Ballot hand count resumes in Nye County

Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 10:49 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The controversial hand counting of ballots is once again taking place in Nye County. It has been a back-and-forth battle to implement a hand count with the Nevada ACLU challenging the county’s every move in court arguing a hand count, specifically reading ballots before polls close, was a violation of state law.

Now that the polls are closed, and new volunteers are trained, that count resumed Thursday at a larger venue, the Valley Conference Center.

It was a full house. About 150 volunteers have been trained to count ballots.

“It’s just amazing how many people have stepped up from not only Nye County, but Clark County, we have had someone where from Reno, we have a crew coming down from Lyon County,” shared Nye County Clerk Mark Kampf. More than 19,000 ballots need to be counted in the hand count process that is new this election.

“On March 15th, our County Commissioners asked the current Clerk, who has since retired, to implement an all-paper ballot process for voting and to implement a hand count,” recounted Kampf.

Kampf wants to clarify that the hand counting of paper ballots is in addition to a machine tabulation that has already taken place.

“As a new Clerk, I did not want to take that risk initially to go totally to a hand count,” Kampf revealed.

Three volunteers tally ballots on their own, working in silence. Their numbers must match.

“I am confident in the process because nothing gets out of here until every error has been caught in the tallying process and if a recount is needed, we do a recount,” Kampf stated.

Not everyone shares that confidence. Nye County resident Corinne drove in from Death Valley to observe the process and was sworn in as a volunteer counter.

“It is just all a mess; this is just all a mess… People lie, machines don’t,” Corinne contended.

“It doesn’t matter to me what you voted for or who you voted for, I just want to know that your vote was counted and that will make me feel sure that my vote was counted,” Corinne explained. After taking part in the count, she has mixed feelings.

“I feel a little more confident that people aren’t just walking out of here with ballots like my initial concern when I walked in,” Corinne said.

The deadline by state law to get the more than 19,000 ballots counted is Thursday, November 17.

Kampf is confident with so many volunteers working at the pace they did Thursday, it will be completed in time. Whether a hand count will be used in future elections in Nye County depends on how well it works this election.