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Nevada county to reconsider its refusal to certify recount results

Updated July 10, 2024 - 5:30 pm

RENO — Washoe County commissioners will reconsider whether to certify the results of two local recounts, after the board’s 3-2 vote rejecting them Tuesday raised concerns about what could happen if a local commission refused to certify presidential election results in one of the nation’s most important swing states.

On Wednesday, the county announced that one of the three Republicans who voted to reject the recount results had asked for a new vote at the board’s next meeting July 16, according to the Reno Gazette Journal.

The certification standoff is the latest election controversy to roil Washoe County, which includes Reno and its suburbs and has narrowly voted for the Democrat in the last two presidential contests. Conspiracy theories about voting machines and distrust of election administrators have led to harassment and high turnover in the local election office the past four years. They also were on display Tuesday during the commission meeting in downtown Reno.

The public comments were filled by residents who alleged irregularities in the election, demanded a hand-count of ballots and sometimes spouted false claims of stolen elections and a “cabal” within the county.

Against that backdrop, and rapid election staff turnover, the county elections department has also made administrative mistakes, like sending mail ballots to voters who had opted out of receiving them and misprinting certain local sample ballots, though none that affect tabulation.

Two of the Republican commissioners, Jeanne Herman and Mike Clark, have consistently voted against certifying results and are supported by the wider movement within the county that promotes election conspiracy theories. Republican Clara Andriola, who that movement has targeted in the primaries, joined in voting against certification of the recounts, one of which involved the primary race she won.

The vote was first reported by KRNV-TV.

The recounts involved a county commission race and a school board race. The recount changed just one vote in each of the two races.

“There’s a lot of information that has been shared that in my opinion warrants further investigation,” Andriola said Tuesday, who had not previously voted against certifying results. She referenced several “hiccups” by the elections department and referenced public commenters who raised concerns.

Andriola did not comment on the reasons for her request to reconsider the recount results, according to the Reno Gazette Journal.

Andriola said Tuesday that she was appreciative of the county elections department but wanted to take the certification results to other governing or judicial bodies. She acknowledged that it is not immediately clear what particular entity that will be.

The commission’s two Democratic members voted against rejecting the recount results, which changed just one vote in each of the two races. The board had previously voted to certify the other races from last month’s primary 3-2, with Andriola voting in favor.

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