In a unanimous vote yesterday, the Nye County Commission officially requested County Clerk Sandra Merlino ditch Dominion voting machines in favor of paper ballots. Since the 2020 election, Dominion voting machines have come under intense scrutiny from Republicans. In 2020, President Trump’s lawyers claimed that the machines were accessible by the internet and that their software was corruptible. In a recent poll, a majority of Americans said they are not confident in the honesty of U.S. elections.
Nye County is a Republican stronghold. The county is just over 50 miles from Las Vegas with a population of 46,523. Republican Assemblyman (AD-36) Gregory Hafen, breezed to victory in 2020 with more than 34,000 votes. In 2018, the county elected Republican and infamous brothel owner Dennis Hoff to that same assembly seat three weeks after he had died.
Hafen’s challenger Melissa Blundo, wife of Nye County Commissioner Leo Blundo, said in a public statement:
“Today I stood for election security and election integrity and spoke up in support of Nye County’s Board of Commissioner’s Agenda Item 28 – to move Nye County’s elections to paper ballots. I was the only candidate for Assembly District 36 to be here and speak up in favor of protecting our elections. The board passed it 5-0 in favor of paper ballot elections. Finally a win!”
GOP candidate for Secretary of State, Jim Marchant, has been leading the effort to ditch Dominion voting machines in rural counties. Marchant told The Globe:
“I’m so proud of the folks in Nye County today. They showed real courage and leadership standing up to Harry Reid’s corrupt political machine by ditching these unsecure voting machines. Nye County is only the first county to take the lead. I am working with several other counties and expect more to vote in the near future to ditch Dominion machines.”
But Nye County may run into Attorney General Aaron Ford. Nevada law requires elections be conducted with approved voting machines. County Clerk Merlino, an ally of Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, publicly opposes the switch before the June primary. At the commission meeting yesterday, she testified that it would be physically impossible to make the switch before the primary.
Merlino is not running for reelection this year.
Candidate for Nye County Clerk, Ian Bayne told the Nevada Globe
“As a small business owner I have had to do more with less. Hand counting ballots is essential to preserving our Constitutional voting rights. We have to get rid of Dominion voting machines with no paper record, which is frightening.”
Bayne’s campaign website goes even further asking to “remove voting machines run by foreign companies; count all votes on traceable method (paper); and organize and train citizen volunteers to audit every single election.”
The Globe reached out to Secretary of State Cegavske, but she declined to comment at this time.
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