ACLU challenge of Nevada ballot hand-counting dismissed

Oct 13, 2022, 3:13 AM | Updated: 4:57 pm
FILE - People walk along the main drag in the county seat of Nye County on July 18, 2022, in Tonopa...

FILE - People walk along the main drag in the county seat of Nye County on July 18, 2022, in Tonopah, Nev. A Nye County district judge dismissed an emergency petition by the ACLU's Nevada chapter attempting to stop the implementation of the county's new hand-counting process, which was spurred by false claims of election fraud. The process entails hand-counting all paper ballots alongside a machine tabulator. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

RENO, Nev. (AP) — 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.

Mark Kampf, the interim Nye County clerk who is implementing the hand-counting, declined to comment on the lawsuit or its dismissal. He said in an email that the county plans to go ahead with its hand count before Election Day.

On Tuesday before the ruling, Nye County spokesman Arnold Knightly said the complaint distorted the county and Kampf’s election plans and that the county would mount a “vigorous legal defense that clarifies the misleading allegations and disposes of the legal action as swiftly as possible.” The county did not respond to additional questions.

Nye County officials originally planned to use hand-counting as its primary counting method, but made it secondary to machine counting, which allows them to avoid new state regulations governing the practice.

Kampf has called the Dominion voting machines it will use a “stop-gap” measure while the county decides how to handle tallies for future elections, potentially without machines at all.

Several Nye County commissioners said a presentation by GOP secretary of state candidate Jim Marchant, a 2020 election denier, convinced them to request a hand-count of all mail-in ballots. Marchant is a member of the America First Secretary of State Coalition that peddles false claims of election fraud and advocates for voter ID, same-day voting, paper ballots and eliminating mail-in ballots.

Standing next to former President Donald Trump at a rally in rural Nevada last week, Marchant said if his coalition is elected, “we’re going to fix the whole country. And President Trump is going to be president again in 2024.”

Haseebullah said the ACLU will also file challenges on behalf of Nye County voters if any problems arise from the hand-counting — part of “an ongoing battle, probably for the next several years to come.”

___

This story has been corrected to say that the ruling happened on Wednesday, not Thursday.

___

Stern is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow Stern on Twitter: @gabestern326.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

An inflatable depicting the World Cup trophy is seen during pregame celebrations prior to the World...
Associated Press

Saudi viewers angry over apparent ban on World Cup streaming

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — World Cup viewers in Saudi Arabia say the government has blocked a Qatari-owned streaming service that was supposed to broadcast matches in the kingdom. The suspension has stunned and outraged customers of TOD TV, which holds the rights to show the World Cup in Saudi Arabia. TOD TV is owned by […]
1 day ago
FILE - Vern Miyagi, Administrator, HEMA, left, and Hawaii Gov. David Ige addressed the media during...
Associated Press

Hawaii Gov. Ige looks back on coronavirus, tourism shutdown

HONOLULU (AP) — As Hawaii’s governor, David Ige faced a volcanic eruption that destroyed 700 homes, protests blocking construction of a cutting-edge multibillion-dollar telescope and a false alert about an incoming ballistic missile. During the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism shut down and Hawaii’s unemployment rate soared to 22.4%. Crisis response is one way to sum up […]
1 day ago
Sheetal Deo and her husband, Sanmeet Deo, hold a Hindu swastika symbol in their home in Syosset, N....
Associated Press

Asian faiths try to save sacred swastika corrupted by Hitler

Sheetal Deo was shocked when she got a letter from her Queens apartment building’s co-op board calling her Diwali decoration “offensive” and demanding she take it down. “My decoration said ‘Happy Diwali’ and had a swastika on it,” said Deo, a physician, who was celebrating the Hindu festival of lights. The equilateral cross with its […]
1 day ago
Sheetal Deo and her husband, Sanmeet Deo, hold a Hindu swastika symbol in their home in Syosset, N....
Associated Press

Asian faiths try to save swastika symbol corrupted by Hitler

Sheetal Deo was shocked when she got a letter from her Queens apartment building’s co-op board calling her Diwali decoration “offensive” and demanding she take it down. “My decoration said ‘Happy Diwali’ and had a swastika on it,” said Deo, a physician, who was celebrating the Hindu festival of lights. The equilateral cross with its […]
1 day ago
FILE - Republican nominee for U.S. Senate Herschel Walker speaks during a campaign rally on Thursda...
Associated Press

Ga. Senate runoff between Warnock, Walker has bitter closing

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. (AP) — Ads with the candidates’ ex-wives. Cries of “liar” flying in both directions. Stories of a squalid apartment building and abortions under pressure. Questioning an opponent’s independence. His intellect. His mental stability. His religious faith. The extended Senate campaign in Georgia between the Democratic incumbent, Raphael Warnock, and his Republican challenger, […]
1 day ago
FILE - Former Minister for Health Matt Hancock arrives with MP's and Peers for a service of remembr...
Associated Press

Disgraced former UK minister seeks reality TV redemption

LONDON (AP) — Matt Hancock, the U.K’s scandal-prone former health secretary, is seeking an unlikely form of redemption Sunday: attempting to win “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here” — a grueling, often gruesome reality show set in the Australian jungle. Hancock led Britain’s response to COVID-19 in the first year of the pandemic, […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
ACLU challenge of Nevada ballot hand-counting dismissed