The man who voted in a disputed North Las Vegas election — though he is not a resident of the city — may have unwittingly committed a crime. But such cases are rarely prosecuted in Clark County, officials said. Such voting mistakes “probably happen a whole lot but don’t come out,” said Ron Bloxham, a chief deputy district attorney for the county. Prosecution “is rare in comparison to the number of times” such errors likely occur, he said.
Election officials often say no election is perfect, and the North Las Vegas election was no exception. But votes cast in the contest for the City Council’s Ward 4 seat drew unusual scrutiny after Wade Wagner, a 48-year-old dentist, beat incumbent Councilman Richard Cherchio, 64, by a single vote.
Cherchio’s representatives are scouring voter records for irregularities to support their election challenge, which was filed Wednesday. In addition to what officials already knew — an election worker allowed one voter to cast a ballot in the wrong ward on election night — the lawsuit claims that “at least two other voters were permitted to cast invalid ballots” in the election.
One of those two voters admitted to the Review-Journal on Thursday he voted in the contest though he doesn’t live there, saying he didn’t understand election laws prohibited doing so. The man registered and voted from his brother’s home in North Las Vegas, he said.
Nevada law says a person who “willfully” gives false information to register to vote is guilty of a felony, Bloxham said.
Proving such an offense is a different matter, he said. And questions of legal residency are particularly tricky in court.