Candidate wants party names spelled out on voting machines

CARSON CITY -- Scott Ashjian, the Tea Party of Nevada candidate for U.S. Senate, asked the secretary of state Monday to reprogram voting machines so that abbreviations for party names are eliminated.

In a letter to Secretary of State Ross Miller, Ashjian said there is no provision in state law for abbreviating political party names on election ballots.

Upon receiving his sample ballot, Ashjian said he noticed that the abbreviation "TPN," instead of Tea Party of Nevada, is shown for his political party. He called that "wholly unfair."

Ashjian did not return a phone call Monday afternoon. Early voting in Nevada begins Saturday.

Pam Dupre, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state, said no one would be available to comment on Ashjian's letter until today. Miller himself had informed the Review-Journal about the letter and asked for it to be released.

In the letter, Ashjian noted that the Democrat Party is abbreviated on voting machines as "DEM," and the Republican Party's abbreviation is "REP."

A more appropriate abbreviation for his party would be "TEA," he said.

A lawsuit challenging Ashjian's right to appear on the ballot was dismissed last week by the state Supreme Court.

Conservative leaders, such as Chuck Muth and Debbie Landis, leader of the Action is Brewing organization, have charged that Ashjian is appearing on the ballot only to draw votes away from Republican Sharron Angle and help Democrat Harry Reid win re-election.

Ashjian is not backed by the national Tea Party Express.