LAS VEGAS (AP) — Facing a Friday deadline to certify results from the recent primary election, officials in Nevada’s least populated county were planning another hand count as a way to prove to residents that their votes count and that the voting process works.
Several other county commissions also were scheduled to certify their results so they could be forwarded to the secretary of state’s office, as required under state law.
Distrust by some voters in Nevada has been fueled by unfounded voting machine conspiracies that have spread across the country over the past two years.
The decision in Esmeralda County, the least populous county in the state, comes a week after lawmakers in a Republican-leaning rural New Mexico county initially refused to certify their primary election results.
Esmeralda County Commission Chairman De Winsor and Vice-Chairman Timothy Hipp responded to constituents’ complaints with a promise to recount the votes themselves before Friday’s deadline.
“The grassroots effort starts right here,” Winsor said midway through a contentious 90-minute meeting at which the three-member commission in the Republican-leaning county met to sign off on the results of the vote. “This is where we proved we do it right.”
Fellow Commissioner Ralph Keyes said he was already willing to accept the count of the vote conducted by county officials — including a hand-count on Wednesday by county employees of the 177 paper ballots and paper records of 140 ballots that county Clerk-Treasurer LaCinda Elgan said were cast by machine.
In a telephone interview, Elgan called the primary “absolutely safe and fair.” One vote cast on one ballot was unintelligible, she said, but all ballots were tallied and reported. None was rejected.
It did not appear the number…