LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The ACLU of Nevada is demanding an investigation related to the controversial hand-counting of ballots in Nye County. A formal complaint was filed Wednesday with the Nevada Secretary of State requesting an investigation into “coordinated partisan election administration efforts in Nye County,” according to a press release.
The organization said that it discovered that an individual who removed an observer from the ACLU on October 26 is Nye County GOP Central Committee Vice Chair, Laura Larsen. Staff from the ACLU initially believed that she was an employee.
The 8 News Now Investigators observed the hand-counting on Thursday. An individual by the name of Laura was working at the front desk, in the rooms where the ballots were being counted, and answering questions from volunteers.
A spokesman for Nye County confirmed that Laura Larsen is not a county employee.
The hand-counting began on Wednesday, October 26. It was shut down Thursday evening. The Secretary of State’s office sent a letter to Nye County stating that it must cease immediately after the Nevada Supreme Court said that the hand-counting process was violating orders to not release early voting results. The ACLU of Nevada had filed an emergency motion arguing that observers could hear results.
When the 8 News Now Investigators observed on October 27, some results could be heard. No recording was allowed. Volunteers were split into groups of five. One person read results while another person verified what was being read. Three people tallied votes. If the final results did not match, the group would redo the process for that specific candidate.
On Monday, Nye County Clerk Mark Kampf told the 8 News Now Investigators that the county had submitted a new proposal for a different hand-counting process to the Secretary of State’s office. When asked for a copy of the proposal, Kampf declined to provide it.
Kampf told the 8 News Now Investigators last week that tabulation machines are the primary method of determining votes in Nye County.
In March, the Nye County Commission asked then-Nye County Clerk Sandra Merlino to implement paper ballots. Merlino later resigned. Kampf, who had previously said Trump won the 2020 election, took over.