Stokke v. Cegavske

Case 2:20-cv-02046 | Closed

Plaintiffs Jill Stokke, Chris Prudhomme, Marchant for Congress, and Rodimer for Congress sued Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske and Clark County Registrar Joe Gloria for illegal conduct during the election.

Nevada uses Agilis signature matching software. Joe Gloria is the Clark County Registrar responsible for oversight of several election boards. Plaintiff Stokke said that Gloria was not using the software as the manufacturer required. Specifically, he allowed signatures to be matched with DMV signatures that were scanned at a lower resolution than Agilis requires. Clark County, home to 75% of Nevada voters, is also the only county in Nevada that used Agilis and did not match absentee and mail-in ballots manually.  Stokke blamed this procedure for preventing her from voting in person in the 2020 Presidential Election because she was told, incorrectly, that she had already voted by mail. She sought to prevent further use of Agilis and instead require election officials to verify signatures in person.

Under Nevada election law, “[w]hen the polls are closed, the counting board shall prepare to count the ballots voted. The counting procedure must be public and continue without adjournment until completed.”  Plaintiff Prudhomme claimed he tried to observe the counting from the Clark County election office but was denied entry.  He was unable to see what was happening inside because the screens were turned away from him.  When he asked about these irregularities, law enforcement removed him from the location.

The plaintiffs sought to stop the use of Agilis for signatures, require that mail ballots be verified by election officials, direct Defendants to allow meaningful access to observe vote counting.   On November 6, the Democratic National Party and the Nevada State Democratic Party hired out-of-state attorneys Marc Elias, John Devaney, and Abha Khanna from the prestigious Perkins Coie law firm to defend what otherwise appeared to be a minor and reasonable case.  On that same day, District Court Judge Andrew Gordon denied injunctive relief because he did not see “irreparable harm” that would require such a remedy.

On November 24, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their suit.