caused by the ACLU lawsuit, Nye County Clerk Mark Kampf said the new process devised for 2022 was a successful one and his office will now be analyzing its options for the 2024 election. “Just as a reminder to those who don’t believe it, the tabulation was the primary method of determining our election results. Let me repeat that. We used the Dominion tabulators to calculate our election results, no different than we have in the past,” Kampf explained for the public at the Nye County Commission’s Jan. 18 meeting. The big difference when it came to calculating results for 2022, Kampf said, was the inclusion of a hand count. In addition to counting the ballots with electronic equipment, a force of more than 200 volunteers offered their time and energy to tally all of the votes marked on the paper ballots by hand, the results of which were then balanced against those derived from the Dominion tabulation. In the end, Kampf remarked, it appeared that the hand count was marginally more accurate.

Full Article: Nye clerk says hand count was ‘more accurate’ than voting machines | Pahrump Valley Times

Nevada: Democratic state senator to propose criminalizing ‘fake elector’ schemes | Sean Golonka/The Nevada Independent

In a bid to strengthen Nevada election laws, Democratic Sen. has requested a bill that would criminalize so-called “fake elector” schemes, such as the 2020 plot that saw self-designated Republican electors seek to pledge Nevada’s electoral votes to then-President Donald Trump, despite him losing the popular vote to Democrat Joe Biden. “I just wanted to, to the extent that we can, strengthen the rule against it, the penalty for it, make sure it never happens again, basically make it even more illegal than it was before,” Daly, who represents a Sparks-area district, told The Nevada Independent. “The idea is not only to capture … the actual fake electors, but anyone conspiring with them to do such a thing.” For those found guilty of submitting false electoral votes or conspiring to do so, Daly’s requested bill would, if approved, subject them to felony charges, including four to eight years of jail time. It also would ban those convicted of breaking the law from running for elected office in Nevada and from being appointed to any government position in the state. “I pray that we’ll never … have to prosecute or attempt to prosecute or have a reason to prosecute anybody,” he said. “But at the same time, though, who would have thought that it would happen the first time?”

Source: Democratic state senator to propose criminalizing ‘fake elector’ schemes – The Nevada Independent

Nevada elections department subpoenaed in Trump probe | Gabe Stern/Associated Press

Nevada’s departing Secretary of State was served a subpoena last month as part of the U.S. Department of Justice special counsel’s investigation into efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election results. The subpoena required Barbara Cegavske to either appear in the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C., on Dec. 9 or provide a litany of documents detailing communications with officials. Those documents mirrored the special counsel’s subpoenas in other key swing states. Cegavske’s office opted to provide documents, of which there was only one, with officials who were not on the DOJ’s request list. In a statement Thursday evening, Cegavske’s office said that document was provided “out of an abundance of caution.” Special counsel Jack Smith is overseeing the Justice Department investigation into the presence of classified documents at Trump’s Florida estate as well as key aspects of a separate probe involving the violent storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and Trump’s efforts to remain in power.

Full Article: Nevada elections department subpoenaed in Trump probe | AP News

Nevada high court rejects plea to stop county’s hand-count | Gabe Stern/Associated Press

The Nevada Supreme Court denied an emergency writ from two voting rights groups on Monday that sought to shut down a controversial hand-count of all paper ballots in rural Nye County, meaning that the county clerk can continue the hand-counting of ballots that have been counted by machine tabulators. “Having reviewed the petition and answer, we conclude that petitioner has not demonstrated that our extraordinary intervention is warranted at this time,” the justices said in their decision. Officials in the county first started a hand-counting process on Oct. 26 but the Nevada Supreme Court ordered it shut down a day later, siding with the American Civil Liberties Union’s objections to volunteers reading election results aloud. Nye County resumed a revised version of its hand-counting last week after Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske ordered the county to halt its counting until after polls closed. While Nye County commission members have shown support for scrapping voting machines completely, machine tabulators are the primary counting method for this election, and Nye has already reported the results of nearly 21,000 ballots cast. Nye County, home to about 34,000 registered voters, is the most prominent county in the U.S. to change its vote-counting process in reaction to conspiracy theories about election fraud tied to voting machines, though there has been no credible evidence of widespread fraud or manipulation of machines.

