LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — With most votes counted from Tuesday’s primary election in Nevada, Republican gubernatorial candidate Joey Gilbert said he will not concede as he disputes the mail-in voting process.
With 94% of votes counted as of Thursday afternoon, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo led Gilbert by more than 11 percentage points. The Associated Press called the race for Lombardo early Wednesday morning.
Lombardo’s lead grew Wednesday into Thursday as counties tallied mail-in votes. The winner of the Republican race will face Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak in November.
Nevada law allows mail-in ballots, postmarked by 5 p.m. on Election Day, to be counted until the Saturday after the election.
“No, I have not and will not concede until every legal vote is counted, legitimately,” Gilbert wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday. This is bigger than me and I am not disputing anything more than the process of how we got here, and are apparently still getting here as more and more votes roll in, days after the election.”
Gilbert, a northern Nevada attorney and former boxer, wrote in several Facebook posts that he was questioning the integrity of the results. The state party endorsed Gilbert as its candidate though former President Donald Trump endorsed Lombardo. Gilbert, who rejected the results of the 2020 election, attended the Stop the Steal rally on Jan. 6, 2021.
Nevada has no automatic trigger for a recount, and a candidate must request one — and pay for it, according to state law. A losing candidate must request a recount in Nevada within three days of vote certification, the day counties must report their vote totals to the state.
The Nevada Assembly passed the mail-in voting legislation in May 2021. Nevada moved to a temporary mail-in ballot program for the November 2020 election due to the coronavirus pandemic. Every voter, regardless of if they wanted a mail-in ballot, received one. Nearly half of all votes in the 2020 election in Nevada were cast by mail, the Secretary of State’s Office reported.
The law decreased the number of days for when a mail-in ballot could be accepted.
Several states, led by both Democrats and Republicans, have moved to all mail-in voting systems. In Nevada, a voter can opt-out of receiving a mail-in ballot and vote in person if they wish.
“The mail-in ballot nonsense was always just that, an insecure process that is not trustworthy at all and a process than can as is being exploited,” Gilbert said. “I am more concerned about what will go down this November than anything else because if we don’t get this figured out now, November will be a disaster and Sisolak will be in for four more years.”
No county or state official has claimed any suspected fraud in Tuesday’s election.