The A.C.L.U. claims that Nye County’s plan to hand-count ballots risks the premature release of election results.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada has filed an emergency petition with the state Supreme Court, alleging that Nye County officials are planning to employ inappropriate ballot-counting techniques in the upcoming elections.
According to The Associated Press, the lawsuit is nearly identical to another complaint lodged by the A.C.L.U. against Nye County.
However, that complaint was dismissed by the court for technical reasons.
Now, the A.C.L.U. is asking the Nevada Supreme Court to issue a decision by Friday, just five days before Nye County officials will commence the hand-counting of mail-in ballots.
In its complaint, the A.C.L.U. said that Nye County’s plan to hand-count ballots—devised in response to false claims of widespread electoral fraud in 2020—risks the early release of voting results.
Furthermore, the American Civil Liberties Union says that the county’s method of using a “touch-screen tabulator” for people with “special needs” enables election workers to inquire about voters’ disabilities.
If election workers doubt a voter’s disability, the A.C.L.U. asserts, they could turn away otherwise eligible voters based on “arbitrary decision making.”
2News reports that Nye County officials have broadly dismissed concerns about their procedures.
Mark Kampf, the county clerk, said that hand-counting is being used as a temporary “stop-gap” measure.
While Kampf did not elaborate on the county’s position, he did tell 2News that organizations like the A.C.L.U. have misplaced fears about potential leaks.
“They’re only going to get a small piece of the result,” Kampf said of ballot-counters. “And so no one sees the total result in any place.”
Kampf said that workers only see “a group of ballots that are disassociated from all other ballots.”
On the issue of voters with special needs, Kampf said that election workers will be instructed not to “deny anybody that feels that they need special assistance.”
The county issued a detailed statement last week seeking to address—and discredit—the A.C.L.U.’s position:
“Nye County is aware of a legal action that has been filed in the Fifth Judicial District Court against the County and its Clerk Mark Kampf. The allegations set forth in the complaint are misleading, without merit, and distort the County and Mr. Kampf’s intended course of action with respect to the upcoming general election. Overall, the current efforts to discredit the County’s electoral processes and malign Mr. Kampf have no legal basis, and in fact, only threaten to suppress the vote in Nye County. For this reason, the County and Mr. Kampf intend to mount a vigorous legal defense that clarifies the misleading allegations and disposes of the legal action as swiftly as possible,” the county said.
“In the meantime, it is critical that all Nye County voters understand that the pending legal action should in no way create any cause for concern, nor dissuade anyone from casting a vote. More so than ever before, Nye County voters can rest assured that the electoral process will be fair, transparent, and in accordance with Nevada law,” it continued. “Indeed, the County and Mr. Kampf have complied with all applicable laws and regulations, and will ensure that anyone who is eligible and wants to vote, will be able to do so in accordance with Nevada law.”