The state Supreme Court Thursday upheld a 15-vote victory last November by now-Clark County Commissioner Ross Miller, denying the legal challenge by former Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony, who was seeking a new election.
Chief Justice James Hardesty wrote the unanimous opinion for the court, disagreeing with Anthony’s attorneys, who argued discrepancies in the voting process met the definition of an election being “prevented.”
“Because voters had the opportunity to vote in the November 3, 2020, general election and were not prevented from casting their votes for District C, we conclude that the district court properly found that the election was not ‘prevented" under (state law),” Hardesty wrote. “Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the district court.”
The recount resulted in 74 new ballots included in the count, which found that former Miller, a Democrat and the former secretary of state, won by 15 votes, more than the 10-vote margin from the original results. Miller was ultimately sworn in as commissioner.
The seat on the commission was open because Commissioner Larry Brown was term-limited.
During oral arguments, Hardesty pointed to the District Court’s decision to stick with an affidavit filed in District Court by Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria, which did not indicate that a fair election was prevented.
Nearly five months after the 2020 election, and roughly halfway through the 2021 Legislature, members of the Assembly have appointed a committee to investigate an election contest complaint submitted by a losing Assembly candidate.
Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson (D-Las Vegas) on Monday appointed three lawmakers — Democrats Steve Yeager and Sandra Jauregui and Republican Tom Roberts — to serve on an election contest committee to review a complaint submitted by former Republican Assembly candidate Cheryl Arrington. She lost her bid for an Assembly seat to current office-holder Elaine Marzola (D-Las Vegas) by 1,197 votes, or four percentage points.
The election contest was transmitted from the secretary of state’s office to the Assembly Chief Clerk in late January, but Frierson said Monday that the delay was a result of a miscommunication between parties.
The complaint largely echoes past uncredited allegations of mass voter fraud in the 2020 election, including depositions and exhibits included in past unsuccessful legal challenges to 2020 election contests, as well as several dozen emails and text messages received by Arrington from voters concerned that their vote was not counted.
Arrington filed an election contest lawsuit in Clark County District Court last November, but that case was dismissed because election contests for legislative races have to be filed with the Legislature, not in court.
The secretary of state’s office said it had received another election contest from former state Senate candidate April Becker, but that request was withdrawn in early February.
The procedure for an election contest filed with the Legislature is detailed in the adopted Assembly standing rules. It requires a three-legislator committee to take on a quasi-judicial role and oversee arguments between the contestant and defendant, but first requires that committee to first assess whether the contestant “complied with all requirements to bring and maintain the contest.”
If the committee determines the contest doesn’t meet all of the requirements, it issues a recommendation to the full Assembly that it take no further action on the contest and dismiss it with prejudice — an action that has to be approved by an Assembly majority vote.
Even if the committee determines it does meet the requirements for an election contest, the burden of proof is on the contestant, who has to prove that “sufficient irregularities in the election of such a substantial nature as to establish that the result of the election was changed thereby.”
No other election contests from the 2020 election were able to meet that bar in court, and it’s extremely unlikely to gain much traction in the Democrat-controlled Assembly.
Yeager, who is chairing the review committee, didn’t respond on Monday afternoon to a text message seeking more details on how the process will play out.
The vast majority of election complaint case files submitted to top Nevada election officials in the last six months regarding the 2020 election were closed without any findings that election laws were violated, even as many Republicans continue to assert that the election was rife with fraud and stolen from former President Donald Trump.
A log obtained by The Nevada Independent through a public records request shows there were 298 election integrity case files submitted to the secretary of state’s office from the beginning of September through Tuesday. It does not characterize the complexity of any individual case — such as whether a complainant suggested a single improper vote or submitted a spreadsheet alleging thousands of suspicious votes — or offer names of complainants or the accused.
Of those case files, 255 — or 86 percent — have been closed either because no violation was found, the underlying issue was resolved, or the case was referred to investigatory authority in the secretary of state’s office.
