Fodder for election deniers | LETTER

So a 3-to-1 ratio of Democrats to Republicans on a Clark County ballot signature verification board does not violate state law concerning election boards representing political parties as equally as possible (Nov. 4 Review-Journal)? This should comfort those “election deniers,” all right. Shut up. Pay no attention. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Trump falsely claims Nevada and Arizona election officials ‘want more time to cheat’

Former President Donald Trump claimed without providing evidence that there’s fraud going on in Nevada and Arizona because election officials are still counting ballots.

“Clark County, Nevada, has a corrupt voting system (be careful Adam!), as do many places in our soon to be Third World Country,” Trump said Nov. 10 on his social media platform Truth Social. Trump was referring to Nevada’s Republican candidate for Senate, Adam Laxalt.

Trump also said: “Arizona even said ‘by the end of the week!’ — They want more time to cheat! Kari Lake MUST win!”

Lake is the Republican candidate for governor in Arizona. At the time of Trump’s post, Laxalt was ahead of Democratic incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, and Lake was trailing Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs. Trump endorsed both Lake and Laxalt.

Trump’s claim ignores that election results take time to count. The duration of vote counts will depend on a variety of issues, including the number of mail-in ballots, the closeness of the results and the laws about mail ballot processing. Just because some results are not yet known doesn’t mean there is cheating going on, as Trump suggested.

Nevada officials following steps outlined by state law

Officials in Clark County, Nevada’s most populous county, called Trump’s claims “outrageous” and “misinformed.”

“We could not speed up the process even if we wanted to,” the county said in a statement on Twitter.

The tweet said that under Nevada law, all mail-in ballots postmarked on or before Election Day and received before 5 p.m. Saturday can be accepted and processed. Election officials must check every signature on mail ballots to ensure they match records. If they don’t, voters have until 5 p.m. on Monday to correct these ballots.

The state also must process provisional ballots — votes cast by people who register to vote at the polling place whose names cannot be found on a voter registration list or who have some other registration-related issue. According to Clark County, this process, which is meant to ensure that people don’t vote twice, cannot be completed until the Nevada secretary of state’s office provides reports this Wednesday.

Comments such as Trump’s get “certain people very fired up and they’re convinced that we are doing things that are inappropriate or against the law. And that’s just not the case,” Joe Gloria, Clark County’s registrar of voters, said at a midday press conference Thursday.

The margins in Nevada’s races, especially for the Senate, are extremely close, so media outlets cannot project winners until enough votes are reported. Projections from media outlets are not official results, either; those come later from election authorities.

Maricopa County swamped with early ballots on Election Day

In Arizona and Nevada, workers may begin opening mail ballots and checking signatures before Election Day, but that’s not so in every state.

Maricopa County in Arizona had a record 290,000 early ballots dropped off on Election Day.

Like other mail ballots, these ballots also must be processed, and signatures must be checked. Reviewing large volumes of ballots requires time.

If election officials identify an issue with a voter’s signature, voters have until 5 p.m. local time Nov. 16 to correct the problem.

“There’s a lot of work involved in this. We’re going as fast as we can, but accuracy matters,” Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chair Bill Gates, a Republican, said Thursday on CNN.

Gates has said that although media outlets have projected winners in certain states, that’s because the margins between candidates in those states were large enough, not because vote counts were complete.

Our ruling

Trump said that election results in Clark County and Arizona are not yet known because those places “want more time to cheat.”

Election results take time to count.

The number of mail-in ballots that need processing, the margins of the contests and the state’s laws for counting the votes all influence when results are reported.

That vote counting might take longer is not proof of fraud or cheating.

Trump’s claim lacks evidence and ignores established legal procedures for vote counting.

His claim is wrong and ridiculous. We rate it Pants on Fire!

Maria Ramirez Uribe is an immigration reporter at PolitiFact. The Review-Journal has partnered with the Florida-based fact-checking organization for the 2022 election cycle to bring readers accurate information about politician’s statements and advertising.

Clark County Nevada election update

Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria was expected to hold a news conference at 11:30 a.m. today to discuss the progress in counting remaining mail-in ballots for the 2022 election.

Saturday is the deadline for the county to receive all mail ballots that were postmarked by Election Day.

