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.
Party officials, the brief concludes, “are concerned that the court does not have authority to order the election to be rescheduled. Doing so could further jeopardize an already questioned process.”
Meanwhile, state election officials and Democrats said Monday in separate court briefs that the Nevada Supreme Court can change the date if necessary.
The court has been asked to decide whether the election should be an open contest or a closed race where major political party candidates are chosen by the parties. The court wants more time to review an untested law on House special elections. Justices had asked the state and major political parties to consider the legality of a date change.
This is the first time Nevada must fill a House seat since the law was passed.
If the Supreme Court upholds the lower court’s decision, the major political parties will name general election contenders. If the lower court is reversed, all candidates who legally file to run will compete in the general election, with the person receiving the most votes winning the title through the end of 2012.