Officials in Washoe County, Nevada have officially confirmed that cameras that had been livestreaming the vote-counting areas went dark for a total of eight hours from Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
“We know that our election livestream cameras went dark overnight. We investigated what happened and how to prevent it from happening again,” the county’s official Twitter account wrote.
We know that our election livestream cameras went dark overnight. We investigated what happened and how to prevent it happening again. Learn more here: https://t.co/LT8OJkxX3L
— Washoe County (@washoecounty) November 10, 2022
The tweet quickly went viral, with thousands of people reacting to the admission, many of whom were questioning the integrity of Washoe County’s elections. One Twitter user responded by writing that they had “no faith in the system at all,” while others called the incident a “disgrace.”
Meanwhile, the county attempted to explain the error on its website.
“The livestream computer application lost connection with the courtesy cameras at 11:24 p.m. the evening of November 9,” the county wrote on its website. “All staff had left for the night about 60 minutes earlier and did not arrive back at the office until 7 a.m. Connection was restored at 7:53 a.m. the morning of November 10.”
“The courtesy cameras are connected to a computer application designed for livestream events,” the explanation continued. “They intermittently lose connection with the application. When this has happened before, such as on Election Night when one camera went dark, staff was able to see the disruption and restore it.”
The county went on to explain that security footage had been reviewed, writing: “According to the Washoe County security administrator, that footage shows the parking garage, the hallway between the garage, and the entry doors to the Registrar’s Office. He has affirmed that no one entered the ballot room or Registrar’s Office during the time that the courtesy livestream was down.”
On Saturday, just a few days after the incident, a U.S. Senate race in Nevada was called for the Democrats. The race was hotly contested, especially since it was the deciding factor as to whether Democrats would maintain their slim majority in the Senate. Thanks to incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto’s (D-NV) victory in the race, Democrats now have the 50 seats necessary to maintain control of the chamber, since ties are broken by the vice president.
Republicans were hopeful that former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt, Cortez-Masto’s Republican challenger, would flip the blue seat. Despite Laxalt leading in prior polling, he ultimately lost the race.
The GOP thought that the Nevada Senate seat was locked up.
During a National Republican Senatorial Committee phone call on Friday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) went as far as to argue that “there is no mathematical way Laxalt loses,” adding: “If he does, then it’s a lie.”
Lindsey Graham suggested on NRSC call yesterday that fraud in NV would be the only way GOP loses.
“There is no mathematical way Laxalt loses,” Graham said. “If he does, then it’s a lie.” https://t.co/g4u15f6n7l
— Natalie Allison (@natalie_allison) November 11, 2022
There have been many questions surrounding Nevada’s election, beyond the livestream blackout in Washoe County. Many have expressed their concerns over the extended period of time that it took for officials in the state to count ballots, as even after most states had concluded their elections, Nevada was still counting.