Nevada Recount Laws

This information was updated in 10/24/2020. 

Voting System Used: 

Mixed paper ballots and DREs with VVPATs

DREs and ballot marking devices are used for polling place equipment, and paper ballots are used for for mail voting.  For in-person voting, Carson County uses ballot marking devices for all voters.  All other counties use DREs.

For more details, visit Verified Voting.  Note that for the Nov. 3, 2020 election all active registered voters in Nevada will be mailed a ballot

Counting Method : 

Mix of retabulation and electronic review

“The recount must include a count and inspection of all ballots, including rejected ballots, and must determine whether all ballots are marked as required by law. All ballots must be recounted in the same manner in which the ballots were originally tabulated.” Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) § 293.404(3).

Initiating Mechanisms: 

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.  NRS § 293.403(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. NRS § 293.405(4).  Nevada law also provides for recounts during election contests initiated by candidates.  NRS § 293.423. 

Timing: See NRS § 293.403(1) and NRS § 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. NRS § 293.403(2). 

Timing: See NRS § 394.405(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 the candidate. NRS § 293.403(3).  These costs are outlined in the Nevada Administrative Code (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.  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. 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. NRS § 293.405.

Challengers and Observers : 

Statutes specify that recount must be public
Party/candidate or initiator has statutory authority to appoint observers

"The county or city clerk shall allow members of the general public [including candidates and their representatives] to observe the counting of the ballots.."   However, they may not challenge ballots or interfere in any way with how ballots are counted. NRS § 293B.353.  See also the Recount and Contest Guide, p.7

A County Clerk/Registrar of Voters may request the Secretary of State to designate a representative to observe the recount.  NAC § 293.371.

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.

State Has Audit Laws: 
Yes
Revision Notes: 

This information was updated 10/24/2020 using the 2019 Nevada Revised Code and the Nevada Administrative Code (accessed 10/24/2020).