Attorney General Ford Applauds Ruling Protecting Mail Vote Counting in Clark County

November 2, 2020

Carson City, NV – Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford issued the following statement after First Judicial District Court Judge James Wilson denied President Trump and the Nevada Republican Party’s request to temporarily halt the counting of election ballots in Clark County. The Office of the Nevada Attorney General argued on behalf of Nevada’s Secretary of State in this suit: 

“The president’s deliberate attempts to undermine Nevada’s elections have failed yet again,” said AG Ford. “He has made every attempt to control the outcome of this election without any regard for the health and safety of residents or Nevada’s state laws designed to protect the sanctity of the ballot. Today’s ruling makes clear that there is a proper procedure to observe an election that even the president must follow, and it’s most certainly a victory for the constitutional rights of all Nevadans.”

“I would also like to applaud Secretary of State Cegavske’s commitment to ensuring that every Nevadan has the opportunity to vote in the upcoming election in a way that does not compromise the safety or efficiency of our election process. Her office has taken many steps to secure the safety of our elections and to work with local, state and federal law enforcement partners. Nevada has a history of running secure, fair elections and this year will be no different.”

On October 23rd, President Trump and Nevada’s Republican Party filed a lawsuit against Nevada’s Secretary of State and the Clark County Registrar asserting that Clark County violated state election law. The request for a temporary restraining order was denied the same day by Judge Wilson. Today’s ruling affirmed and expanded upon the Judge’s decision to deny the requested temporary restraining order. 

In his decision on the demand for mandamus relief, Judge Wilson made several references to the fact that Plaintiffs did not present the court with enough evidence in this case to demonstrate that any improper actions on behalf of the Clark County Registrar, Joe Gloria, or Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske. Specifically, he found that:

  • "No evidence was presented that any party or witness wanted to challenge a vote or voter, or had his or her vote challenged" (pg. 5, lines 19-20) 
  • "No evidence was presented that there was an error in matching a ballot signature..." (pg. 5, line 21) 
  • "No evidence was presented that any election staff were biased or prejudiced for or against any party or candidate" (pg. 5 lines 24-25)
  • "Clark County uses an electronic ballot sorting system, Agilis." ... "No evidence was presented of any Agilis errors or inaccuracies. No evidence was presented that there is any indication of any error in Clark County's Agilis signature match rate." (pg. 3, line 25; pg. 4, lines 14-16)

Earlier this year and in light of the global pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance in advance of election day encouraging mail-in voting methods to minimize direct contact between voters and election workers and to reduce crowding at polling stations. In a Special Legislative Session, Assembly Bill 4 (AB4) was passed in order to send mail-in ballots to every active registered voter in Nevada and create options for Nevadans to vote in a manner consistent with public health concerns. AB4 also advanced the start date for counting mail-in ballots prior to Election Day and called for a minimum number of in-person early voting and Election Day polling locations in each of Nevada’s 17 counties. Nevada has existing state laws, regulations and county rules to provide for poll watching and monitoring of election procedures to ensure the public has a meaningful opportunity to observe elections.

The Court’s decision is attached