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Nye County pushes for hand-counted ballots despite prior support for Trump

Election 2020
AP Photo/John Locher
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A Clark County election worker scans mail-in ballots at a tabulating area at the Clark County Election Department in Las Vegas in November of 2020.

The Nye County commission last week voted unanimously to recommend the county use paper ballots and hand count the votes in time for the June primary.

But not before it heard from a presentation by so-called election security experts. They claim widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election rigged the result against President Donald Trump, which has been widely disproven. 

“It would be physically impossible for me to implement this for the (June 14) primary election,” Nye County Clerk Sandra Merlino told The Associated Press following the all-Republican County Commission’s unanimous Tuesday vote endorsing the measures. “I have made a commitment to look at it.”

Contributor John L. Smith said the meeting gave speakers a “stage for them to ply their theories.” Most of the prominent speakers were not from Nevada, and Nye County voted for Donald Trump in a county landslide.

The speakers focused their attention on Dominion voter machines as the source of voter fraud. 

“Their claims have been debunked, but it doesn't stop the roadshow because I think it certainly fires up the base,” said Smith.

Smith cited one area of voter fraud, in Mesa County, Colorado, however the so-called evidence of fraud resulted from the county clerk who was an adherent to Trump’s politics. Tina Peters, who was involved in that scandal, was invited to speak at the Nye County meeting. 

She did not attend as she was recently indicted on 10 charges, according to Smith.

John L. Smith, contributing commentator, State of Nevada

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Lorraine Blanco Moss is the host of KNPR's award-winning Asian American Pacific Islander podcast, Exit Spring Mountain. She's also a producer for State of Nevada, specializing in food and hospitality, women's issues, and sports. She started at Nevada Public Radio in October 2021.