Recount of Nevada's presidential vote about to get underway

Published: Nov. 30, 2016 at 5:24 PM PST
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The request arrived by email a few minutes shy of closing time Tuesday at the Nevada Secretary of State's office.

Reform Party candidate Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente was requesting a recount of the vote in the presidential election.

For the record, the businessman-political activist says like Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who has requested the other recounts, he is seeking to ensure the integrity of the system.

He adds that he chose Nevada, which Hillary Clinton won by more than two percentage points, to counter Stein's requests in states that went for Donald Trump.

Stein failed to make the Nevada ballot and could not have requested the recount. De La Fuente did appear, coming in dead last with just 2,552 votes out of more than a million cast.

In any case, the request along with De La Fuente's credit card information listed 93 precincts--that's the required 5% of the state total--to be recounted.

Most are in Clark County, but there are two each in Douglas, Mineral, Nye and Carson City.

"Those counties now have five days to begin the recount process," says Deputy Secretary of State Wayne Thorley, "and once they start the recount process they have five days to complete the recount. So they have up to 10 days and these are calendar days, not working days."

In Carson City, all of 130 electronic cartridges from voting machines throughout the city will be recounted, along with the 36 absentee ballots from a northwest Carson precinct and 84 from a precinct on the city's east side.

"We will reread the cartridges in the recount mode in the tabulating system," says Carson City Clerk Recorder Sue Merriwether. "And the paper ballots we will have to hand feed those precincts in."

All in all, she says, the recount shouldn't take long. And given the checks and balances in the state's election system, including audits, no one expects it to change anything.

"Each county has a percentage of machines that they audit after the election to make sure the electronic version matches the paper trail," says Merriwether.

That's an audit they've already done and it revealed no problems.

"Since we've been doing those audits, they've never not matched up, 100 percent," says Thorley "They always match up."

In the unlikely event that this sample recount turns up a more than one-percent discrepancy in either De La Fuente or Clinton's total, a full statewide recount would be ordered.

This sample recount will cost De La Fuente about $14 thousand.

A full statewide recount would, of course, cost more. Who would pay for it is, we're told, unclear, but it's unlikely we'll have to answer that question.