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Clark County certifies primary election results despite pushback

Updated June 24, 2022 - 6:33 pm

The Clark County Commission certified its primary election results ahead of Friday’s deadline to canvass the votes after a tense meeting that saw election deniers spew vitriolic insults at the county’s top election official.

Republican governor candidate Joey Gilbert, who lost to Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo by more than 25,000 votes, indicated this week that he intends to challenge the results over unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. Gilbert has said he won’t concede the race, and his campaign issued a statement Thursday citing “numerous election violations,” alleging fraud and other problems. The campaign did not provide evidence to back up the claims but hinted that it would take legal action against the state.

Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria told the commission that his department’s review showed there were no tabulation errors in the count and that “no discrepancies were identified.” The commission voted unanimously to certify the results.

The meeting lasted more than two-and-a-half hours after dozens of people, many of whom were wearing Gilbert campaign T-shirts, complained ahead of the canvass and repeated many of the claims made by Gilbert during the public comment period.

The group also heckled Gloria multiple times during his presentation, and several from the crowd approached Gloria after the vote and screamed profanities and insults at him and the commissioners.

John Carlo, who ran unsuccessfully for Clark County School Board this year and received 7.4 percent of the vote, told the commission that “what you don’t want is another Jan. 6,” referring to the day that pro-Donald Trump rioters stormed the Capitol to delay Congress from certifying the Electoral College votes and President Joe Biden’s win.

“We’re not going to stop until we get an election,” Carlo said.

Commission Chair Jim Gibson asked some of the speakers if they could provide more details about the fraud they were alleging, many declined, said they provided it to the Gilbert campaign, or would “save it for court.”

Nevada law requires counties to certify the votes by 11:59 p.m. Friday.

Esmeralda County, Nevada’s least populous county, on Thursday postponed the certification of the county’s 317 total primary votes after commissioners promised to recount the votes after people in the audience complained about the voting process, the Associated Press reported. The commissioners expected to finish the hand count before the deadline.

In Washoe County, the board of commissioners held a special meeting Friday to certify election results. After almost two hours of public comment, the board certified the results by a vote of 4-1. Jeanne Herman, the one commissioner who voted against certification, did not provide comment with her vote.

Washoe County’s audit of its own results found no errors in vote counts. The audit consisted of randomly selecting 20 voting machines and hand-checking some ballots from each machine.

Several other counties, including Nye, Elko and Humboldt, certified their respective primary election results.

Longtime Nye County Clerk Sam Merlino said during the county’s vote canvass that she’d heard about Gilbert’s intent to challenge, but said that it would not interfere with the certification and that the law states that the county must certify the results by Friday.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter. Staff writer Nick Robertson and contributed to this report.

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