Nevada Ballot Counting Regulation Challenge II (ACLU)
American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada v. Nye County
Lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada and an individual in the Nevada Supreme Court challenging Nye County, Nevada’s “unlawful hand counting measures.” The plaintiffs allege that the changes to the election process — including the adoption of a hand counting procedure, “the verbal announcement of a selected candidate for each race of each ballot prior to the close of polls on election day, in the presence of the public,” the “limitation of [Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant] touch screens” and strict signature matching requirements — violate the Help America Vote Act, Nevada Constitution and Nevada law. The plaintiffs argue that “the citizens of Nye County face the imminent risk of having their fundamental rights as voters infringed upon and not having their vote counted.” This petition comes after the plaintiffs filed a similar lawsuit challenging the new Nye County election process which was dismissed on Oct. 12 for procedural reasons. The plaintiffs request emergency relief in the form of a writ of mandamus (a court order compelling a party to take a certain action) finding that these changes violate the Nevada Constitution as well as federal and state law.
On Oct. 21, the Nevada Supreme Court granted in part and denied in part the petitioners’ request for emergency relief. The court ordered that the county is prohibited from live-streaming the vote counting process in which election results are read aloud prior to the close of polls closing on Election Day. With regards to the petitioners’ concerns about the county’s ostensibly limited accessibility to ADA touch screens for voters with disabilities, the court held that “since respondents have acknowledged that they will provide access to the touchscreen machine to all voters who seek to use it, regardless of any explanation of need, writ relief is not warranted as to this procedure.” Finally, the court ruled that the county’s strict signature verification procedures — which require identification from a voter if the verification process fails — contravene Nevada law.