Nevada’s audit law has been in effect since 2004. The audit addresses all items on the ballot. However, the results do not lead to a full recount nor does the audit statute specify whether its results are bindng upon the official election results.
NV Rev. Stat. §293.247 requires the Secretary of State to adopt regulations that specify “the procedures to be used for the testing, use and auditing of a mechanical voting system which directly records the votes electronically and which creates a paper record when a voter casts a ballot on the system.” Nevada’s audit provisions are found in the Nev. Admin. Code §293.255, “Postelection certification audits of VVPATs.” Currently, Nevada conducts a post-election audit of at least 2% or 3% of a county’s voting machines, depending on the county’s population. The audit may be conducted by hand or by machine.
In addition, NV Rev. Stat. §293.394 (SB 123 of 2019) gives the Secretary of State the authority to develop regulations for risk-limiting audits (RLAs). The Secretary of State is to develop a pilot program for risk-limiting audits of the 2020 general election. As of 2022, all counties will be required to conduct risk-limiting audits.
Unless otherwise specified, statutory references are to Nev. Admin. Code 293.255.
Voting Systems Used
As of 2020, most of Nevada uses touchscreen DRE voting machines with VVPAT paper records for all polling place voters; one jurisdiction uses ballot marking devices for all polling place voters. For the most up to date information please visit Verified Voting’s Verifier.
For an explanation on the types of voting equipment used, click here.
Only VVPATs from the polling place are mentioned in the audit statutes, and this does not include absentee or provisional ballots. The number of machines audited depends on the population of the county. For counties with 100,000 residents or more, 2% of voting machines “or not less than 20 mechanical recording devices, whichever is greater,” must be audited. For counties with fewer than 100,000 residents, at least 3% of machines, or not less than four, must be audited, whichever is greater.
Nevada is also piloting risk-limiting audits in 2020, and all counties must conduct risk-limiting audits as of 2022. For the risk-limiting audits, the Secretary of State adopts regulations on procedures and scope.
The statute states that any member of the public observing the post-election audit must not interfere with the counting, and does not specify if the public may verify ballot marks. (It does not explicitly require the place and time of the audit to be announced.) It does not require the results to be published.
Audit Counting Method
Counting may be done either by hand or “by a mechanical device determined by the Secretary of State.”
Type Of Audit Units
Nevada audits voting machines: 2% or not less than twenty (20) devices for larger counties; 3% or not less than four (4) for smaller counties. For further details, see “Audit Comprehensiveness.”
Contests & Issues Audited
Each candidate and each measure must be audited.
No statutory guidance provided on this matter.
For recount laws, see Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota website.
The results of the audit must be sent to the Secretary of State within seven (7) working days after the election.
Binding On Official Outcomes
The results are not required to be binding on totals and cannot trigger a recount. See, NV Rev. Stat. §293.4695
Oversight & Conduct
The Secretary of State oversees the audit, but the random selection and the audit are conducted at the county level by county clerks. The Secretary of State also sets regulations for post-election risk-limiting audits.
Upon the closing of the polls, the election board shall: (a) Secure all mechanical recording devices against further voting (b) If a mechanical voting system is used, count the number of ballots voted at the polling place and account for all ballots on the statement of ballots (c) Record the number of voters on a form provided by the county clerk. The chair and at least one other member of the election board shall deliver the sealed container to a receiving center or to the central counting place, as directed by the county clerk. The central ballot inspection board shall then move forward with their respective procedure. For more information see, NV Rev. Stat. 293B.365
Additional Targeted Samples
Statute does not provide for targeted samples.