Nevada: Judge’s ruling halts North Las Vegas special election |

A District Court judge ruled Friday that North Las Vegas must certify a City Council race decided by one vote and it can’t hold a special election to resolve questions about an ineligible voter who might have participated in the June 7 contest. Wade Wagner, a Republican, beat incumbent Councilman Richard Cherchio, a Democrat, by a single vote for the Ward 4 seat in the nonpartisan election.

The council later decided to redo the election on July 19 in one precinct and allow all registered voters to take part, even if they didn’t cast ballots in the first race.

Wagner’s attorney, Todd Bice, said the judge’s ruling nullifies an improper action by the council. He accused the council of trying to skew the outcome by picking a heavily Democratic precinct and not limiting participation to those who had voted before.

Nevada: Judge rules against special election in North Las Vegas | Las Vegas Sun

Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzales ruled in favor of Wade Wagner this morning in a hearing for his lawsuit against the city of North Las Vegas. The judge ruled the city can’t move forward with a special election that had been planned for July 19.

“Wade Wagner will be the winner once the council canvasses and certifies the vote,” said Wagner attorney Todd Bice. Wagner filed a lawsuit against the city after officials refused to canvas votes in the general election for the Ward 4 City Council seat.

Nevada: Secretary Of State Rejects Requests For Mail Ballot Only Precincts For Special Election | Nevada News Bureau

Secretary of State Ross Miller has denied requests from Esmeralda and Nye counties to expand the number of mail ballot only precincts in their counties for the special election to fill the 2nd Congressional District seat set for Sept. 13.

While both counties claimed they would realize modest cost savings by designating more mail ballot only precincts, Miller said his overriding concern is the integrity of the election process.

“This election is already on a greatly expedited timeline,” Miller said. “My first and foremost objective is to conduct an error-free election and I’m concerned that unknown challenges are likely to arise in implementing a new and different process in such short order.”

Nevada: Nevada’s Top Court Upholds Republican Nomination Process for Senate Seat | Bloomberg

The Nevada Supreme Court upheld a ruling allowing state Republicans to nominate one candidate to represent the party in a special election to fill the House of Representatives seat vacated by U.S. Senator Dean Heller.

In May, a lower court judge ruled in favor of the Nevada Republican Party and barred Secretary of State Ross Miller, a Democrat, from declaring a “free-for-all” election in which candidates could nominate themselves. The Supreme Court agreed and ruled in a 6-1 decision that although the state law is “ambiguous” deferring to Miller was not appropriate in this case.

Nevada: Justices allow one candidate per party in special election |

The Nevada Supreme Court has determined the two major political parties can choose one candidate each to run for the state’s open Congressional District 2 seat, putting an end to Secretary of State Ross Miller’s vision of a “ballot royale.”

There will be only eight candidates — not 30 — on the ballot when U.S. Sen. Dean Heller’s replacement is chosen in a special election Sept. 13. Republican Mark Amodei and Democrat State Treasurer Kate Marshall will top the ballot along with candidates from the Independent American and Libertarian parties and four independents. The decision is important more for political reasons than legal concerns.

Nevada: Supreme Court Set To Weigh In On Special Election In 2nd Congressional District | Nevada News Bureau

Attorneys for the state Democrat and Republican parties argued their cases Tuesday before the Nevada Supreme Court over whether they should pick their candidates for the special election to fill the vacant 2nd Congressional District seat, or whether it should be a “ballot royale.”

The Democrat Party and Secretary of State Ross Miller, himself a Democrat, are asking the court to rule by July 6 that any and all comers should be able to file to fill the vacancy left with the appointment of former Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., to the U.S. Senate.

Attorneys for the Republicans say Miller exceeded his authority in making the election a free-for-all, and that the parties should select the single candidate to represent them in a special election that has been set for Sept. 13, although it is possible this date might have to be changed.

Nevada: Who rules Nevada’s elections? Court to decide. | Las Vegas Sun

Seems there’s nothing like a deadline, or perhaps a U.S. House vacancy, to focus the mind. That mantra apparently applied to both the Legislature — which passed a bare bones special election law eight years ago — and the secretary of state’s office, which never got around to writing regulations governing how a special election should be conducted.

Now that Nevada is facing its first U.S. House vacancy, the state Supreme Court will decide how the next representative from the 2nd Congressional District will be chosen. It’s a political process that most justices appeared uncomfortable wading into, based on questions they asked during oral arguments Tuesday on the case that will decide the matter.