Full Article: Nevada high court rejects plea to stop county’s hand-count | AP News

Nevada: Nye County clerk tempers hand count expectations, calls it a ‘test’ | Brett Forrest/KSNV

One day after Nye County Clerk Mark Kampf finally began his controversial hand count plan, he appeared to step back from previous claims and said it amounted to a “test.” “In any system conversion, if you wanted to change, you wouldn’t just shut off the old system and turn on the new one,” said Kampf on Friday. “You would test both in parallel to see how they work. And that’s been our intention all along.” … “We took the volunteers we had and put them to work. Unfortunately, you get a lot of mistakes when you get people in our demographic,” he said. “In this town, 85% of the people are 56 years and older. Sometimes even I make mistakes, you know, my ripe age of 68. So we had to send back a lot of votes for ballots for recount. But again, that’s part of the quality control process is to make sure that we get the vote right.” Kampf said each volunteer works as long as they can, but he planned many would be working long hours and through the weekend. They take breaks and on Friday, Kampf had pizza delivered for lunch. After the first day, Kampf estimated there was a 25% error rate. He admitted it was “very, very high,” but remained optimistic it would improve after each day. As for the volunteers who couldn’t seem to keep up or grasp the process, Kampf said he would thank them for the support, but send them on their way.

Full Article: Nye County clerk tempers hand count expectations, calls it a ‘test’ | KSNV

Nevada: ACLU files another lawsuit to halt Nye County’s ballot hand counting | Jessica Hill/Las Vegas Review-Journal

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada announced Monday morning that it has filed another lawsuit with the Supreme Court of Nevada trying to stop Nye County from conducting a hand count of ballots. The ACLU of Nevada and its colleagues at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law argue that Nye County Clerk Mark Kampf does not have the legal authority to move forward with the hand counting. They argue that hand counting violates state law and the state constitution, which guarantees voters’ right to have “election contests resolved fairly, accurately and efficiently.” “The Nye County Clerk’s insistence on doing a hand-count of all ballots that have already been counted by machine tabulators defies best practices in the election security field,” Sadmira Ramic, voting rights attorney for the ACLU of Nevada, said in a statement. “It’s a haphazard and disorganized approach to one of the greatest responsibilities of election administration, counting every eligible vote,” she said.

Full Article: ACLU files another lawsuit to halt Nye County’s ballot hand counting

Nevada county hand counts ballots to double-check machine results | Jessica Hill/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Sitting at tables in groups of three, about 54 volunteers at the Nye County’s Valley Conference Center marked the results of paper ballots on a tally sheet with felt-tip pens — which make it clear if a volunteer tries to tamper with a ballot — before passing them to the next person to double-check their results the totals. The volunteers wear gloves to prevent anyone from using graphite under their fingernails to change the results on the ballots, and once they go through each race another volunteer makes sure all three reviewers counted the same number of votes. Nye County, which received national news attention for its plans to hand count the ballots, restarted that process Thursday as an “experiment” and “test for process,” Clerk Mark Kampf told the Review-Journal. The Nye County Commission voted in March to have an all-paper ballot, hand count system in the election, but it was a long process to work out with the Nevada secretary of state’s office as well as voting rights organizations that challenged the plans. After getting the OK to hand count once the polls closed, the county asked for volunteers to come and be a part of the process.

Full Article: Nevada county hand counts ballots to double-check machine results | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Nevada Election Results Could Take Days, Officials Say | Julie Brown/The New York Times

Overwhelmed election officials in Nevada say that they have been flooded by thousands of mail-in ballots, and that it may take several days to count the votes and upload results. Last year, the state began requiring that mail-in ballots be sent to every registered voter. While ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, they can be counted if they arrive as late as Saturday. Elections officials have emphasized the need for patience and have not offered predictions on how quickly they will be able to offer tallies. Jamie Rodriguez, the interim registrar of voters in Washoe County, said she was expecting roughly 16,000 mail-in ballots to arrive on Election Day. She said that those votes would not be counted until Thursday because poll workers were so behind. “Understand that whatever results posted tonight, if there are close races, there are definitely still a large number of votes to be counted,” Ms. Rodriguez said on Tuesday night.

Full Article: Nevada Election Results Could Take Days, Officials Say – The New York Times

Nevada again rejects Nye County vote hand-counting plan | Colton Lochhead/Las Vegas Review-Journal

The Nevada secretary of state’s office refused to approve a revised proposal from the interim Nye County clerk that is seeking to hand count ballots before Election Day, citing “significant risks” and “concerns relating to the integrity of the election.” In a letter sent Friday to interim Nye County Clerk Mark Kampf, the secretary of state’s office laid out three key concerns that it said need to be addressed to bring it in compliance with a state Supreme Court directive before they would approve the plan. The letter, written by Deputy Secretary of State for Elections Mark Wlaschin, said that Kampf’s plan for three talliers to work in silence instead of reading the ballot aloud and to tally each side of the ballot individually would be problematic because those talliers might not notice if the other workers mark one of the ballots, either purposefully on by accident. An extra mark on a ballot may be deemed an “over-vote,” which would lead to that vote not being counted. Wlaschin also said in the letter that the plan had no requirements to use medical-style gloves to mitigate the risk of cheating or accidental markings and that there needed to be more detail on the county’s plan to deal with discrepancies that may pop up between the machine and hand counts. “These significant risks must be addressed prior to the approval of your plan,” Wlaschin wrote.

