RENO, Nev. (AP) – County election officials wrapped up a two-day recount of the Nevada GOP ballots for governor on Friday, and the outcome didn’t appear to change in the state’s two most populous counties, with second-placed Joey Gilbert losing to a busy field from Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo.
The Nevada Secretary of State’s office confirmed Friday afternoon that all 17 counties had completed their recounts. Although officials did not post or comment on the unofficial results, Clark and Washoe counties confirmed that Lombardo had defeated Gilbert. who paid the recount? despite trailing Lombardo by 11 percentage points after the June 14 vote.
Clark and Washoe counties accounted for 75% of the votes cast for Nevada governor in the Republican primary.
Gilbert, who was outside the United States Capitol during the January 6 uprising, walked on a platform shaped in part by baseless allegations of voter fraud, alleging that election workers failed to properly verify signatures or check ballots and that votes for Lombardo were “injected”. in the system. He has not provided any evidence for those claims.
He said he didn’t expect the results to change much, but he was seeking the recount to challenge the election results in court later. He has the help of right-wing activist and crypto businessman Robert Beadles, who has unsuccessfully sued Nevada and the state’s second most populous county to demand more election observation in the county.
“All they do is use the same solid and boiled ballots and send them through the same, broken machines,” Gilbert said in a video filmed Thursday outside the Clark County Election Department. “So, do I expect a lot from this? No. But it’s part of the process.”
The June 14 contest in Nevada proved largely successful for candidates endorsed by Trump and those who called the 2020 election fraudulent. Republican Senate nominee Adam Laxalt co-chaired Trump’s re-election campaign in Nevada and led failed lawsuits to reverse the 2020 election results based on false claims of voter fraud. Secretary of State Jim Marchant told voters at a candidates forum in February that their votes “haven’t counted in decades.”
Despite contesting his own race, Gilbert congratulated Laxalt and Marchant on their wins, which were featured on the same ballot.
Gilbert’s team paid $190,960 to the Nevada secretary of state’s office Friday afternoon by the 5 p.m. deadline, a total based on estimated charges filed by each of Nevada’s 17 counties.
“We were all gearing up for it,” Nye County Clerk Sam Merlino said after filing a cost estimate last Wednesday. “We all had a feeling that there was going to be an election race or recount.”
For Republicans, Gilbert’s apparent rejection of the results reflects growing challenges two years after many in the party embraced disproven claims of voter fraud. Party leaders want to encourage voting while appealing to the tens of thousands who supported Gilbert and distrust elections.
The day after the election, GOP chairman Michael McDonald – who rejected the results of the 2020 election – reprimanded Gilbert, saying it was time to unite behind Lombardo in a rare case of criticism of the far right within the state party.
“The elections are over. It’s been called. Joe Lombardo won. We need to come together and unite,” he said, calling Gilbert’s response “emotional.”
Unfounded allegations of voter fraud have already had an effect in Nevada. Dozens of angry voters last week urged county commissioners in Clark and Washoe counties to vote against certifying the censuses, describe their own experiences in the polls, and repeat conspiracy theories that almost derailedcertification earlier this month in New Mexico.
Last week, two Esmeralda County county commissioners conducted a manual count of all 317 post-commission ballots. delayed the first certification with one day. However, all provinces certified elections before Friday’s deadline.
Stern is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a national, not-for-profit service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on classified issues. Follow Stern on Twitter @gabestern326