Nevada Officials Begin Unprecedented Hand Count Of Ballots

by | Oct 27, 2022 | Politics

PAHRUMP, Nev. (AP) — Volunteers in a rural Nevada county where voting machine conspiracy theories led to an unprecedented hand-count of mail-in ballots came face-to-face with one messy reality of their plan Wednesday: It’s more time-consuming than anticipated.After a full day in the Nye County office building in Pahrump, 60 miles (96 kilometers) west of Las Vegas, some 60 volunteers had counted about 900 of the 1,950 mail-in ballots that the county has received so far.AdvertisementIt was the first day that counting could start under a state Supreme Court ruling that said officials must prevent the public release of early results. The court also blocked a plan to livestream the vote-counting, saying video could be released only after polls close on Nov. 8.The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada unsuccessfully sought to block the counting on the grounds that it could allow election results to be made public before many voters had even weighed in.The ACLU was preparing to ask the state high court to intervene again, spokesman Wesley Juhl said Wednesday night. The ACLU contends the county failed to comply with Friday’s order.“It’s an embarrassing day for our democracy. A historic disaster is brewing in Nye County,” ACLU Nevada executive director Athar Haseebullah said in a statement after watching the first several hours of ballot counting.AdvertisementIn this image from video, Nye County Clerk Mark Kampf, far left, in suit, swears in a group of residents who will hand count early ballots cast in the rural county about halfway between Las Vegas and Reno, on Oct. 26, 2022, in Pahrump, Nev.AP Photo/Gabe SternJuhl said an armed volunteer removed an ACLU observer from one room and attempted to take her notes.Nye County, an old silver mining region between Las Vegas and Reno, is home to about 50,000 residents, including 33,000 registered voters. It’s best known as the home of the nation’s former nuclear weapons test site.Nevada has one of the most closely watched U.S. Senate races in the country, as well as high-stakes contests for governor and the office that oversees elections.Two groups of five that The Associated Press observed Wednesday spent about three hours each counting 50 ballots. Mismatched tallies led to recounts, and occasionally more recounts. Sev …

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