Audit Laws

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Audit Laws

State Summary

Nevada has two separate audit requirements in place. This entry provides detail on both, though for the purposes of categorization in the searchable database and the map of audit laws, we have relied on the state’s RLA provisions, unless otherwise noted. 

Since 2020, Nevada has been phasing in the use of risk-limiting audits, while maintaining its long-standing “postelection certification audit of VVPATs.” 

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.247.3(g) 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.” Nev. Admin. Code § 293.255.3–4, “Postelection certification audits of VVPATs,” sets out the specific audit requirements: counties must audit at least 2% or 3% of their voting machines, depending on the county’s population. Throughout the text, we refer to this audit as the “postelection certification audit.” The audit may be conducted by hand or by machine. Nev. Admin. Code § 293.255.2.

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.394, enacted in 2019, requires the secretary of state to adopt regulations on the procedures and scope of a risk-limiting audit (RLA). This statute initially required a pilot program for an RLA of the 2020 general election, followed by an RLA of the 2022 election. Assembly Bill 422 (2021) extended the pilot program to include the 2022 general election. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.394 previously required the implementation of precertification RLAs as of January 1, 2024, but Assembly Bill 192 (2023) removed this precertification requirement. Nev. Admin. Code § 293.480, effective through 2023, establishes the procedures for a risk-limiting audit pilot of the 2022 primary and general elections. Nev. Admin. Code § 293.485, which took effect January 1, 2024, sets deadlines for the submission and publication of RLA results in 2024, though no further procedures for the 2024 RLA have been put in place as of this writing. (Consequently, we have relied upon Nev. Admin. Code § 293.480 for much of the information on RLA procedures.)

Voting Systems Used

Most Nevada counties use touchscreen DRE voting machines with VVPAT for all in-person voters. For the most current information please visit Verified Voting’s Verifier.

For an explanation on the types of voting equipment used, click here.

Audit Comprehensiveness

Nev. Admin. Code § 293.255, which relates to the postelection certification audit, only mentions an audit of VVPATs; it does not include absentee or provisional ballots.  

Nev. Admin. Code § 293.480.4(a), which covered the 2022 primary and general elections, requires that “all accepted and tabulated ballots, including, without limitation, mail ballots, provisional ballots and ballots voted using a mechanical recording device” be included in the ballot manifest used for the risk-limiting audit. In effect, all ballots are eligible to be audited as part of a risk-limiting audit; on this basis, we classify the audit as “all ballots subject to audit.”


Nev. Admin. Code § 293.255.6 states that any member of the public observing the postelection certification audit must not interfere with the counting. It does not specify whether the public may verify ballot marks or if the date for the audit is to be made public. County clerks must transmit audit results to the secretary of state, but there is no requirement to make those results public. Nev. Admin. Code § 293.255.5.

Nev. Admin. Code § 293.485, effective as of January 1, 2024, requires the risk-limiting audit results to be made public, but there are no requirements that the public be allowed to observe the audit.

Given that RLA procedures for 2024 have not been fully fleshed out, we consider Nevada’s audit to have partial transparency, based on the provisions for the post-election certification audit.

Audit Counting Method

The post-election certification audit is either a manual or a machine audit. Nev. Admin. Code § 293.255.2. Risk-limiting audits are conducted by hand, so we consider Nevada to have a manual audit. See Nev. Admin. Code § 293.480.7–8.

Type Of Audit Units

The post-election certification audit specifies an audit of VVPATs: for larger counties, VVPATs are selected from 2% of voting machines or at least 20 devices, whichever is greater; for smaller counties, 3% or at least four devices, whichever is greater. Nev. Admin. Code § 293.255.3–4.

The risk-limiting audit may be either a ballot comparison audit, a ballot polling audit, or a hybrid of the two audit methods. Nev. Admin. Code § 293.480.7(b). The ballot is treated as the audit unit in each of these methods.

Contests & Issues Audited

The post-election certification audit is conducted of all contests on the ballot. Nev. Admin. Code § 293.255.2.

According to the risk-limiting audit regulations, in 2022, counties were required to audit one statewide race, randomly selected by the secretary of state. Counties were also directed to randomly select one race for countywide office to be audited. Nev. Admin. Code § 293.480.3. We thus consider statewide and some other races to be eligible for audit.

Addressing Discrepancies

Nev. Admin. Code § 293.255 was revised in 2022 to provide for a mechanism to address discrepancies in the post-election certification audit. If a discrepancy of four or more votes is discovered during the audit, the county clerk must randomly select additional voting machines to audit if the discrepancy cannot be resolved. The number of additional machines depends on the county’s size: larger counties must select 2% or at least 20 devices, whichever is greater; 3% or at least four, whichever is greater, for smaller counties. An explanation of any discrepancies found and their cause must be reported to the secretary of state as part of the county’s audit results.

For the risk-limiting audit, Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.394.3(b) requires an audit protocol “designed to limit the risk of certifying an incorrect election outcome.” However, the risk-limiting audit statute and regulations do not provide specific guidance on addressing discrepancies.

For recount laws, see Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota website.


The results of the postelection certification audit must be sent to the secretary of state within seven working days after the election. Nev. Admin. Code § 293.255.5.

Recent revisions to Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.394.2 removed the requirement for the RLA to be completed prior to certification. Consequently, we categorize Nevada’s audit statute as not specifying when the audit must be completed.  As of January 1, 2024, Nev. Admin. Code § 293.485.1 required county clerks to submit the results of an RLA to the secretary of state within 15 days after completing the RLA.

Binding On Official Outcomes

The post-election certification audit statute and regulations do not provide guidance on whether the audit is binding.

The risk-limiting audit statute requires the use of an audit protocol that is “designed to limit the risk of certifying an incorrect election outcome.” Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.394.3. However, since the statute does not specify when the RLA must be completed, we consider there to be no statutory guidance as to whether the audit is binding.

Oversight & Conduct

The secretary of state adopts regulations on the procedures and scope of the audits, while county officials conduct the audits. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.394, Nev. Admin. Code § 293.255.

Ballot Protection

According to Nev. Rev. Statute § 293B.330, upon the closing of the polls, the election board must secure all voting machines from further voting, transfer the ballots voted on voting machines to the required storage device, account for all ballots at the polling location, and seal the ballots to be delivered to the central counting place. At least two members of the election board—ideally of different parties—then deliver the sealed container to a receiving center or to the central counting place, as directed by the county clerk. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293B.335.1. The central ballot inspection board then continues with their respective procedures. See generally Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293B.365.

Nev. Admin. Code § 293.480.6, which was in effect through 2023, authorized county clerks to remove the seals affixed pursuant to NRS 293.391.1 to retrieve the ballots used in a risk-limiting audit. After the RLA is completed, the county clerk must return the ballots to their original location and seal the ballots. The county clerk is required to maintain a record of the seals affixed to the ballots used in the RLA. Nev. Admin. Code § 293.480.6.

Additional Targeted Samples

The statutes do not provide for targeted samples.


Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.247: Secretary of state to regulate elections
Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.394: Risk-limiting audits (effective January 1, 2024)
Nev. Admin. Code § 293.255: Post-election certification audits of VVPATs
Nev. Admin. Code § 293.480: 2022 RLA pilot program
Nev. Admin. Code § 293.485: RLA result deadlines beginning January 1, 2024


Last updated: March 27, 2024

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