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Nevada officials offer regulation as handcount gains momentum

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Gabe Stern

Reno, NV (AP) — Count teams of four, not all from the same party. Table centers are at least 10 feet apart. He counted 20 ballots at a time.

These are some of the rules proposed by the Nevada Secretary of State, which suggests how counties should be able to hand-count paper ballots. More voting machines.

Mark Wlaschin, Nevada's Undersecretary of State for Elections, said the regulation had been in the making for almost a year and did not directly address events in Nye County. The Electoral Commission resigned last month after an election conspiracy succeeded in pushing hand-counted ballots.

"It's kind of an ongoing debate across the country, and as election administrators at the state and county level, we're trying to be proactive. "If approved later this month, it will be implemented in preparation for the November elections," he said of the guidelines.

Wlaschin said the rule will help counties that choose to switch to a manual counting system, eliminating the need for clerks to create rules from scratch. It also creates a uniform structure so states can ensure that counts are valid. If the county wants to switch to hand counting, "at least for now, the clerk won't be required to [conduct] a year of study for him to develop his own template," he said. rice field.

Nye County is one of the first jurisdictions in the nation to take action against an election conspiracy to distrust voting machines. In Esmeralda County, Nevada's least populated county, he was already hand-operated during the certification of major results in June, when officials spent more than seven hours counting his 317 votes. I was counting with

Derek Tisler, an adviser to the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, said, "There are states and local jurisdictions that are actually pushing among their advocates to do this. "But in Nevada, it seems like we're having more success than we've seen across the country." It describes the old-fashioned way of dealing with unproven claims of being easy and unreliable. According to experts, counting by hand is not only time consuming, it can also introduce more errors.

Hand his count At the center of his push is Donald the new interim who has repeated the lie that his former President Trump won his 2020 election. Nye County Clerk Mark is his comp. He will transform local county elections with the help of Republican candidate Secretary of State Jim Marchant, leader of the "America First" coalition of candidates who are denying the validity of the 2020 election. I wrote a framework for a new ballot counting plan. election results. At a candidate forum in February, Merchant told the crowd, "Your vote hasn't been counted for decades."

Comps, merchants, and others who have lobbied to switch to hand counting are used to questioning the procedures used in 2020. - Count fairly and accurately. How will we get the bipartisan workers we need to count votes under the proposed guidelines? How will they work in the same office that has been sowing seeds of distrust since 2020? His views on the presidential election were stolen, saying they were irrelevant to his new job. Instead, he will use the exact same paper ballots as today's mail-in ballots, in-person signature verification, and camera livestreams set up with vote watchers so others can see the voting process.

"I would never do anything to jeopardize the votes and the integrity of the ballot in this county," he said.

Hand counting will be parallel to a parallel tallying process using the same machines currently used to count mail-in ballots.

Kamp said he agrees with many of the state's proposed hand counting rules, but believes the team should count 50 votes at a time instead of 20.

"If this bill is passed, we must comply with the law," he said. "I may not like the law, but as a clerk, I must obey the law." Power. Urashin acknowledged nothing in writing, but said the Secretariat is looking into "many contingencies" for non-compliance.Part of ensuring compliance is the secretary of state.

Nearly every other Nevada county plans to continue counting by machine.

Carson City Clerk Aubrey Rowlatt said it was "extremely difficult to accurately complete and verify" hand count ballots within the current verification timeline. He said the proposed rule would help maintain consistency.

Humboldt County Clerk Tami Ray Spero read the rules on the hand and wondered what resources a rural county of about 17,000 people would need.

The four-person team and table spacing requirements help keep the handcount running smoothly, but I wondered where I could find the space and bipartisan personnel I needed. rice field.

"Let's just hope we don't have to," she said.


Stern is a member of the Associated Press/Reports for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to cover hidden issues. Follow Stern on Twitter â†*gabestern326.