Cisco Aguilar projected to win Nevada secretary of state race

Nevada 2022 midterm election

(NewsNation) — NewsNation/ Decision Desk HQ has called the race for Nevada Secretary of State in favor of Cisco Aguilar.  

Democrat Cisco Aguilar and Republican Jim Marchant have been locked in a battle for the position currently held by Republican Barbara Cegavske, who could not seek reelection due to term limits. 

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Nevada’s secretary of state race is one of many nationwide that have revolved around false and baseless allegations of voter fraud. In 2020, former President Donald Trump’s campaign attempted to sue the state, claiming it found irregularities in voting after President Joe Biden won the state with a 2.3% margin. 

The lawsuit didn’t succeed, but Republican Jim Marchant made those claims a centerpiece of his campaign. Marchant ran on a platform of overhauling the state’s voting systems. His vision includes the elimination of mail-in voting, reducing early voting, using paper ballots and hand-counting votes. 

Meanwhile, Democrat Cisco Aguilar has defended the state’s system and said those who doubt its efficacy had been fed misinformation. Aguilar also opposed voter ID requirements and said they eroded a fundamental right.

The race took place against a backdrop of legal challenges and distrust. Election officials faced threats and harassment for doing their jobs. Rural counties in Nevada also became a testing ground for changes proposed by election deniers, especially those that centered around unproven claims that voting machines were changing people’s votes. 

Marchant led the push for hand-counting votes in Nevada, including an effort in rural Nye County to hand-count all votes. Experts say hand-counting votes has a higher error rate than machine counting. It could also make it impossible for larger counties to deliver timely results if it were implemented across the state.

Aguilar’s campaign called hand counts a solution to a non-existent problem. He backed Nevada’s efforts to put the voter registration system in the hands of the secretary of state rather than keeping it at the county level and said he was open to expanding voting by mail. 

A historic amount of spending was poured into the race, with Democrats spending $7.7 million on advertising. 

In the days leading up to the election, polls showed Aguilar and Marchant nearly tied. 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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