Full Article: Nevada again rejects Nye County vote hand-counting plan | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Nevada: Rural county won’t hand-count until polls close | Gabe Stern/Associated Press

Officials in a rural Nevada county say they will not proceed with hand counting early mail-in votes before polls close on Election Day. Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske ordered Nye County in late October to halt its hand-counting of ballots until after polls close on Nov. 8. Her order came after the Nevada Supreme Court issued an opinion siding with the American Civil Liberties Union’s objections to the reading of individual votes out loud. Still, Nye County submitted a revised plan for a silent hand-count last week in hopes of remedying the court’s concerns and being able to continue the count. Cegavske said Friday that the plan needed more details for it to be approved and declined to lift the hand-count ban, leading to Nye County’s announcement on Sunday that it would wait until Election Day. The county received 10,583 mail ballots as of Friday. For Election Day, which is Tuesday, polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m., though those in line at 7 p.m. will be able to cast their ballot. Nye County is one of the first jurisdictions nationwide to act on election conspiracies related to mistrust in voting machines, though other counties across Nevada have considered using hand-counts in the future.

Full Article: Rural Nevada county won’t hand-count until polls close | AP News

Nevada ACLU asks for probe into ‘partisan’ hand count of mail-in ballots | Zach Schonfewld/The Hill

The ACLU of Nevada says it filed a complaint with the state’s secretary of state on Wednesday alleging “coordinated partisan election administration” during a hand count of ballots in Nye County. The rural county had begun hand counting early ballots late last month in response to conspiracy theories about voting machines there, but the ACLU and other groups have challenged the move in court, and Nevada’s secretary of state told the county last week it must temporarily stop the hand count. The ACLU of Nevada alleged in its new complaint that one of its observers watching the then-active hand count was removed from an observation room by an armed individual initially thought to be a county employee. The group alleged it has since discovered the individual was Laura Larsen, the vice chair of the county GOP’s central committee, who also demanded the ACLU observer turn over her notes. “Nye County’s actions during this election, including the disastrous failure that was its attempt at hand counting paper ballots, exceed the bounds of normalcy and decency,” ACLU of Nevada Executive Director Athar Haseebullah said in a statement.

Full Article: Nevada ACLU asks for probe into ‘partisan’ hand count of mail-in ballots | The Hill

Nevada: Hand vote count stops, but Nye county vows to try again | Ken Ritter/Associated Press

A rural Nevada county roiled by voting machine conspiracy theories stopped its unprecedented effort Friday to hand count ballots cast in advance of Election Day. But Nye County officials vowed to reshape their plan and seek another go-ahead from the Nevada Supreme Court, after justices ruled late Thursday that counting methods used this week violated rules they set to prevent the county from allowing early disclosure of election results. “Yesterday’s Supreme Court order requires us to make some changes to our hand count process,” Nye County officials said in a statement issued Friday that promised to “resume as soon as our plan is in compliance with the court’s order and approved by the secretary of state.” No counting had been scheduled Saturday or Sunday, county spokesman Arnold Knightly said. Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada said Friday they stood ready to challenge any effort to restart the hand tallies next week. They don’t believe there’s any hand-counting scenario that would pass legal muster. “Our position has always been that a general election is not an appropriate avenue for conducting experiments with election processes and it has become increasingly clear that there is no path forward for this hand counting process under the law,” said Sadmira Ramic, ACLU of Nevada’s voting rights attorney.

Full Article: Hand vote count stops, but Nevada county vows to try again | AP News

Nevada hand vote count on hold after high court says illegal | Gabe Stern, Ken Ritter and Scott Sonner/Associated Press

An unprecedented hand-count of mail-in ballots in a rural Nevada county is on hold and may not resume after the Nevada Supreme Court said in an after-hours ruling the current process is illegal and the Republican secretary of state directed the county clerk to “cease immediately.” Volunteers in rural Nye County had wrapped up a second day of hand-counting the ballots on Thursday by the time the Supreme Court issued a three-page opinion siding with objections raised by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada. Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, who is in charge of elections and has been been one of the GOP’s most vocal critics of the sort of voter-fraud conspiracy theories that fueled the hand tallying of ballots, said the “hand-counting process must cease immediately.” She requested in a letter to Nye County Clerk Mark Kampf that he confirm to her office Thursday night that the hand count process “had been stopped.” Cegavske’s office didn’t immediately respond to requests from The Associated Press for an update. But the ACLU said in a statement that Nye County’s attorneys had informed the organization’s legal staff that “its hand-count process has been shut down.”

