It appears Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey will be keeping his job. In Tuesday’s preliminary voting results, Kimsey, who has been auditor for nearly 24 years, received 76,537 votes, or 71.94 percent of votes cast, to challenger Brett Simpson’s 29,856 votes, or 28.06 percent.
The elections office had nearly 119,000 ballots counted Tuesday night, putting voter turnout at 36.37 percent. That’s far short of the 70 percent turnout Kimsey previously forecast for the midterm election.
However, Kimsey said there are still approximately 80,000 ballots to be processed and counted and expected another 15,000 ballots to arrive by mail this week.
Kimsey said he was not surprised to be leading in the race.
“I did not expect it to be closer,” Kimsey said by phone Tuesday night.
While overseeing elections is only one part of the county auditor’s job, it was the sole focus of Simpson’s campaign. At numerous candidate forums and rallies, he claimed the county had “massive amounts of voter fraud in our elections.” Simpson’s proof, available on his website, was based on disproved statistical analysis.
Meanwhile, Kimsey campaigned on his years of experience running county elections, managing payroll for the county’s 2,000-plus employees, paying the county’s bills, conducting performance audits, recording legal documents, issuing marriage licenses and more.
In an earlier interview, Kimsey said he chose to run for office again to “ensure that elections in Clark County continue to be conducted in a safe, secure, transparent and accountable manner, producing accurate results.”
Kimsey said everyone at the county elections office, whether they are employees or volunteers, is absolutely committed to conducting elections with the highest level of integrity.
Simpson is one of dozens of GOP candidates running for state and county offices that oversee elections. According to a September review of candidates by the Associated Press, nearly 1 in 3 Republican candidates running for those offices supported overturning 2020’s presidential election results.
Like Simpson, the candidates echo disproved claims by former President Donald Trump of widespread voter fraud, rigged voting systems and dead people, felons and illegal residents voting. Dozens of repeated election audits, court cases and a U.S. Department of Justice review found no evidence of widespread fraud or manipulation of voting machines in the 2020 election.
Simpson twice took his voter fraud claims to court, without success. A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Washington Integrity Coalition United, in which Simpson was one of 34 plaintiffs named in the case. Simpson also filed suit against Kimsey in Clark County Superior Court over nonpartisan races included on the August primary ballot. Both lawsuits were dismissed on Sept. 30.
Simpson has repeatedly declined to be interviewed by The Columbian.