RENO, Nev. (AP) — 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.
An Arizona county is also embroiled in a legal battle over whether it can conduct a near-total hand-count of ballots after Election Day.
As the hand-counting resumed last Thursday, interim county clerk Mark Kampf told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that it would act as an audit of the machines.
In their lawsuit...