Only 41 of the roughly 300 files submitted for the 2020 election have not been resolved, which includes 15 submitted by the Nevada Republican Party earlier this month (many entries in the log list out several thousand alleged examples of voter fraud). The GOP and the state had widely varied public descriptions of the scope of their submission, with the party saying it submitted 122,918 records, and the state categorizing it as fewer than 4,000 distinct reports.
The log shows basic information about Election Integrity Violation Reports received by the office, which is the public-facing complaint form that individuals can submit to the secretary of state’s office identifying alleged instances of fraud or violations of election law.
A single report can contain multiple examples of alleged “fraud” or issues, which likely explains the variance between the number of reports that the state and Republican Party say were submitted.
The document gives a fuller view of the work that Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske’s office has done to investigate largely unsupported allegations of voter fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election — a line that Trump and prominent state and national Republican Party officials have repeated since the election was called for President Joe Biden.
The secretary of state’s office has maintained for months that it has not seen any evidence of widespread voter fraud that could meaningfully affect Trump’s 33,596-vote loss to Biden in the state, but says it is still investigating several “isolated” cases of potential fraud.
Among the findings in the log:
Seven of the submitted complaints were listed as “Referred to Securities” or “Currently with Securities” — meaning they had been referred out for potential action by law enforcement. Four of the complaints dealt with “campaign practices,” two dealt with “voter fraud” and one dealt with “misconduct.”
About 75 of the complaints are labeled as “data base concerns (voter history)” and all but one originated in the month of November. At that time, the secretary of state’s office was trying to clarify to the public why an online system might not have reflected that a person’s vote had been counted; the system was not updated until the election was certified, even if the ballot was already counted.
Two complaints of “ballot sent to deceased person” are shown as closed with no violation.
35 complaints, filed at various points throughout the campaign season, deal with “campaign practices;” 27 of those are listed as resolved with no violation.
52 of the resolved complaints are categorized as “voter fraud” with no further information listed.
About a dozen complaints listed polling place concerns or irregularities, including two about poll worker attire.
In a press release issued Tuesday, the secretary of state’s office said it had inventoried, labeled and evaluated all election-related complaints submitted by the state Republican Party after a rally-style event two weeks ago. The office said the assessment revealed far fewer Election Integrity Violation Reports than the party advertised in a press release, all of which were filed by the chairman of the Nevada Republican Party, Michael McDonald, with several “already under investigation by law enforcement.”
A letter the secretary of state’s office sent to the Nevada GOP as a “receipt” on Tuesday, and that was obtained through a public records request, indicates the GOP had delivered in four boxes, a USB drive with 23 documents and spreadsheets, three business cards and 3,963 elections integrity violation reports.
“We take every complaint seriously and will conduct a thorough and detailed examination of the information provided,” the letter said.
It also indicated that eight of the documents on the USB drive were sworn affidavits that had been redacted, and the secretary of state’s office requested unredacted versions as soon as possible.
Details in the election violation report log and the response letter indicate that several of the affidavits appear to be copies of material or reports that the Trump campaign submitted to a state court as part of an election challenge seeking to have presidential results in the state overturned. All of the cases failed in court, though the party has released some of the affidavits or evidence originally filed under seal on its website.
In a response to Cegavske that was published Tuesday, the Nevada Republican Party said the secretary of state’s Tuesday statement is “validating our assertion that there is voter fraud in the 2020 election” and planned to follow up with emailed copies of “each and every complaint.”
“We need better transparency from our elected officials investigating these matters, especially with so many Nevadans questioning the integrity of our voting process,” the party said in an emailed statement Wednesday. “We hope that Secretary Cegavske finally demonstrates a commitment to the concept that no amount of voter fraud is acceptable in the great State of Nevada.”
This week on IndyMatters, host Joey Lovato talks with Indy Photographer David Calvert about what he saw in Carson City during a pro-Trump protest on Wednesday. We also hear from Indy Correspondent Humberto Sanchez about what went down in D.C. when a protest of election results led to Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol in a deadly riot. Humberto also discusses what the Nevada delegation is saying about calls for impeaching President Donald Trump and 25th Amendment to remove him from office days before his term ends. After that, Producer Jacob Solis talks with Editor Jon Ralston about how we got to this point in the nation with the protests and riots and what it means for Nevada. At the end of the show, we have an update from our Health Care Reporter Megan Messerly on COVID-19 news and numbers.
As supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol and forced members of Congress into hiding as the certification of Joe Biden’s victory began, a few hundred protesters lined the main thoroughfare in Carson City for a more subdued demonstration.
Authorities had set up metal barricades to keep protesters out of the street and off the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion, and Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong issued a warning telling people to avoid the downtown area. Demonstrators were seen waving Trump flags, and some wore fatigues and toted guns, while the president’s speech Wednesday morning sounded through a loudspeaker.
“State and local law enforcement agencies are collaborating to ensure all resources are available in response to the anticipated demonstration,” Furlong said in a statement ahead of the protest. “Law enforcement will continue to respect the rule of law and the rights of those in peaceful demonstrations, without regard to a particular agenda.”
The atmosphere at the Carson City gathering was festive, with rock and country music playing over a PA system including a version of the YMCA song with the acronym “MAGA” swapped in. Participants drank beer, shook hands with uniformed officers, cheered passing motorists that showed support and booed those that flipped them off.
No government property was damaged, at least in the initial hours of the demonstration.
On the other side of the country, however, chaos reigned on the day that Congress was set to count Electoral College votes and some members were expected to challenge the results. Following a speech from Trump, supporters breached barriers and pushed their way into the Capitol, smashing windows and taking over the floor of the Senate as members hid.
The siege disrupted the proceedings well before Nevada’s Electoral College votes were counted and drew condemnation from elected leaders in Nevada.
“The chaos that has erupted in the United States Capitol is the opposite of patriotic -- it is undemocratic and un-American,” Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak said on Twitter. “I am praying for the safety of Nevada's federal delegation, all congressional members and staff, & law enforcement officers. This must stop.”
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto was slated to speak against the Arizona objection before the chamber was cleared at about 2:30 p.m. on the East Coast. A commotion was heard just before the chamber was cleared, according to the pool report.
“Capitol Police circled the Senate chamber, ordering all staff and reporters and any nearby senators into the chamber -- which was immediately sealed off, locked down on the second and third floors, sealing off any entry to the chamber,” the report said.
In the House, lawmakers in the chamber and near it were told by Capitol Police to don gas masks to protect themselves from what some members said was tear gas used to repel rioters.
Cortez Masto gave her speech after the proceedings resumed about six hours later.
Rep. Susie Lee said in an interview that she was evacuated from two locations before being moved to an undisclosed location with her colleagues.
She started the day in her office, having been driven by a staffer to avoid the protests. She typically walks or bikes to work.
Democratic leaders had asked that members not be on the floor if they were not speaking because of the pandemic. The counting of the electors had just begun and the House was debating the objection to Arizona’s election result, so there was no need to be on the floor.
Lee said she saw no sign of panic and that the Capitol Police “were good at really keeping us informed.”
Her office is pretty far from the House floor, so she felt safe. “I imagine if I were on the floor of the house, I probably would have seen a little more panicking,” Lee said.
Asked what punishment, if any, Trump should suffer, perhaps impeachment as Rep. Steven Horsford called for. She said all sanctions should be explored: “When something this horrific happens, I think all options are on the table.”
Biden’s 33,596 vote margin of victory in Nevada has been baselessly challenged by both President Trump and his campaign operation, despite the state’s Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske declaring that her office has not seen any evidence of widespread fraud and with multiplestate courts ruling against Trump campaign lawsuits alleging mass voter fraud.
Mark Amodei, the state’s lone Republican congressional representative, tweeted that all of his Washington staff is safe and that “History made today for all the wrong reasons. Shameful.”
In an interview with the Reno Gazette-Journalon Tuesday, Amodei declined to say if he would vote against certifying Biden’s win during the congressional ratification process.
