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Rural Nevada county roiled by voting conspiracies picks new top elections official

PAHRUMP, Nev. (AP) — A new clerk was chosen Tuesday to oversee elections in a deep-red rural Nevada county that has been roiled by false claims of widespread election fraud since 2020.

Nye County Commissioners appointed Cori Freidhof to replace Mark Kampf, who will step down at the end of the month after less than two years at the helm. His brief tenure included a controversial hand-count of votes in the 2022 midterms.

Kampf has not said why he is resigning.

At a county commission meeting Tuesday, he endorsed Friedhof, a deputy clerk in his office, saying he’s “worked very hard” to train her.

Kampf stepped into the position in 2022. He had been recruited by Jim Marchant, a Republican candidate for secretary of state that year who claimed every Nevada elected official since 2006 was “installed by the deep state cabal” and led a group of 17 election deniers across the country running mainly for state election offices.

Marchant, along with 15 of the remaining 16 Republican coalition members, lost their races as part of a larger rebuke of far-right candidates casting doubt on elections in 2022.

When Kempf led the hand-count of votes in the 2022 midterms, it looked vastly different than the county commission’s original plan to ditch voting machines altogether.

The county still used the machines as the primary counting method, with a hand-count happening alongside of it. That plan did not appear to gain momentum leading up to this year’s elections.

Associated Press, The Associated Press