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Signatures submitted in effort to recall Nevada Sen. Woodhouse

The group behind the recall efforts of three Nevada state senators has submitted its first batch of signatures, the Clark County Registrar of Voters office said Monday.

The group submitted 17,465 total signatures in the attempt to recall Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, D-Henderson. The registrar has four business days to verify the count and make sure it meets or exceeds the needed 14,412 signatures to move the recall forward.

Woodhouse in a statement called the recall effort “politically motivated” and saying it is an “affront to voters and a blatant abuse of the process.”

“I will be monitoring the signature verification process closely, and I look forward to defending my record of accomplishment and continuing to fight for my constituents,” Woodhouse said in the statement. “I’m proud of what we accomplished for Nevada’s children and families working in a bipartisan way with Governor Sandoval this past legislative session. It has been an incredible honor to be elected three times by the voters of Senate District 5, and I’m confident voters would make that same decision again.”

If the county registrar of voters determines enough signatures have been submitted the petitions go to the secretary of state’s office, where a sample of 5 percent of the signatures will be pulled to verify if the signers voted in the Woodhouse’s Senate district in 2016. The percentage of that sample will then be extrapolated for the full batch.

If that number exceeds the 14,412, a special election will be scheduled.

Democrats have been fighting the recall efforts with a “Decline to sign” campaign. But the efforts have also drawn a federal Voting Rights Act lawsuit filed on behalf of five voters in Southern Nevada that seeks to end the recalls before any elections could happen.

Attorneys Marc Elias, who served as general counsel to former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and Bradley Schrager, former counsel for the Nevada Democratic Party, argue in the lawsuit that the special elections would put a burden on the plaintiffs and that the recalls would “undermine a republican form of government by threatening to upend the undisputed results of legitimate and regularly scheduled election.”

On Monday, the Public Interest Legal Foundation out of Indiana filed a motion to intervene in the case saying that the plaintiffs are “misusing civil rights laws as partisan political weapons.”

“Nevada has the power under our Constitution to decide to have recall elections,” the group’s president, J. Christian Adams, said. “The Voting Rights Act is not a law designed to help Democratic Party interests. It’s intended to protect civil rights—not preserve partisan power.”

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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