The state’s other congressional representatives were much more forceful in public statements denouncing the violent actions by supporters of the president. Democratic Rep. Dina Titus said on Twitter that “lawless domestic terrorists encouraged by the President of the United States are attempting to destroy our democracy. They will not succeed.”
Fellow Democrat Lee wrote on Twitter that she and her staff were safe, while calling on President Trump to “unequivocally call for an end to this violence.”
“This is more than protesting. This is more than rioting. This is violent extremism aimed at the very heart of our democracy. It needs to stop,” she wrote on Twitter.
Trump put out a video message on Twitter Wednesday afternoon that was dominated by his claims that the election was stolen from him, but also told occupiers that he loved them and they should go home.
Horsford blamed Trump for causing the occupation and called for accountability for those involved.
“This violence and chaos around the Capitol is a direct result of the call to arms by President Trump and his allies who organized and incited today’s events,” he said. “While there are some forces who want to destroy our democracy and deny the results of the election, make no mistake: I remain resolved to perform my duty, certify the election results and defend free and fair elections.”
Cortez Masto, meanwhile, denounced the events at the Capitol as “un-American and unacceptable” and condemned the violence “in every way possible.” Sen. Jacky Rosen described the storming of the Capitol as “reprehensible.”
“It’s time for us as a nation to come together and denounce hate and violence,” Rosen said on Twitter. “Together, we will overcome and rebuild our nation.”
Former Gov. Brain Sandoval, a Republican, described the situation in Washington, D.C. as “a clear attempt to hijack the very foundation of our democracy.”
In Las Vegas, protesters participated in a car caravan that started at the Ahern Hotel, according to KLAS-TV. Trump supporters were seen carrying flags on the sidewalk outside the federal courthouse, and cars honked at demonstrators as they drove past.
Republican and Democratic members of the Legislature took to Twitter to condemn Thursday’s events. Assemblyman Jim Wheeler, the former Republican leader, said on Twitter that anyone in the Capitol who is “causing violence” should be “immediately arrested and prosecuted.”
State Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, a Republican, called the storming of the Capitol “patently un-American” and described the images emerging from Washington, D.C. as “horrific.”
“Every leader who believes in the value and virtue of our nation needs to condemn these actions, and the criminals should be arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Kieckhefer wrote on Twitter.
Senate Democratic Leader Nicole Cannizzaro described rioters’ actions as “nothing short of an illegal attempt to overturn a free and fair election” and called on all elected officials to denounce the violence and “the disgraceful lies that led to it.”
“It is unimaginable that some would seek to dismantle our government because they do not like the results of an election,” Cannizzaro wrote on Twitter. “This violence cannot be the answer and we cannot sit idly by and either ignore or encourage it.”
Others were more succinct in their thoughts.
“No words,” state Sen. Yvanna Cancela, a Democrat, wrote on Twitter. “Just awful.”
This article was updated Wednesday Jan. 6, 2021, at 7:16 p.m. to include comments from Rep. Susie Lee. This article was updated Wednesday Jan. 6, 2021, at 3:55 p.m. to add details about Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto being in the speaking queue and about the use of tear gas around the House chamber.
The Clark County Commission swore in four members on Monday, including one whose race was so close his opponent is disputing the results in the Nevada Supreme Court.
The swearing-in ceremony was held outdoors at the Clark County Government Center amphitheater in downtown Las Vegas. Nevada Supreme Court Justice Abbi Silver swore in Marilyn Kirkpatrick, Ross Miller and Michael Naft, and newly elected North Las Vegas Justice of Peace Belinda Harris swore in William McCurdy II.
Miller’s oath of office comes after a narrow victory against his Republican opponent, Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony. In November, Miller was in the lead by 10 votes out of more than 153,000 cast. Anthony filed for a recount that led to election officials including 74 additional ballots that widened Miller’s margin of victory to 15 votes.
“I am going to Nevada Supreme Court for residents of Clark County Commission District C, where the Register of Voters has called into question whether the election results reflect the true will of the voters. Spread 10, 30, 15 votes. 139 irreconcilable discrepancies and errors,” he tweeted on Dec. 30.
