Nevada counties begin certifying vote; 2 legal cases pending

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Steve Marcus

Joe Kramer, center, and other voters wait in line at the Sun City Macdonald Ranch Community Center on election day in Henderson Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.

Mon, Nov 16, 2020 (12:07 p.m.)

County officials in Nevada began signing off Monday on the results of the Nov. 3 election that gave Democratic candidate Joe Biden a 33,596-vote statewide victory over Republican Donald Trump in the presidential contest.

The former vice president drew 50.06% of the vote and Trump 47.67% — a 2.39% margin — in unofficial results submitted for approval by commissioners in counties including Washoe, surrounding Reno, and Clark, which encompasses Las Vegas.

Washoe County commissioners voted 4-1 to certify their results, after county elections chief Deanna Spikula said 252,563 ballots were cast. Commissioner Jeanne Herman, a Republican, voted no with no explanation while participating by telephone.

Elections officials and county clerks in Nevada's 17 counties are scheduled to approve results, called the canvass, and turn their numbers over to the Nevada Supreme Court to certify the statewide vote Nov. 24.

A state court legal fight to stop counting mail ballots in the Las Vegas area ended last week, after the state high court dismissed an appeal by the Trump campaign and state GOP, at their request.

That left two active legal cases in Nevada relating to the 2020 presidential election.

A federal court action filed Nov. 5 by two voters and two Republican congressional hopefuls alleges ineligible votes were cast in the Las Vegas area. It is pending in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, with a Thursday date for written filings but no hearing scheduled. Clark County is a Democratic stronghold in an otherwise GOP state.

A state court public records lawsuit filed in Las Vegas led a judge to set a Nov. 20 deadline for Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria to turn over to the Trump campaign and the state GOP the names, party affiliations, work schedules and job responsibilities of more than 300 people who were hired to count ballots.

Turnout among the state’s more than 1.8 million active registered voters was more than 77.6%, including mail, early voting and Election Day ballots cast amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Nevada secretary of state. That compared with 76.8% turnout during the 2016 presidential election, when Democrat Hillary Clinton carried Nevada over Trump by a little under 2.5%.

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