The county has been steadily tabulating mail ballots that have arrived at the county’s election headquarters in North Las Vegas daily, working toward a Tuesday deadline to have all votes counted. The Clark County Commission is expected to hold a special meeting on Friday to certify the results of the 2022 election, following a report from Gloria.

The outcome of several close races is still undetermined, including the race for U.S. Senate between Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Republican Adam Laxalt.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Contact Colton Lochhead at [email protected]. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

Clark County Nevada election update on ballot count — WATCH LIVE

Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria is holding his daily press conference to provide an update to the county’s ballot counting progress.

Clark County, the state’s most populous county and Nevada’s most Democrat-leaning hub, has the largest share of outstanding mail ballots that need to be counted; most are ballots that were dropped off by voters at ballot drop boxes Tuesday.

Several statewide races are separated by just a few thousand votes, including the nationally watched U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto and Republican Adam Laxalt. With Democrat John Fetterman winning the Senate race in Pennsylvania and Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly leading by a sizeable margin in Arizona, Nevada’s Senate seat could decide the balance of power in the chamber for the second half of President Joe Biden’s first term.

As of Friday morning, Laxalt’s lead over the incumbent had shrunk to less than 9,000 votes, or less than 1 percentage point, and the mail ballots that have been counted in Clark and Washoe counties have heavily favored Democratic candidates.

In the governor’s race, Republican Joe Lombardo currently leads Democrat Gov. Steve Sisolak by roughly 28,500 votes, or 3.1 percentage points.

And in the secretary of state race, Democrat Cisco Aguilar now leads by 5,400 votes over Republican Jim Marchant, who has been a driving force behind the conspiracy-fueled push to eliminate electronic voting machines in Nevada and elsewhere and went as far as to question his own primary victory in June.

On Thursday, Gloria said the county still had “over 50,000 ballots that need to be counted,” and said his staff will work through Friday’s Veteran’s Day holiday as well as the weekend if needed to count the remaining ballots.

Meanwhile Washoe County, the state’s second largest population hub, has roughly 23,000 ballots remaining to report, barring any additional mail ballots that may trickle in Friday and Saturday.

Those mail ballots slowed down significantly Thursday, with Clark receiving just 626 ballots from the postal service, while Washoe received about 200.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Contact Colton Lochhhead at [email protected]. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter. Contact Jessica Hill at [email protected]. Follow @jess_hillyeah on Twitter.

Rita Reid leads race for Public Administrator in early election results

Assistant Public Administrator Rita Reid is leading in the race to become the newly elected Clark County Public Adminstrator, preliminary election results show.

Reid, a Democrat, currently has about 51.3 percent of the vote, a little more than 5 percent more votes than Republican Patsy Brown, a Las Vegas lawyer and businesswoman. A third candidate, nonpartisan Tabatha Al-Dabbagh, has so far received 2.6 percent of votes. Reid has been the top supervisor in the office for the past 15 years.

The most recent results were posted on the Clark County website at 10:59 p.m. Tuesday and indicated voter turnout at nearly 40 percent, with 53 percent of the vote centers reporting.

Brown, who runs a consulting business, ran unsuccessfully for the Las Vegas City Council in 2019 and the Clark County Commission in 202o. She is not a licensed member of the State Bar of Nevada, but said she served as a managing partner of a law firm in the Los Angeles area before coming to Las Vegas. She is a former restaurateur who has been active in community affairs, especially veterans issues. Brown was arrested and charged with suspicion of impaired driving on Sept. 1.

The public administrator’s office, which oversees the estates of people who have died without a will, was marred by turmoil during the latter half of Telles’ four-year term and was the subject of stories by Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German, who was murdered on Sept. 2.

The 46-year-old Telles was removed from his position Oct. 5 following his September arrest in connection with the slaying of German. Prosecutors have accused Telles of “lying in wait” to kill German because of articles he had written.

German, 69, was found dead with stab wounds outside his Las Vegas home on Sept. 3, the day after Telles allegedly walked onto German’s property and attacked him.

The longtime reporter had written four stories critical of Telles’ handling of the office, quoting current and former employees who told him of retaliation, favoritism and bullying from Telles and a subordinate for more than two years. Telles lost the June primary after the stories were published.

Commission chair Jim Gibson told the Review-Journal on Oct. 18 the county would revisit discussions of a possible appointment of a replacement for Telles after the election. The new official takes office in January.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Contact Briana Erickson at [email protected] or 702-387-5244. Follow @ByBrianaE on Twitter.

