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Here’s the plan for hand-counting paper ballots in Nye County this election

Nye County Clerk Mark F. Kampf will administer the 2022 general election using only paper ballots for both mail-in and at the polls — with provisions for ADA compliance to use machines — and conduct a parallel electronic tabulation and hand-counted confirmation of those votes, a spokesperson for Nye County confirmed on Tuesday.

While the tabulation currently is used to count the county’s mail-in ballots, the electronic counting will be extended to the paper ballots voted at the polls beginning this fall. A hand count will also be performed on all the paper ballots — both mail-in and at the polls — as requested by the Nye County Board of Commissioners earlier this year.

All registration and verification processes both at the polls and for mail-in ballots will remain essentially the same, the spokesperson said.

On March 15, the Nye County Commission voted 5-0 to ask the Nye County clerk consider administering the 2022 primary and general elections using only paper ballots and hand-counting the paper ballots submitted by Nye County voters to ensure accuracy and transparency of the democratic voting process.

The Secretary of State’s office last month approved a regulation on hand-count paper ballots, a proposal that stemmed from unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election, that was amended based on feedback from election deniers and exempts Nye County from complying.

An interim legislative committee voted last week to request a bill draft that, if passed in the next legislative session, would require any county not using voting machines purchased with state funds to pay back the money used to buy them.

“We would have never thought that a county that came to us and asked for dollars to purchase something would just put them in a closet and not want to use them,” assemblywomen Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, who made the recommendation said last week. “It’s very sad to think that state dollars, taxpayer dollars were given to a county and they bought machines and they’re just gathering dust.”

Esmeralda County, Nevada’s least populous, used hand counting to certifiy June’s primary votes. Officials there spent more than seven hours counting 317 ballots cast.

Since Nye County’s hand-count process will be performed by citizen volunteers who are registered voters, the clerk is seeking help from registered voters from all political parties and non-partisan voters to participate in the process.

The hand count will be conducted weekdays during the period starting on Oct. 25 to Nov. 10, a county spokersperson said.

Visit the Nye County clerk’s elections website to obtain an application to volunteer to be part of the hand-count team at nyecountynv.gov

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