Nevada Recount Laws

This information was updated in March 2014 using the Nevada Revised Statutes(NRS) and the Nevada Administrative Code (NAC).

Voting System Used: 

DREs with VVPAT

For more details, visit Verified Voting.

Counting Method: 

Mix of retabulation and electronic review

For candidate and voter-initiated recounts, the sample to be recounted is 5 percent of the precincts, but in no case fewer than three precincts, to be chosen by the recount initiator.  The ballots will be recounted “ in the same manner in which the ballots were originally tabulated.” If a discrepancy “equal to or greater than 1 percent or five votes, whichever is greater,” is found, a recount of all ballots (not just the 5%) must be conducted. See NRS 293.404(4) & (5).

Initiating Mechanism: 

Candidate-initiated
Voter-initiated

Candidate-Initiated Options: 

Candidate determines how many/what precincts to recount
Contested election 

Any apparently defeated candidate in any election may apply for a recount. The request is filed with the election official with whom they filed their declaration of candidacy.  See NRS 293.404(1). A recount for a given office can only be conducted once each election; the requesting candidate, or another apparently defeated candidate, cannot request that they be recounted again. Nevada law also  provides for recounts during election contests initiated by candidates. See NRS 293.423. 

Timing: See NRS 293.403(1) and 293.405(3).

Voter-Initiated Options: 

Voters may request recounts for initiatives/questions
Voters determine how many/which precincts to be recounted

Any individual voter may file for a recount on any ballot question in any election. See NRS 293.403(2)

Timing: See NRS 293.405(3).

Cost for Candidate-Initiated Recounts: 

Initiator pays deposit or bond before recount
Payer of costs depends on outcome of recount 

The Secretary of State sets the rules for calculating the costs, but the actual estimate is made by the election official receiving the recount application from either a voter or candidate. See NRS 293.403(3).  If the party requesting the recount is determined to be the actual winner of the election, their deposit is refunded. If not, and the total cost of the recount is greater than their initial deposit, they are required to pay the difference. See NRS 293.405.

Cost for Voter-Initiated Recounts: 

Initiator pays deposit or bond before recount
Payer of costs depends on outcome of recount 

The Secretary of State sets the rules for calculating the costs, but the actual estimate is made by the election official receiving the recount application from either a voter or candidate. See NRS 293.403(3). These costs are outlined in NAC 293.375.  If the party requesting the recount is determined to be the actual winner of the election, their deposit is refunded. If not, and the total cost of the recount is greater than their initial deposit, they are required to pay the difference. See NRS 293.405.

Challengers and Observers: 

Party/candidate or initiator has statutory authority to appoint observers
No statutory guidance for recount challengers 

Although the statutes and regulations do not require it, as a matter of practice, members of the public are allowed to watch the recounting of ballots.  See the State of Nevada Recount and Contest Information 2014, page 5: “Who can observe the recount.” See also NRS 293B.353.  Statutes authorize  that “Each candidate for the office affected by the recount and the voter who demanded the recount, if any, may be present in person or by an authorized representative.” These representatives, however, do not have the ability to challenge ballots. See NRS 293.404(2).

Rules for Determining Voter Intent: 

Statutory guidance provided 

Guidelines for counting votes and determining intent can be found in NRS 293.3677.  Guidelines for when to reject a ballot for “an alleged defect or illegality” can be found in NRS 293.367.