In November, Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria reported to the commission there were 139 ballot discrepancies in District C. Although this halted the commission’s initial vote to certify the election results, Gloria explained at the Dec. 1 meeting that such discrepancies include instances when the number of the individuals who checked in at the polling location does not match the number of ballots cast, and that it happens every election.
McCurdy, of District D, replaces Lawrence Weekly, who was termed out. Miller, of District C, replaces Larry Brown, who also was termed out.
Kirkpatrick has been a District B representative since 2015, and Naft, of District A, was first appointed by Gov. Steve Sisolak in 2019. Commission terms are four years.
Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske’s office says there is no truth to the accusations that the state election system forwarded private voter information to a Pakistani-based intelligence company.
In an election-themed “Facts vs. Myths” document updated on Tuesday, the secretary of state’s office pushed back on claims from the Texas-based organization True the Vote that the office had responded to a request for the state’s publicly available voter list in an email that carbon copied the CEO of a Pakistani-owned intelligence company. True the Vote is a conservative nonprofit group focused on identifying voter fraud.
Earlier in December, True the Vote had sent a letter to the federal Department of Justice regarding the email and carbon copied address, saying it “appears to be evidence of a breach within the Nevada Secretary of State’s email system.”
But in its updated “Facts vs. Myths” document, the secretary of state’s office wrote that an individual from True the Vote had manually added the foreign email address to the carbon copy line of the email request process for any bulk data downloads from the office.
“The automated program then sent the information as requested,” the office wrote. “The SOS IT staff has confirmed there have been no hacks or other reasons this could have occurred. This incident has been referred to appropriate law enforcement.”
The office also stated that it does not provide any voter privately identifiable information such as partial social security numbers, driver’s license numbers or email addresses — only information that is already a matter of public record. Cegavske, a Republican, faced similar allegations during her 2018 race against Democrat Nelson Araujo for allegedly providing private voter information to a Trump administration election integrity commission.
Catherine Engelbrecht, True the Vote’s founder, said in a message that no one at the organization had manually added the foreign email address in their email request to the secretary of state’s office.
“We welcome the opportunity to talk with anyone at NV SOS and encourage them to look at the IP address from whence the request(s) originated,” she said in a message. “It was not from us. And that is why we reported it.”
Earlier this month, Cegavske’s office published the initial “Facts vs. Myths” document as an indirect push back against claims of widespread voter fraud in the state’s 2020 election made by President Donald Trump and his campaign. Cegavske’s office wrote that it was pursuing several “isolated” cases of voter fraud but that there was no evidence of wide-spread fraud that would affect Trump’s 33,596-vote loss in the state.
Additionally, the secretary of state’s office said it has not detected any hack of its internal systems by “any of our many passive and active cybersecurity sensors.”
A Clark County judge has denied a lawsuit seeking a new election for a contentious and narrowly decided Clark County Commission seat sought by Republican Stavros Anthony in his narrow 15-vote loss to Democrat Ross Miller.
Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez denied the motion in a brief order on Thursday, writing that she could not apply a state law allowing for new elections owing to the loss or destruction of ballots in this case because “the election was not prevented.”
The order is another legal setback for Anthony, a Las Vegas City Council member who (per initial election results) lost the race for the open District C seat on the commission by just 10 votes out of more than 153,000 cast.
"Judge Gonzalez issued a ruling today, Christmas Eve, so given the holiday and a time for our families, we will get together after Christmas and discuss our options," Anthony said in a statement.
But the narrow margin of victory was quickly challenged after Clark County Registrar Joe Gloria informed members of the county commission that his office had discovered 139 ballot discrepancies in the race, leading the commission to vote to not certify the results of the election and to begin plans for a special election.
Miller’s campaign quickly sued the county, asking a judge to prevent a special election and compel the commission to immediately certify the race results. The commission ultimately reversed itself and moved to reconsider and accept results of the race in early December. A separate legal motion filed by Anthony to halt those proceedings were rejected by Gonzalez in early November.