“Why shouldn’t we let the secretary of state make this decision?” Justice Mark Gibbons said. “Otherwise we’re going to have judges running elections, and that may not be a good idea.”

Nevada: High court hears arguments on special election for House seat |

Several Nevada Supreme Court justices suggested Tuesday that perhaps they should defer to Democratic Secretary of State Ross Miller to set the rules for a special election for Congress.

“Why shouldn’t we go along with the secretary of state?” asked Justice Kris Pickering during oral arguments that lasted less than one hour.

Justice James Hardesty said that when there are no clear regulations on election matters, the court should defer to the administrative decision. But he seemed to take positions on both sides of the matter Tuesday.

Nevada: High court hears Nevada special election case | StamfordAdvocate

The state Supreme Court is set to hear arguments Tuesday over who can appear on the special election ballot for Nevada’s open 2nd Congressional District seat.

Secretary of State Ross Miller and the Democratic Party have appealed a lower court ruling rejecting his position that the Sept. 13 election should be open to anyone who files their candidacy. Carson City District Court Judge James Russell in May said he was concerned that the rules set by Miller amounted to “picking and choosing” different provisions of election statutes.

The lower-court judge sided with the state Republican Party, saying major party central committees should choose their nominee. The GOP has selected former state Sen. Mark Amodei as their candidate; Democrats overwhelming chose state Treasurer Kate Marshall as theirs.

Nevada: Secretary of State says he can’t be sued | Las Vegas Sun

Secretary of State Ross Miller says he has sovereign immunity and cannot be sued by Democrats in the battle over reapportionment of four congressional seats in Nevada and the legislative districts.

Miller filed his answer this week to the complaint brought against him by Democrats in February to prohibit him from calling any future election based on the present invalid makeup of the districts due to the increase in population.

District Judge Todd Russell, who has been assigned the case, has set a hearing on July 12 to check the status of the complaint, set a briefing schedule and to schedule a formal hearing.

Nevada: One-vote winner of North Las Vegas City Council race sues to stop new election |

The one-vote winner of a heated North Las Vegas City Council race is suing to stop a new election. An attorney for dentist Wade Wagner, who won election to the council’s Ward 4 seat by a single vote, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in District Court against the city and four council members over the decision to order a new election in one precinct after the discovery of an ineligible vote.

Wagner won the election “but is being deprived of the office due to the unlawful actions of partisan City Council members who claim the power to void lawful votes because their preferred candidate lost,” the complaint said.

It asks the court to order the city to certify the original election and to stop the city from going forward with a new one. The city has 45 days to respond.

Nevada: Registrar says one-day vote would be cheaper than all-mail special election |

It would be more expensive to conduct an all-mail election in Clark County for the 2nd Congressional District seat than holding a one-day election at polling places, county Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax said Tuesday.

Lomax said he informed Secretary of State Ross Miller that a mail-in election on Sept. 13 to fill the seat formerly held by Dean Heller would cost $75,000, compared to $33,000 for an election at 12 polling places with three workers at each place.

The reason is the U.S. Postal Service would require that all ballots be sent out and returned by first-class mail. There also would be printing costs for the ballots. “It would definitely be more expensive to do mail,” he said. “Until the Postal Service lets us use third-class mail, it is always going to be more expensive to do mail elections.”

Editorials: Steve Sebelius: Only drama in Nevada special election comes from court |

This weekend’s Republican Central Committee meeting in Sparks had all the excitement of watching your favorite movie for the 113th time: Sure it’s fun, but you know exactly how it ends.

The selection of former state Sen. Mark Amodei as the nominee for the special election in the 2nd Congressional District was assured the moment Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, Amodei’s only real competitor, announced he would not seek the office.

The only question was by how much Amodei — who stepped down recently as chairman of the state party — would beat two other contenders, appointed state Sen. Greg Brower and former USS Cole skipper Kirk Lippold. As Amodei himself said, if he’d failed to win the nomination (or if he’d won it by a less-than-impressive margin) it would have sent a very strong message. But Amodei did win, and convincingly (221 votes to just 56 for Brower, his closest competitor).

Editorials: A Missed Opportunity in Nevada | Brennan Center for Justice

On June 3, the Nevada legislature passed Assembly Bill 301, and today, Governor Sandoval ignored the bipartisan will of the legislature and vetoed A.B. 301.  By issuing a veto for this bill, Governor Sandoval failed to seize a significant opportunity to expand voting rights and support racial justice in Nevada. The bill had aimed to make the voting rights restoration process more efficient and help Nevada move closer to a fair and fully functioning democratic system.

