Monday, September 26, 2022

Nevada counties review election results amid false claims

Reno, Nev. ( Associated Press) — We can change the dateline to Goldfield, Nev. Since John is there, add in the contributed line

‘ Associated Press photographer John Locher contributed from Goldfield, Nevada’ … and add Ssonner to the byline.

Dozens of residents on Friday urged commissioners in Nevada’s two largest counties not to certify the June 14 primary results, some recounting their personal experiences and expressing skepticism about the election, and others recounting several false claims and conspiracy Almost derailed the certification process by reiterating the principles of A week ago in New Mexico.

County commissioners in Nevada were holding public meetings before the midnight deadline to sign the results—historically, a routine and ministerial act that follows scrutiny by local election officials to ensure the accuracy and legitimacy of the vote. . As of noon, 16 Nevada counties — including Reno’s Washoe County and Las Vegas’s Clark County — had voted to certify.

Commissioners for smaller Esmeralda County have manually counted all 317 ballots cast after residents raised concerns at their certification meeting that began on Thursday. He was expected to finish before the deadline.

In Reno, commissioners heard from several residents who said they objected to the state’s law to send a postal ballot to every registered voter. Some complained of receiving multiple ballots in their own name or for people no longer living at their addresses, arguing that this was evidence of fraud and that the election was corrupt.

But there are several checks built into the system, including signature verification and ballot tracking, to ensure that a person can only cast one ballot. Election officials said Friday that they do not count more than one ballot.

In Clark County, troubled voters complained about a lack of transparency when ballots were tallied and problems with the state’s electoral rolls, with some saying their party affiliations had been changed. Others spoke of being directed to specific voting machines when registering as a Republican.

Resident Charles Bossert said he had received several ballots, but knew it was illegal to cast more than one ballot so he only voted once. He asked the commissioners to “stand in the gap and do the right thing”.

“As a community, it seems that none of the votes count and democracy is dying in the lack of transparency,” Bossert said. “It’s a really important moment.”

The County Registrar of Voters, Joe Gloria, reported that more than half of the 288,683 ballots cast were by mail and only a fraction of 1% involved discrepancies that ranged from voters going to the wrong field after submitting mailed ballots to their party. The affiliation was up to the people who changed.

Republican candidate for county assessor Helen Oseguera called the commissioners liars and fraudsters.

After the unanimous vote to certify, the audience cheered and people promised court action to challenge the election.

Commissioners in Nye County expressed what Chairman Frank Carbone called “a slight concern about the process”, but approved the results on a 4-1 vote.

“Too many issues,” said Vice Chairman Leo Blundow as he voted “no.”

County Clerk Sam Merlino said 12,450 ballots were cast in the sprawling county home of about 50,000 people and a predominantly conservative Republican area where the board voted to use the Dominion voting system in April.

The 2020 election continues to dominate public discourse around voting and elections in the US, as Trump supporters and aides repeat without evidence claims that the presidency was stolen from Trump.

At one point during the Washoe County debate, a woman in the audience chanted “Biden cheated, Biden cheated!” As one speaker noted former President Donald Trump’s claims of plagiarism. One man wore a “Biden is not my president” hat while urging commissioners not to certify.

About two hours after the meeting began, the commissioners voted 4-1 to certify the results.

Even before the November 2020 election, Trump was telling his supporters that fraud was the only way he could lose, mostly – and without evidence – alluding to the expansion of mail-in voting during the pandemic.

In the months since, claims by Trump’s attorney general have been dismissed by dozens of judges. at the time, and by a coalition of federal and state election and cybersecurity officials who called 2020 the “safest” vote in US history.,

But the false claims last week prompted commissioners in rural Otero County, New Mexico, to refuse to certify the results. From their June 7 primary. After a showdown with the Secretary of State and an order attested by the New Mexico Supreme Court, the commissioners voted 2–1 to sign off on the election. and avert a wider crisis.

The delay in Nevada’s Esmeralda County – where Trump won 82% of the vote in 2020 – came amid distrust of voters fueled by baseless voting machine conspiracies spreading across the US. in the last two years. This drew intense attention to the small goldfields, a former mining boom town about halfway between Las Vegas and Reno.

Esmeralda County Clerk-Treasurer Lacinda Elgan called the primary “absolutely safe and fair” in a telephone interview. A vote cast on a ballot was incomprehensible, he told the Associated Press, but all ballots were tallied and reported. None were rejected.

Commissioners Timothy Hipp and Ralph Keys sat at separate wooden tables on Friday and began counting the ballots.

Esmeralda County commissioners voted to join commissioners in neighboring Nye County in April, calling for elections to be held entirely by hand, including counting of ballots.

Election experts say counting ballots by hand is not only less accurate but highly labor-intensive, potentially delaying results for weeks if not months in larger counties. They also say that this is unnecessary because voting equipment is tested before and after elections to ensure that ballots are read and tallied correctly.

Both Elgan and Merlino said they do not believe it is possible to stop using electronic voting equipment this year. Both are elected officials with the power to act independent of their county commissions.

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