After the results were certified, Anthony filed for a recount in the race. Results from that process ultimately resulted in 74 new ballots included in the vote totals, and Miller’s margin of victory rising to 15 votes (after accounting for a batch of erroneously included duplicate ballots). The Clark County Commission ultimately voted to affirm the new race results and Miller’s victory on Dec. 15.
Attorneys for Anthony filed a separate motion before Gonzalez on Dec. 10, requesting that the court require the county commission to order a new election in the race owing to the number of unresolved ballot discrepancies.
Attorneys for Miller and the county opposed the motion, writing that Nevada state law requires that the results of a recount be considered final, and that there was no evidence that the 139 discrepancies would modify the final margin in any way.
A representative for Miller's campaign did not immediately return a request for comment on Thursday.
Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske’s office announced Friday evening that it has “yet to see any evidence of wide-spread fraud” in the state’s 2020 election, an indirect rebuke of unsupported claims of mass voter fraud made by President Donald Trump and Nevada Republicans.
In a “Facts vs. Myths” document posted to the secretary of state’s website late Friday, Cegavske’s office wrote that it is pursuing several “isolated” cases of voter fraud, but has not seen evidence of any large-scale fraud that would meaningfully affect Trump’s 33,596-vote loss in the state. Electors cast Nevada’s six electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden on Monday.
Publication of the document comes two days after President Trump tweeted that “Nevada must be flipped” based on testimony presented by a Trump campaign attorney, Jesse Binnall, during a U.S. Senate hearing on election security on Wednesday. A Binnall-led lawsuit by the Trump campaign to grant the president the six electors tied to Biden, or withdraw Nevada entirely from Electoral College proceedings, failed in early December.
The purported evidence presented about the alleged fraud in Nevada’s 2020 election has been roundly rejected by courts in the state, including by a District Court judge as offering “little to no value” and failing to establish that any illegal votes were cast in the election. Judge James Russell’s order called into question data analyses provided by the Trump campaign, saying their methodology was questionable or that witnesses were unable to verify data or identify its origins.
Russell also said much of the evidence relied on out-of-court declarations of witnesses, which did not allow for cross-examination and thus was below the standard allowed for election contest proceedings.
The document bats down a long list of other aspersions cast upon the Nevada election, including that the secretary of state is ignoring evidence of wrongdoing. Her office says election integrity violation reports and accusations with legitimate evidence are investigated, but not “unfounded accusations” or “anonymous declarations.”
It also covers complaints raised about changes in the state’s election process that were approved by the Legislature, including allegations that the secretary of state decided to mail ballots to all active registered voters in Nevada and didn’t oppose “ballot harvesting” — the practice of collecting and turning in absentee ballots for multiple voters. Lawmakers were the ones to approve those changes, in spite of Cegavske’s opposition to provisions allowing for low-restriction “ballot collection.”
“The Secretary of State has a sworn duty to uphold the election laws of Nevada as enacted by the Legislature and signed by the governor,” the document says.
It also addresses additional unfounded claims by Trump — who yesterday tweeted that “many thousands of noncitizens voted in Nevada” — in stating that the office has not been presented with any evidence of non-citizens voting in the 2020 election as of Friday.
That claim originates from a declaration submitted by the Trump campaign as part of an ultimately unsuccessful election contest lawsuit, which claimed it had evidence that 3,987 noncitizens voted in the 2020 election through comparing of voter rolls with subpoenaed documents from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles of individuals with driver authorization cards, which are offered to noncitizens as a way to legally drive on state roads.
A DMV spokesman said in an email on Thursday evening that it provided the Trump campaign with a list of the names and addresses of individuals who over the last five years had obtained a driver authorization card or driver’s license using immigration paperwork, such as a permanent resident card, U.S. Visa or other immigration related documents. But the office said that the list was not definitive proof of citizenship or noncitizenship, as individuals could obtain citizenship and legally vote after obtaining a driver authorization card.
“The mere fact that a person presented such a document when applying at the DMV is not conclusive proof of their citizenship status,” DMV spokesman Kevin Malone said in an email. “These residents may well have gained citizenship but have not updated their driver’s license or ID.”