A.B. 301 was written to streamline and simplify Nevada’s incredibly complicated patchwork of laws governing the restoration of voting rights after a criminal sentence. The bill would have automatically restored voting rights to anyone who honorably completes a felony sentence of imprisonment, probation, or parole.   The Brennan Center, along with key allies including the American Probation and Parole Association and the ACLU of Nevada, worked hard to shape and support this important voting rights bill. Brennan Center attorney Lee Rowland introduced the bill in March 2011 and again gave testimony in support of the bill in May of 2011.

Nevada: Secretary Of State Will Evaluate Mail-In Ballots For Special Election | Nevada News Bureau

Secretary of State Ross Miller is asking for information from county clerks and registrars about the possibility of using mail-in ballots for the upcoming special election to fill the vacant Congressional District 2 seat.

“One of our biggest concerns with the special election is trying to reduce the cost to taxpayers,” he said today. “And under new legislation, any county clerk or registrar can convert any precinct into a mail ballot-only precinct with the permission of our office.

“We’ve received several requests from some county clerks who want to at least explore that option and so we simply asked them to prepare some analysis and identify potential issues,” Miller said.

Nevada: Miller asks about vote-by-mail for special election | Reno Gazette-Journal

Democratic Secretary of State Ross Miller is considering having Nevadans vote by mail only for the upcoming special election for the open seat in Nevada’s 2nd U.S. House District as a way to save money.

Miller sent letters to Nevada’s 17 county registrars Thursday, asking them for costs estimates on running a mail-ballot only election instead of a polling-place format.

Dan Burk, the Washoe County registrar, said he likes the idea. “It would be cheaper for us to do it this way and certainly it would be easier for us to administer,” Burk said.

Nevada: North Las Vegas winner to review legal options |

Wade Wagner, who won election to the North Las Vegas City Council by one vote last week, is considering his legal options after the council decided Wednesday not to certify the election results, a member of his campaign said.

“It has to happen pretty quickly,” campaign spokesman Dan Hart said, ensuring Wagner and his team would decide whether to pursue a case within the next couple of days. Wagner disagrees with the council’s call for a revote , but incumbent Richard Cherchio said he supported the council’s decision after the meeting.

In the Ward 4 race, Wagner received 1,831 votes versus Cherchio’s 1,830.

Nevada: Cherchio says bad ballot found in recount of 1-vote margin in North Las Vegas City Council race | Daily Journal

A candidate says an invalid ballot has been found during a recount of voting results that showed a one-vote margin separating him from the apparent winner of a North Las Vegas City Council seat.

Richard Cherchio issued a statement Sunday saying that Clark County elections officials notified him that one illegal ballot was found in the Ward 4 recount.

Nevada: Special election court hearing set in Nevada |

The Nevada Supreme Court on June 28 will hear oral arguments on whether the special election to fill Dean Heller’s seat in Congress will be a free-for-all or be limited to candidates chosen by party central committees.

The court announced Wednesday that it has scheduled an hourlong hearing in the case of the Nevada Republican Party versus the Nevada Democratic Party. Each side will have 30 minutes to make its case. Thirty people already have signed up for the tentative Sept. 13 election for the 2nd Congressional District.

Nevada: Supreme Court to hear argument on special election law before ballot deadline | The Republic

The Nevada Supreme Court is preparing to review a lawsuit challenging a special election law before the July 6 deadline to get the candidates on the ballot. The court said Wednesday the full bench will hear from the state and the major political parties on June 28 in Carson City.

The court has been asked to decide whether the state’s first election to fill a vacant House seat will be open to all major party candidates or just candidates chosen by party leaders.

Nevada: Cherchio will seek recount in North Las Vegas race |

After losing an election by a single vote in Tuesday’s tightest race, Richard Cherchio said a recount is almost a no-brainer. “We need to know everybody’s vote was counted properly,” said Cherchio, incumbent North Las Vegas City Councilman for Ward 4.

Dentist Wade Wagner defeated Cherchio, who was appointed to the seat in 2009, by a tally of 1,831 votes to 1,830. Because the race was so close, Cherchio wasn’t ready to concede.

“We’re going to look at all the ballots,” he said.

Nevada: On second try, Carolyn Goodman votes for herself in mayoral race | Las Vegas Sun

Carolyn Goodman woke up bright and early today to vote for herself for Las Vegas mayor, but almost pulled the lever for her opponent, Chris Giunchigliani.

