Court: Man’s vote in North Las Vegas council race to remain private

A union stagehand who cast a contested ballot in a disputed North Las Vegas election will not have to reveal for whom he voted, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Greg Mich’l , who voted in a City Council election that was decided by a single vote, admitted in July he doesn’t live in North Las Vegas.

During an Aug. 24 deposition, Mich’l said though he now lives in a home he owns in Las Vegas, at the time he registered to vote in April he was living at his brother’s North Las Vegas home. He later voted by absentee ballot while he was out of town for work, he said.

“He’s a good-faith voter,” District Court Judge Susan Scann said. “That is a legitimate vote, and therefore he doesn’t have to say who he voted for.”

Incumbent Councilman Richard Cherchio lost the June 7 election by one vote to dentist Wade Wagner. Cherchio challenged the results in court after it was discovered that an official had allowed a North Las Vegas voter to cast a ballot in the wrong ward.

The challenge and razor-thin margin left attorneys for both candidates scouring voter records for any irregularities they could use in court.

Mich’l already had revealed on Facebook and to the Review-Journal he voted for Wagner.

Scann also denied a North Las Vegas woman’s request for a temporary restraining order in the ongoing case.

Willia Chaney, a member of the Nevada Department of Education, filed the request after Wagner’s attorneys subpoenaed her to provide testimony about the large number of voters who share her five-bedroom home.

Seven voters at the home cast ballots in the race, said Todd Bice, an attorney for Wagner. Thirteen people are registered to vote at the home, Clark County officials said.

Chaney wouldn’t say whether she supported Cherchio in the election but did post a “Cherchio” sign in her front yard.

She told the Review-Journal she saw the subpoena as a way to target and disenfranchise African-American voters.

The voters in question include Chaney, her husband and several of her grandchildren, all of whom voted legally, Chaney said.

Bice said “there’s nothing wrong with asking these people who is residing in that residence” and that he takes offense “to the suggestion that somehow these people are being deposed because of the color of their skin.”

Meanwhile, Bice said he has been unable to locate the original voter who cast a ballot in the wrong ward.

“We have investigators searching for him, and he is nowhere to be found,” he said.

Wagner was sworn into the Ward 4 seat in July despite the legal challenge.

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

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