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Judge: County Commission may rethink District C election result

A district judge on Monday denied a Clark County Commission candidate’s attempt to block the commission from reconsidering its decision to hold a new election in District C.

Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ruled against an injunction request filed on behalf of Las Vegas City Councilman and Republican District C candidate Stavros Anthony.

He sought to prevent the commission from possibly reversing course after it agreed to certify every race in the election except District C, in which Anthony appears to have lost to Democratic former Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller by just 10 votes.

Commissioner Tick Segerblom, who voted in favor of the decision to certify all contests save for District C on Nov. 16, has asked the commission to reconsider the decision during its Tuesday meeting.

Should the county decide to certify in District C, attorneys for both candidates agree it would kill the prospect of a new election in that race. Anthony still could ask for a recount or contest the results, but neither of those remedies allow for a revote.

Anthony’s attorney, former Nevada Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison, argued that the commission made the correct and necessary choice the first time. He said Anthony is entitled to a revote under NRS 293.465, which requires that a new election be called if ballots are lost or destroyed, or if the contest is otherwise prevented.

This statute has been commonly cited in recent lawsuits by Republican candidates attempting to force a new election in Clark County. Democrats have thus far been successful in arguing that it only applies in extreme cases, such as a natural disaster occurring on Election Day.

Hutchison said the election was “prevented” by the 139 discrepancies cited by Registrar Joe Gloria at the County Commission certification meeting. For example, he cited a Gloria affidavit that said six people voted twice in the district.

Gonzalez disagreed, siding with Miller’s attorney, Bradley Schrager, who also represents state Democrats in the aforementioned attempts to reverse election results by a handful of other defeated Republican candidates.

Schrager argued that Gloria never described any cases of voting being prevented at any precinct in Clark County, so the statute did not apply. He added that the discrepancies cited by Gloria occur in every election and sometimes amount only to simple errors such as not signing in properly at a polling place.

Although the hearing was technically under the umbrella of Miller’s lawsuit against the county, which he argues is duty-bound to certify the District C contest and has no authority to call a revote, Gonzalez did not make any rulings on that case.

Another hearing on the Miller lawsuit as a whole is scheduled for Friday but may be pushed back due to scheduling difficulties with Gloria, whom the attorneys plan to depose. Gonzalez said she will rule once Miller, Anthony and the county submit their final arguments after the deposition.

Contact Rory Appleton at rappleton@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0276. Follow @RoryDoesPhonics on Twitter.

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