TONOPAH, Nev. — In response to Nye County Board of County Commission’s plan to appoint an interim clerk today due to clerk Sam Merlino retiring after 20 years of dedicated service, All Voting is Local Nevada State Director Kerry Durmick issued the following statement: 

“Nevadans believe the freedom to vote must belong to us all. Our state has increased voter participation by expanding access to both voter registration and voting options. We encourage the Board of County Commission to appoint a clerk who will build off those successes and develop a strong relationship with all communities, particularly the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe in Nye County. This tribal nation must retain its polling place, and it is the clerk’s responsibility to uphold this obligation for the upcoming general election. 

“Additionally, we urge the county to reject any election process that relies solely on paper ballots and hand-counting. All Voting is Local Nevada continues to support the use of electronic voting machines, which are more accurate than hand-counting, quicker to tabulate, and ADA accessible. We look forward to working with the new clerk in running a fair election where everyone’s right to vote is protected and state and federal election laws are followed.”


Merlino submitted her resignation after the Nye County Board of Commission voted to move to an all-paper, hand-counting ballot system. Merlino was also forced to deal with accusations based around the Big Lie and unfounded conspiracy theories since the 2020 election. An all-paper-ballot election will violate the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Hand-counting ballots is costly and inefficient and can jeopardize certification, due to the necessary time needed to hand count tens of thousands of ballots. Additionally, the chances of error actually increase with hand-counting.