State of Nevada

Nevada Election Observer Rights (Beadles)

Beadles v. Cegavske

Lawsuit filed in state court on behalf of Washoe County, Nevada voters who are seeking an expansion of election observation in future elections. The plaintiffs argue that Nevada failed to offer opportunities for “meaningful observation” during the 2020 election cycle and the state does not plan to allow expanded observation and access in future elections, allegedly inhibiting the plaintiffs’ ability “to ensure the integrity of the upcoming elections” through observation. The lawsuit alleges that the inability to observe elections and ballot processing violates Nevada law and asks the court to grant relief in favor of the plaintiffs and other potential election observers in time for the state’s 2022 primary and midterm elections. Specifically, the plaintiffs ask that election observers are present at “every step of the election,” including at drop boxes and voting machines, and that they can inspect ballots to ensure that an election is “handled with transparency, integrity, and is done lawfully.”

After holding a hearing on May 25, the court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for a temporary restraining order after finding that they “have not met their burden to show that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their claims,” in part because they “presented no evidence, only unsworn allegations and concerns.” The parties then agreed to dismiss the case with the agreement that the plaintiffs will be “permitted to observe during the processing and counting of ballots and in accordance with Nevada law and regulations and Washoe county’s existing procedures, to the same extent as other eligible observers” — meaning the plaintiffs’ requests for increased observation were unsuccessful.

Case Documents

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