UPDATE: Nevada Supreme Court won’t stop Clark County vote count
UPDATE, 7:15 p.m.
Republicans and President Donald Trump’s campaign got no quick decision from the Nevada Supreme Court on an appeal aimed at stopping the count of mail-in ballots in the Las Vegas area.
The state high court did not stop election night counting, calling instead for written filings to be completed Monday, Nov. 9, in a case that could affect the vote tally in Clark County, a Democratic stronghold in an otherwise red GOP state.
Trump campaign officials say they want transparency.
State Democrats say Republicans are trying to undermine the election.
Nevada is a presidential battleground state with six electoral votes at stake. Democrat Hillary Clinton won the state in 2016.
LAS VEGAS — Republicans and President Donald Trump’s campaign asked the state Supreme Court in Nevada on Tuesday to fast-track an appeal aimed at stopping the count of mail-in ballots in Clark County — a Democratic stronghold in an otherwise red GOP state.
Justices did not immediately set an Election Day hearing on an issue that could affect reporting the vote in Clark County and Nevada, with six electoral presidential votes at stake.
Documents filed almost six hours after polls opened pleaded with the seven justices, who are seated in nonpartisan elections, to allow campaign-enlisted count-watchers to “meaningfully observe” operations at the busy Clark County elections office in suburban Las Vegas.
Observers are being accommodated in Las Vegas-area ballot-counting offices, but Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria has said privacy requirements prevent over-the-shoulder monitoring of signature validation.
“We are fighting for transparent and open elections,” Trump Nevada campaign co-chairman Adam Laxalt told The Associated Press.
The 14-page appeal also seeks to stop Gloria from using an optical scanning machine to validate voter signatures, and instead turn the process over to human poll workers.
Gloria testified in a court hearing last week that adopting the cumbersome hand-counting process could endanger his ability to count all ballots before results have to be reported Nov. 16.
In an order released Monday, Judge James Wilson Jr. in Carson City acknowledged that election laws reshaped by the majority-Democratic Legislature last summer to send mail ballots to all Nevadans due to the coronavirus pandemic allow challenges of in-person votes, but not of mailed-in ballots.
The judge also observed that no county in Nevada hand-counts ballots.
Wilson declared that neither the state nor Clark County had done anything to give one vote preference over another.
More than 1.27 million ballots went out in Clark County, which has almost 71% of all voters statewide. Nearly 404,000 were received as of Tuesday, according to state election data. More than 98% of those votes have been accepted as valid.
Laxalt has said he believes more votes should be rejected.
Nevada Democrats accuse Republicans of trying to suppress voting in the state’s most diverse area.
Clark County, including Las Vegas, is more than 31% Hispanic, 13% Black and about 10% Asian American, according to the U.S. Census.