WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday, Nov. 14, the Nevada Supreme Court unanimously rejected a request from the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada (ACLU of Nevada) to halt Nye County’s “parallel hand-count process,” which entails hand counting all ballots that have already been tabulated with a machine. This decision comes after the ACLU of Nevada filed a petition earlier today alleging that Nye County’s parallel hand counting process violates Nevada law. In its petition asking the Nevada Supreme Court to stop Nye County from continuing with its “parallel hand-count process,” the ACLU of Nevada claimed that “because Nye County has begun tabulating votes via machine, either its hand count is an impermissible revision of its existing plan or it is effectively a ‘recount’ or ‘audit’” that does not comply with state law. The petition contended that the county’s process “threatens voters’ rights to accurate elections by compromising the security of their ballots.” Finally, the ACLU of Nevada argued that the county’s plan was not “submitted by the deadline imposed by Nevada statute and approved by the Secretary of State as required by law” and claimed that the “[r]espondents have moved all ballots and have begun counting them at a location not approved as a central counting place pursuant to a plan submitted to the Secretary of State prior to the April 15, 2022, as required by Nevada law.”
In today’s decision, the Nevada Supreme Court concluded that Nye County confirmed “that the hand count is a secondary counting method and will not be used to report the County’s election results.” Additionally, the opinion notes that, in its response to the petition, the county stated that the Nevada secretary of state’s office “approved their current hand-count process on November 5” and that the ACLU of Nevada contacted the secretary of state with concerns about the county’s plan “apparently without result.” Ultimately, the Nevada Supreme Court held that the ACLU of Nevada has not pointed to any Nevada law “clearly prohibiting the parallel hand count or precluding any post-deadline revision to secondary vote-counting plans approved by the Secretary.” As a result of this decision, Nye County will be able to continue with its parallel hand counting process, despite numerous concerns raised about its security and efficacy.