CARSON CITY — Nevada’s 2016 election had a few hiccups, but it was overall a smooth, successful exercise in democracy, state and local election officials said Monday.
Despite pre-election chatter about hacking and rigged systems, “Everything went very, very smoothly” during the Nov. 8 vote, Wayne Thorley, elections deputy with the Secretary of State’s Office, told the final meeting of Nevada’s Election Task Force.
While the national conversation has turned in recent days to a CIA report that concluded Russia intervened in the election to help Republican President-elect Donald Trump, Thorley said there was no evidence of shenanigans at the voting booths in Nevada.
Election officials did receive about three dozen complaints during the two-week early voting period and Election Day combined. Most involved allegations of electioneering at polling places and voting machine glitches. he said.
“There are always equipment failures on Election Day,” Thorley said, but added, “Nobody was turned away or not allowed to vote because of voting system issues.”
Joe Gloria, Clark County’s registrar of voters, said most voters complained to his office only after leaving polling locations where elections workers could have assisted them.
He described one incident where a voter maintained all his votes on ballot questions were changed to “no.” The voter, Gloria said, mistook ‘No.” — an abbreviation for “number” included in the list of ballot questions on the ballot — for a vote against the measures.
While Nevada’s vote was nearly problem free, concerns are growing about the national presidential vote.
On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that a Senate panel will investigate the role Russian hackers may have played in the election after a CIA report concluded Russia was involved with the intent to help Republican-elect Donald Trump win the presidency.
On Friday, the White House said President Barack Obama had similarly ordered a “full review” of Russian hacking during the election campaign.
Trump, who said repeatedly before the election that the system was “rigged,” scoffed at the CIA and the report, posting on Twitter: “Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and We tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!”
Trump lost the popular vote to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton but won the Electoral College votes to capture the White House.
Clinton won Nevada by two percentage points. Nevada’s six Democratic presidential electors will meet Dec. 19 in Carson City to officially cast the state’s votes for Clinton.
Nevada also beat the national trend in voter turnout, with 76.7 percent of active voters casting ballots. Carson City and Douglas County had the highest turnouts in the state, about 91 percent and 93 percent, respectively. In populous Clark County, turnout was just shy of 75 percent.
Nationally, about 59 percent of eligible voters participated in the election.
It was the first time in 40 years Nevada did not go with the presidential winner. In 1976, Republican Gerald Ford won in Nevada but Jimmy Carter won the national election.
Nevada’s vote already passed a test of sorts, as a limited recount last week of presidential votes in select Nevada precincts did not change the outcome.
The recount was requested by independent candidate “Rocky” De La Fuente, who said he was concerned about the integrity of the vote.
The second tally did not change the results for De La Fuente, who came in last in the state, garnering 2,552 votes. It did record nine fewer votes for Clinton and six fewer for Trump — well below the 1 percent error rate threshold to trigger a full statewide recount.
De La Fuente paid about $14,100 to pay for the partial recount, based on estimates from the secretary of state. But Thorley on Monday said the total tab to recount the 92 precincts in five Nevada counties only cost about $6,500.
De La Fuente was refunded the difference.