Full Article: Hand vote count on hold after Nevada high court says illegal | AP News

Nevada’s Republican election deniers prepare to sabotage the midterms | Dana Milbank/The Washington Post

If the midterm elections degenerate into chaos in a couple of weeks — a very real possibility — then Nevada is poised to lead the way. Indeed, the chaos here has already begun. The election supervisors in 10 of the state’s 17 counties have already quit, been forced out or announced their departures. Lower-level election workers have quit in the face of consistent abuse. The state’s elections staff has lost eight of its 12 employees. The (Republican) secretary of state, who vigorously defends the integrity of the 2020 election, is term-limited, and the GOP nominee to replace her, Jim Marchant, leads a national group of election deniers running for office. Marchant is on record saying that if he and his fellow candidates are elected, “we’re going to fix the whole country, and President Trump is going to be president again.” In Reno’s Washoe County, the state’s second largest, an antisemitic conspiracy theorist led a harassment campaign against the registrar of voters, accusing her of treason and addiction, and she quit in fear for her family’s safety. In her absence, the county recently mailed a sample ballot to voters laced with errors: a missing contest, a missing candidate, a contest that didn’t belong on the ballot and a misspelling.

Full Article: Opinion | Nevada’s Republican election deniers prepare to sabotage the midterms – The Washington Post

It’s Hard To Run Elections These Days. Just Ask Nevada’s Election Officials. | Kaleigh Rogers/FiveThirtyEight

“We’ve had the death threats,” Stacie Wilke-McCulloch said. “We’ve had the, ‘We know where you live,’ and all that.” As a trustee on the school board for Carson City, Nevada, for the past 14 years, Wilke-McCulloch is no stranger to harassment, particularly as school boards bore the brunt of criticism over controversial curricula and school closures related to COVID-19. As a result, she’s gained a thick skin that may serve her well in what she hopes will be her next job: Carson City County Clerk-Recorder. Once occupying a low-profile, largely bureaucratic position, county clerks are increasingly the target of intense public vitriol. Typically the chief election official for their communities, county clerks and other local election workers have faced harassment from voters convinced the 2020 election was fraudulent, thanks to former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of a stolen election. As a result, some election officials are leaving their posts — and in some places, election deniers are signing up to replace them. But that’s only one part of the story. Across the country, many local election officials are staying put with the support of their communities. And in Nevada, where county clerks are up for election this fall, the full spectrum of local election administration is on display: the good, the bad and the conspiracy-riddled.

Full Article: It’s Hard To Run Elections These Days. Just Ask Nevada’s Election Officials. | FiveThirtyEight

Nevada ACLU takes ballot-counting lawsuit to State Supreme Court | Associated Press

The Nevada chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed an emergency petition to the state Supreme Court on Monday challenging Nye County and its interim clerk’s plan to count election votes by both hand and machine, a method crafted by elected officials and candidates acting on false claims of election fraud. The complaint is nearly identical to the ACLU lawsuit that was recently dismissed in Nye County District Court due to technicalities. The district judge there did not receive a record of the publicly available county commission meeting referenced in the petition from the ACLU. She said it was unreasonable for the court to go through a 7 1/2-hour meeting, among other issues. The ACLU asked the court to rule by Friday, five days before Nye County officials plan to start early hand-counting of mail-in ballots and one day before early in-person voting starts statewide. In an email, Nye County’s interim clerk Mark Kampf declined to comment on the lawsuit. “Instead, the County is devoting its limited time and resources to furthering its obligations to the voters of Nye County,” Kampf said, adding that the county is still finalizing the physical setup of polling places. They will offer tours of its facilities prior to the start of early voting, he added. The ACLU said the plan to start counting mail-in ballots two weeks before Election Day risks public release of early voting results. It alleges that county officials’ method of using a touch-screen tabulator for people with “special needs” illegally allows election workers to ask about a voter’s disability or turn away otherwise eligible voters based on “arbitrary decision making,” and that Nye County’s wording of “special needs” is ambiguous.

