Nevada Supreme Court Rules on Hand Counting Guidance

WASHINGTON, D.C. On Tuesday, Oct. 25, the Nevada Supreme Court affirmed a lower court’s decision that allowed hand counting guidance to remain in place for the 2022 midterm elections. This decision comes out of a lawsuit filed by the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) challenging Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske’s (R) recent guidance on ballot counting procedures that allows county recorders to hand count ballots (as opposed to using an electronic counter) at their discretion; the guidance does not mandate a uniform method of hand counting across counties. On Tuesday, Sept. 27, a Nevada trial court declined to temporarily block this guidance. The Nevada Supreme Court’s decision today affirmed the Sept. 27 decision, which means that this guidance will remain in place for the 2022 midterm elections. However, “no county submitted the proposed plan required by the regulation in order to use hand-counting as its primary vote count method” by the state’s Oct. 9 deadline, meaning that this order doesn’t change any planned methods of vote counting across the state.

Notably, Nye County has stated that it “will engage in a ‘parallel tabulation’ process that involves running paper ballots through the typical mechanical tabulators and checking the results with an additional hand count of all ballots.” The court noted that PLAN did not show how “invalidating the regulation or enjoining the Secretary of State via a preliminary injunction would not prevent counties from conducting secondary hand counts of ballots if they chose to do so.” The guidance will only be in place for the upcoming 2022 midterm elections.

Read the order here.

Learn more about the case here.