LAS VEGAS — After two successful challenges before the Nevada Supreme Court regarding Nye County’s unlawful hand-counting process, the ACLU of Nevada on Wednesday filed a formal complaint with the Nevada Secretary of State requesting an investigation into coordinated partisan election administration efforts in Nye County.
On Oct. 26, an ACLU of Nevada observer watching the then-active ballot hand count process in Nye County was removed from an observation room by an individual, initially thought to be a county employee, who was openly carrying a firearm and demanded the observer turn over her notes.
The ACLU of Nevada rejected the demand and left the scene to avoid being accused of causing a disturbance. The organization has since discovered that the individual who removed the ACLUNV observer from the observation area was not a county employee, but Nye County GOP Central Committee Vice Chair Laura Larsen.
The ACLU of Nevada’s request poses questions surrounding Nye County Interim Clerk Mark Kampf’s delegation of authority to partisan officials, including the authority to freely roam the areas where ballots were being counted and to remove observers from observation areas. The request for an investigation also raises questions regarding ballot security as well as policies the Secretary of State has implemented to protect observers.
ACLU of Nevada Executive Director Athar Haseebullah said:
“Nye County’s actions during this election, including the disastrous failure that was its attempt at hand counting paper ballots, exceed the bounds of normalcy and decency. A partisan official from the Nye County GOP Central Committee given free range to roam the halls and remove those engaging in observation violates the core principles underlying free and safe elections and makes an even greater mockery of our democracy. We fully anticipate a swift and thorough investigation into Nye County’s actions by the Secretary of State. Know this, if the Secretary of State’s office should decline to provide assurances that it will properly and fully investigate this matter and to assess the collusion occurring between the Nye County government and partisan actors, we will seek recourse elsewhere.”
ABOUT THE ACLU OF NEVADA
The ACLU of Nevada is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to the defense and advancement of civil liberties and civil rights for all people in Nevada since 1966.