Full Article: ACLU takes ballot-counting lawsuit to Nevada Supreme Court

Nevada: ACLU challenge of Nye County ballot hand-counting dismissed | Gabe Stern/Associated Press

A Nye County District Court judge dismissed an emergency petition by the ACLU’s Nevada chapter attempting to stop the county from its plan to hand-count votes alongside a machine tabulator starting later this month. The plan was spurred by false claims of election fraud. In a ruling Wednesday, the case was dismissed mainly on technicalities. Fifth District Court Judge Kimberly Wanker said the ACLU did not provide a recording or transcript of the publicly available Nye County Board of Commissioners meeting referenced in the organization’s petition. The judge said it was unreasonable for the court to access the video and watch a 7-hour, 23-minute video to find a presentation on the plan. She also said there was no certificate of service in the file that indicated the respondents were served with an emergency petition. The ACLU will file a new petition Friday in the Nevada Supreme Court seeking to block hand-counting, executive director Athar Haseebullah said. Nye County is one of the first jurisdictions nationwide to act on election conspiracies related to mistrust in voting machines. The county plans to start hand-counting mail-in ballots two weeks before Election Day, which the ACLU said in its lawsuit risks public release of early voting results. It alleges that their method of using a touch-screen tabulator for people with “special needs” illegally allows election workers to ask about a voter’s disability or turn away otherwise eligible voters based on “arbitrary decision making,” and that Nye County’s wording of “special needs” is ambiguous. The organization also argues that the county’s “stringent signature verification,” which allows the clerk to require an ID card if a voter’s signature fails, violates state statute.

Full Article: ACLU challenge of Nevada ballot hand-counting dismissed | AP News

Nevada county’s plans to hand-count early ballots challenged | Gabe Stern/Associated Press

A rural county in Nevada where conspiracy theories about voting machines run deep is planning to start hand-counting its mail-in ballots two weeks before Election Day, a process that risks public release of early voting results. Several voting and civil rights groups said Monday they objected to the proposal and will consider legal action if Nye County pushes ahead with its plan. Nevada is one of 10 states that allow local election offices to begin tabulating ballots before Election Day, but the machines that typically do that are programmed not to release results. Nye County officials are planning a full hand-count in addition to a primary machine tabulation for the November election. The move was prompted by unfounded claims of fraud involving voting machines in the 2020 presidential election. Nye County Clerk Mark Kampf said hand-count teams will start tallying mail-in ballots on Oct. 26, just under two weeks ahead of Election Day. Hand-count tallies are done publicly for transparency, with observers in the room. That raises the possibility that someone keeping score could make early results from the count public before most voters have even cast their ballot, voting experts said.

Full Article: Nevada county’s plans to hand-count early ballots challenged | AP News

Nevada: Hand counting ballots OK, judge rules | Jessica Hill/Las Vegas Review-Journal

A Carson City District Court judge denied a group’s attempt to stop counties from hand counting ballots in the Nov. 8 election. Judge James Wilson ruled this week against the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada’s motion asking to prohibit the Nevada secretary of state’s office from authorizing counties to engage in hand counting. Nye County has decided to implement hand counting in its elections, and in response the Nevada secretary of state adopted regulations on Aug. 26 for how counties should conduct hand counting. The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada challenged the move on Aug. 31 and filed a motion for preliminary injunction Sept. 1, arguing that Nevada’s laws preclude hand counting ballots, and that hand counting could disenfranchise voters. Wilson ruled that Nevada’s law does not prohibit the use of hand counting. Voting is permitted by a “mechanical voting system,” but it is optional, he wrote in his order.

Full Article: Hand counting ballots OK, Nevada judge rules | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Nevada: Proposed bill requires counties with unused voting machines to pay back the state funds used to buy them | Taylor R. Avery/Las Vegas Review-Journal

An interim legislative committee Monday voted to request a bill draft that, if passed in the next legislative session, would require any county not using voting machines purchased with state funds to pay back the money used to buy them. The request, which was recommended to the Joint Interim Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections, was brought by Assemblywomen Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas and Brittney Miller, D-Las Vegas. “We would have never thought that a county that came to us and asked for dollars to purchase something would just put them in a closet and not want to use them,” said Carlton, who chairs the committee. “It’s very sad to think that state dollars, taxpayer dollars were given to a county and they bought machines and they’re just gathering dust.” The proposal follows a successful push by election deniers in Nye County to eliminate the use of electronic voting machines in in favor of paper ballots and hand counting the results, a move which saw the county’s long serving clerk, Sam Merlino, resign. She was replaced earlier this month by Mark Kampf, a former executive who has falsely claimed that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election. Kampf has said that Nye County will both hand count ballots as well as use machines to ensure an accurate tally.

Full Article: Proposed bill requires counties with unused voting machines to pay | Las Vegas Review-Journal