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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.

Cherchio’s campaign manager, Bradley Mayer, said the campaign has retained an attorney who "will be running point on the proceedings."

But Cherchio can’t request a recount until after the election results are canvassed by the City Council. That canvass is scheduled for Wednesday .

He then has three business days to request a recount, for which he would have to pay $600, city officials said.

Then the Clark County Election Department has five days to start the count and five days to complete it. But Larry Lomax, registrar of voters, said it wouldn’t take nearly that long to recount so few votes.

"We would probably complete it in a morning or an afternoon," he said.

Cherchio would get to choose three precincts from Ward 4 whose votes he wants to be hand-counted. If the results from that count change the totals by five votes or 1 percent, whichever is greater, election officials will recount the results from every precinct in the ward by hand. If the results don’t change by that margin, officials will machine-count all the votes from the remaining precincts.

Lomax wasn’t sure how many recounts the county has conducted, but remembers it was "between seven and 10."

The only local recount he remembers changing the total number of votes was in the close 1998 contest between incumbent Sen. Harry Reid and then-Rep. John Ensign. Ensign picked up 11 votes in the recount; Reid picked up 38. The result was the same, though: Reid still won, by 428 votes.

Nevada now uses an electronic voting system rather than traditional punch-cards to record voter ballots.

Contact reporter Lynnette Curtis at lcurtis@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0285.

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