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New election set to determine winner of NLV council seat

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Paul Takahashi

North Las Vegas Councilman William Robinson speaks during a special meeting on Thursday, June 30, 2011, about a special election in one Ward 4 precinct scheduled to take place July 19, 2011. The city is holding a new election in Precinct 4306 because one invalid ballot was found in the race between Wade Wagner and incumbent Richard Cherchio that was decided by one vote on the June 7 general election.

NLV Special Election Meeting

North Las Vegas Ward 4 candidate and dentist Wade Wagner addresses the media at City Hall on Thursday, June 30, 2011, about a special election in one Ward 4 precinct scheduled to take place July 19, 2011. The city is holding a new election in Precinct 4306 because one invalid ballot was found in the race between Wagner and incumbent Richard Cherchio that was decided by one vote on the June 7 general election. Launch slideshow »

The North Las Vegas City Council voted Thursday to hold a special election on July 19 in one precinct to determine the winner of the Ward 4 council seat.

The decision came more than a month after the Clark County Elections Department discovered an illegal ballot cast in Precinct 4306 in the general election between incumbent Richard Cherchio and Wade Wagner.

Wagner won the election by a single vote, 1,830 to 1,831.

Former North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon, who filed a lawsuit against the city last week that resulted in a temporary restraining to block a new election, was displeased with the council’s decision.

“They just landed themselves a long, drawn out process,” said Montandon. “They’re making decisions that cost them money, not me.”

But some residents of Precinct 4306, like Michele Hunter, believe the new election is necessary.

“We need to correct a wrong,” said Hunter. “It was unfortunate that it happened, but it did.”

Despite the council’s decision, Wagner said he is moving forward with his lawsuit against the city to block the special election.

“Ultimately a judge will make this decision, I’m sure,” Wagner said. “This disenfranchises all the other people that might not have voted in other precincts.”

Cherchio, who recused himself from the meeting, said he was happy with the council’s decision.

“Regardless of where you stand on it, there’s no way to track where that vote went,” Cherchio said. “I really think the only way you can resolve this is just to have a new election within that one precinct.”

Residents of Precinct 4306 should receive letters by July 5 informing them of the details of the new election.

It will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Sedway Middle School. Early voting will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 11 through 15 at the Clark County Election Center.

The city must receive requests for absentee ballots by July 12. The form can be downloaded from the city’s website.

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