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Rural Nevada county roiled by voting conspiracies picks new top elections official

AP Photo/John Locher, File
FILE - People walk along the main drag in the county seat of Nye County, Monday, July 18, 2022, in Tonopah, Nev.

A new clerk was chosen Tuesday to oversee elections in a deep-red rural Nevada county that has been roiled by false claims of widespread election fraud since 2020.

Nye County Commissioners appointed Cori Freidhof to step into the position at the end of the month when Mark Kampf, the county’s current top elections official, steps down.

Kampf, who led a controversial hand-count of votes in the 2022 midterms during his brief tenure, hand-picked his replacement. He hasn’t said why he is resigning.

At a county commission meeting Tuesday, Kampf said he had “worked very hard” to train Friedhof, a deputy clerk in his office.

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Kampf stepped into the position in 2022. He had been recruited by Jim Marchant, a Republican candidate for secretary of state that year who claimed every Nevada elected official since 2006 was “installed by the deep state cabal” and led a group of 17 election deniers across the country running mainly for state election offices.

Marchant, along with 15 of the Republican coalition members, lost their races as part of a larger rebuke of far-right candidates casting doubt on elections.

When Kempf led the hand-count of votes in 2022, it looked vastly different than the county commission’s original plan to ditch voting machines altogether.

The county still used the machines as the primary counting method, but with a hand-count happening alongside of it. That plan did not appear to gain momentum leading up to this year’s elections.