Editor’s note: Slain reporter Jeff German contributed to this story.

Election Day in Las Vegas: Your last chance to vote

It all comes down to this.

More than a year of campaigning. Millions of dollars of advertising. Thousands of glossy flyers clogging mailboxes. Thousands more texts (“reply STOP to opt out”). And even a couple of debates.

It all ends today, Election Day.

Voters will issue the final word today on races that have national implications and have drawn national media attention. Control of the U.S. Senate could hinge on Nevada, where the race between incumbent Democrat Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Republican challenger Adam Laxalt has been called the most competitive in the nation.

Control of the House of Representatives could be determined here in Southern Nevada, as Republicans are battling in unusually tight races in a trio of newly redrawn congressional districts that cover the middle and southern end of the state.

And the state Republican Party will see if exceptionally conservative candidates in the mold of Donald Trump can defeat Democrats in several statewide constitutional offices, one of which could affect how elections are conducted in the state for at least the next four years.

Top races, national attention

The U.S. Senate contest has seen a record-setting amount of spending, $176 million, according to the New York Times, citing an analysis by media-tracking firm AdImpact. For all that money, the race is still razor-thin: The Real Clear Politics polling average on Monday had Laxalt ahead, 47.6 percent to 44.9 percent.

With the Senate divided equally between the parties, a single seat could flip the balance of power to Republicans. Laxalt is that rare candidate who has been endorsed by both former President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who have an acrimonious relationship but nonetheless agreed on Laxalt as the GOP’s standard bearer in this contest.

The same situation is found in Southern Nevada’s three congressional districts, where a 2021 redistricting redistributed Democratic voters. As a result, the previously ultra-safe 1st Congressional District, represented by Dina Titus, is suddenly competitive, with Republican Mark Robertson even leading in some polls. The always competitive 3rd District, represented by Congresswoman Susie Lee, is even more so, as Lee faces off with Republican attorney April Becker.

Polls show Rep. Steven Horsford, whose district stretches from North Las Vegas to encompass the entire middle of the state, with a lead over his Republican opponent, Sam Peters.

Republicans need to flip just five seats to gain control of the House.

Statewide races

In addition to national races, the race for governor has drawn interest beyond Nevada. Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak is fighting for a second and final term against Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, the Republican nominee. The Real Clear Politics average on Monday had Lombardo ahead, 46.7 percent to 44.4 percent.

In addition, the race for secretary of state has drawn national interest, with former Assemblyman Jim Marchant — who has consistently claimed without evidence that the 2020 election was stolen — pitted against Democratic attorney Cisco Aguilar. The secretary of state oversees Nevada elections, and Marchant has traveled to rural Nevada counties to preach the virtues of hand-counted paper ballots over electronic voting machines.

In this election, Nye County has elected to use paper ballots and hand counting, although the new county clerk has said he will also use voting machines to count ballots in a parallel process.

Polls open morning to night

Polls will be open today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and voters can drop off their completed mail ballots at any voting location in Clark County. Any voter who is in line at 7 p.m. will be allowed to cast a ballot, no matter how long it takes.

When polls close across Nevada, counties will begin reporting election results to the state, and voters will begin to learn who will lead them for the next two, four or six years. But final election results could take days.

Why? It’s a feature of the greater reliance on mail-in ballots, which began during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic as a way to keep lines at polling places short and protect voters and election workers from exposure to the coronavirus. The policy of mailing every active registered voter a mail ballot was made permanent in 2021.

Under the law, any ballot postmarked by Tuesday and received by the county by Saturday will be counted, which means outstanding mail ballots will continue to be tabulated through next week. Those vote totals could change the results, especially in close races. The county has to finish counting ballots by next week, and certify the election by Nov. 18.

Federal monitoring

Nevada is one of several states where the U.S. Justice Department will send monitors to ensure compliance with voting rights laws on Tuesday.

That action occurs regularly on Election Day, and will see monitors sent to Nevada’s most populous counties, Clark and Washoe. Monitors will also be sent to Queens in New York City, Cuyahoga County, Ohio (where Cleveland is located); several counties in Pennsylvania, three counties in Texas and two others in Virginia.

Contact Steve Sebelius at [email protected] or 702-383-0253. Follow @SteveSebelius on Twitter.