When Goodman pushed the button next to her name on a voting machine at the Public Administration Building downtown, Giunchigliani’s name popped up.

“I touched my name and strangely ended up with my opponent,” a visibly worried Goodman said from her voting booth. She pushed the button a second time and successfully voted for herself.

Nevada: Las Vegas Mayoral Candidate Sees Own Vote Flipped to Opponent on Touch-screen Voting Machine | The Brad Blog

It took two tries, but Carolyn Goodman, candidate for Mayor of Las Vegas, and wife of current Mayor Oscar Goodman, was finally able to vote for herselftoday on Nevada’s illegally-certified, 100% unverifiable Sequoia AVC Edge touch-screen voting machines. At least she thinks she did. Whether her vote will actually be counted for her is something that nobody can ever know.

…  As we revealed in our investigative exposé in the 2008 book Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008, and summarized in our article on the Reid/Angle election for U.S. Senator just before Election Day last year, Nevada’s Sequoia touch-screen voting machines were illegally certified in 2004 by then NV Secretary of State, now NV’s recently-appointed (to take the place of disgraced Sen. John Ensign) Republican U.S. Senator Dean Heller.

Nevada: GOP urges state Nevada Supreme Court to not change date of congressional special election | AP/The Republic

Delaying the date of a special election to fill a House vacancy could further taint a political process already clouded in confusion, lawyers for the Nevada Republican Party argued Monday in a court brief.

The GOP said it does not oppose rescheduling the Sept. 13 election so that the Nevada Supreme Court has more time to decide the rules of Nevada’s first special election to fill a House seat. State law, however, does not seem to allow for a date change, the lawyers claim.

Nevada: Attorney General, Democrats argue special election should be wide-open affair | Las Vegas Sun

The secretary of state, as the resident expert on Nevada elections, should have the final word on the format for the race to fill the 2nd Congressional District seat, the attorney general and state Democratic Party argued in briefs filed with the Nevada Supreme Court.

The parties are asking the court to overturn a decision by District Judge Todd Russell in Carson City, who held that the central committees of the two major parties should nominate candidates for the Sept. 13 election. The secretary of state had opted for a wide-open special election.

The Supreme Court has requested the Sept. 13 election be delayed to give it more time to consider the issue.

Nevada: Court Suggests Delay For Nevada House Election | Eyewitness News 9

Nevada’s first special election to fill a House seat could be delayed because of a legal tussle over the contest rules.

The Nevada Supreme Court issued an order Tuesday directing the Nevada Democratic Party, the Nevada Republican Party and Secretary of State Ross Miller to address whether the September special election can be rescheduled. The political parties and Miller disagree on the rules of the contest to fill the seat left vacant when Republican Dean Heller was appointed to the U.S. Senate.

Nevada: Nevada Supreme Court to hear appeal on special election |

The Nevada Supreme Court indicated Tuesday that it needs more time to rule on a key election procedure than a planned Sept. 13 election date would allow.

As a result, Nevadans in the district — which encompasses all of Nevada with the exception of urbanized areas of Clark County — might not get to vote on Heller’s replacement until October or even November. The replacement would fill out the last year of Heller’s unexpired term, thereby getting a leg up on the competition in the 2012 election.

Nevada: Lawmakers vote 13-8 to restore voting rights to ex-felons in Nevada | Daily Reporter

Voting restrictions for ex-felons are on their way to being overhauled in Nevada. Senators voted 13-8 Monday to wipe away the restrictions surrounding ex-felons and the right to cast a ballot. Current law excludes certain felons, whereas AB301 is a blanket restoration of voting rights.

AB301 would also eliminate the requirement that former felons apply for the right to vote, a measure Sen. Greg Brower of Reno told lawmakers was a step too far.

Editorials: Jon Ralston: If only Heller had done his job as secretary of state, we wouldn’t have mess to replace him as U.S. representative | Reno Gazette-Journal

If only Secretary of State Dean Heller had written regulations for a House special election, we wouldn’t have such controversy over filling U.S. Sen. Dean Heller’s seat.

But the Republican did not, as a 2003 law instructed, write any rules, so now we have chaos, thanks to a Carson City judge’s stunning decision last week that overturned the guidelines proposed by Heller’s Democratic successor, Ross Miller. And reading through the 97-page transcript of Judge Todd Russell’s decision reveals a jurist who seemed immediately predisposed to the GOP argument that party central committees should nominate and hostile to the Democratic Party claim that it should be, as Miller calls it, a “ballot royale.”