Michael Kagan, Director of the UNLV Immigration Clinic, said that the categories of immigration documents requested by the Trump campaign were documents that could have been used by individuals eligible to become U.S. citizens.
“Immigration status and citizenship change during people's lives, and driver's licenses last many years,” he said in a message. “Someone might have been a non-citizen three years ago when they got their driver's license, and they then got citizenship, voted legally, and haven't renewed their license with a new document yet.”
The Clark County Commission voted Tuesday to certify the results in the recount for the District C race, which resulted in a 15-vote victory for Democrat Ross Miller.
The final results of the weeklong recount affirmed Miller’s victory over Republican opponent Stavros Anthony. Initial results from the recount released Friday had put Miller’s lead at 30 votes, but officials discovered duplicate ballot batches had been read into the system in error and informed the candidates on Monday of the actual total. As a response to “ever moving” numbers, Anthony’s campaign is looking at legal options to challenge these results.
“Seven additional absentee ballots were included in the vote totals. As a result, one additional vote was tallied for Stavros Anthony, and six additional votes were tallied for Ross Miller,” Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said during the commission meeting. “The early voting and Election Day vote totals were a complete match to what was read into the system on election night.”
The recount in the commission race was requested by Anthony after election results were first certified by the county commission in early December. The board had originally elected not to certify results alongside the rest of the election in November as a result of 139 ballot discrepancies which outnumbered Miller’s then 10-vote margin of victory.
The vote to canvass and certify the results of the recount on Tuesday was unanimous despite multiple public commenters asking the board to instead call for a special election.
Jacob Reynolds, an attorney for Anthony’s campaign, spoke at Tuesday’s meeting, saying that “changing” results in the election show the need for a special election. Reynolds also indicated that the campaign plans to sue and has a hearing scheduled before Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez on Friday.
Anthony campaign manager Lisa Mayo-DeRiso previously told The Nevada Independent the campaign was looking at legal options and would be willing to go to the Nevada Supreme Court if necessary.
"Because of this razor thin margin and the inability to accurately call the election, we will continue with the fight for District C voters to have all their votes counted, and the accurate results to be reported," Mayo-DeRiso said in a statement on Tuesday.
She added in the statement that the campaign was "disappointed" by the board's decision and "shocked" that it was made without discussion by the commissioners.
Volunteers who observed the ballot recount on behalf of the Anthony campaign also spoke at the board’s meeting, asking the commission to call for a special election. Wendy Ellis and Joanna Gorman both referenced “irregularities” they say they observed in the adjudicated ballots during the recount process.
“The voting is so important to us, to all registered voters,” Gorman said. “It is important that we have confidence in our voting system, and, right now, with all of the discrepancies that have been noted, it is not [possible] for the voters to have the confidence that we need.”
More than 153,000 ballots were cast in the District C election, with turnout in the district at about 77 percent. Turnout in special elections has historically been much lower. The most recent special election for a Republican primary in 2018 saw only 36 percent turnout.
The Anthony campaign expressed disapproval of the “ever moving number” on Monday, issuing a statement which questioned why commissioners “are not listening to Joe Gloria when he says he cannot call this election.”
Gloria previously said in an affidavit that he “cannot certify that the vote is an accurate representation of the will of the voters in that district.”
When asked whether a recount would be enough to ensure the vote was accurate to that will, Gloria said that the authority to certify results lies with the commission.
“I don’t know how to answer that … In the canvass, we had to report the discrepancies,” Gloria told The Nevada Independent. “However, we don’t have the authority to certify on our own, so we take direction from the county commission. They directed us to certify, and so we did.”
At the meeting Tuesday, Gloria said that the election department deemed the results certifiable.
The District C recount took five days and cost Anthony, who requested the measure, nearly $80,000. Final results of the recount added seven ballots to the voter total, six going to Miller and one to Anthony.
Gloria will submit a copy of the votes to the secretary of state’s office based on the recommendation by the commission.
This story was updated at 2:38 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 15 to include a statement from Stavros Anthony's campaign manager Lisa Mayo-DeRiso.