LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Just hours before the hand-counting of ballots would come to a halt on Thursday, Nye County Clerk Mark Kampf insisted that the process was running smoothly. He acknowledged that there were several problems on Wednesday which marked the first day of the hand count.

“Our first day was a little rough as you could imagine, but today things are going very smooth much fewer recounts,” Kampf said. He told the 8 News Now Investigators that the goal was to hand-count two thousand ballots each day, and on the first day, volunteers counted about half of that.

Later that day, the Secretary of State issued a letter to Nye County stating that the hand count must cease immediately after a decision from the Nevada Supreme Court that the process violated orders prohibiting the early release of voting results. The ACLU of Nevada had filed an emergency motion arguing that observers could access voting results.

When the 8 News Now Investigators observed the hand-counting process on Thursday, they could hear voting results. 

No outside cameras or recording was allowed. At one point, Mark Kampf asked reporter Vanessa Murphy to step out of the room and asked if she was tallying votes in her notes. She was not and showed him her notebook. The exchange was brief and she went back to observing.

Nye County hand-count ballot votes diagram (KLAS)

Volunteers were divided into groups of five. In each room, one person would announce the results read from a paper ballot, another person sitting next to the announcer would verify that the announcer was reading the results correctly, and three people would tally the results on paper.

In a final tally, if the results were different, the group goes back to the results for that specific candidate to redo the process. Out of 25 ballots reporter Vanessa Murphy observed, four were mismatched and then fixed.

Kampf said he agrees with the process. When asked how results would be double and triple-checked, he said, “Well of course you are aware that we are using the tabulation machines as our primary method of determining the vote.”

“The dominion machines are working…” said Kelly Fitzpatrick, Nye County Democratic Central Committee Chair. “I view this as silly.  I view this as being still, still being worried about the ‘Big Lie.'”

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.

When asked about the controversy surrounding his previous claims of voter fraud, Kampf said people should trust the process. “If you were talking to me as candidate Mark Kampf, we might have that discussion, but as clerk, I am responsible for an impartiality in everything I do as clerk, so what happened, what my opinions are, have nothing to do with my functioning in this job as Nye County Clerk,” he said. 

On Friday, Kampf sent a statement to the 8 News Now Investigators expressing that the fight to hand-count ballots was not over. 

Yesterday’s Supreme Court order requires us to make some changes to our hand count process. We will not conduct hand counting today, but will resume as soon as our plan is in compliance with the Court’s order and approved by the Secretary of State. There were no hand counts today, and none were planned over for the weekend prior to the decision from the court and SOS.

Statement from Mark Kampf, Nye County Clerk