“Every other county has considered it appropriate by the statutes,” said David O’Mara, the Republican attorney. “You did not have the right to do so. The court must protect the integrity of the elections.”
Gordon, however, was deeply skeptical of the Republican arguments on several levels. He repeatedly suggested shifting state requirements in relation to state law requirements.
However, the judge said he was rejecting the request not because of what he described as “technical” but because he believed the lawsuit had little chance of success. He noted that Nevada law allows the use of machines to tabulate votes and does not specifically prohibit comparing signatures.
The judge also questioned whether the aggrieved voter Jill Stokke was actually injured from the county’s use of the matching machine called the Agilis. St. She refused.
O’Mara said the preliminary ballot Stokke would have received did not include all of the races she could participate in, but a county lawyer, Mary-Anne Miller, said it was a “full preliminary ballot”.
“Mrs. Stokke, it seems to me, could have repaired the damage by tipping in a preliminary ballot with the affidavit,” said Gordon. “There is little evidence that the machine is not doing what it is supposed to be doing . “
The judge, a judge appointed by President Barack Obama, also said it would make no sense to change the system as the deadline for certification of results.
“There is no public interest in disrupting the completion of the process and the counting of the ballots,” said Gordon. “There is an interest that the rules and laws of the legislature are implemented.”
The lawsuit also moved for orders to seek better access to voting in Clark County. A plaintiff in the case, Chris Prudhome, complained that observers are too far away and that election officials cannot hear because they are behind a glass partition.
O’Mara said that this contradicts the right of access guaranteed by state law.
“It has to be a public event. Just like any hearing or public gathering, “said the lawyer. “It’s just basically nothing. You don’t get any of it. It makes this law null and void.”
However, the judge said he would not investigate whether observers could not hear well or not well enough.
“You are asking me to impose new standards or restrictions or guidelines,” said Gordon. “Do we have to provide microphones? … When does it get ridiculous? … I’ve noticed you are forcing me to go deep into the weeds and we’ll be right back here when I get something into position. “
After O’Mara asked for “meaningful access”, Nevada assistant attorney general Craig Newby warned the judge not to adopt a “nebulous, undefined” standard.
“We’ve had this setup for years,” said Miller. At O’Mara’s suggestion, she added: “You should be in that cheek of the glass case with the workers in the tabulation room.”
Miller said the agreement allows the public a closer look at the process, but without the use of cameras. Journalists are still being held back. She said Prudhome broke the rules by bringing a device to the window.
While scanning the signature, Newby said, “It’s a valid system. There is nothing in the law that prohibits this. “
When the machine under the system reports a mismatch, three polling officers see the signature and decide if it’s close enough. If the machine reports a match, the ballot will be counted without further verification.
The federal lawsuit continues despite Gordon denying the requested restraining order and injunction. A similar case is currently pending in the Nevada Supreme Court and could provide a clearer answer to how much access is required and whether the signature matching system complies with state law.
On election day, Nevada’s highest court declined to provide emergency aid to the state’s Republican Party on these issues. The accelerated legal briefing is scheduled for Monday. The state’s deadline for ending the counting of votes is Thursday. The formal acquisition will take place by November 16.