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Early voting begins in election to recall Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Ross

Ross’ challenger, Byron Goynes, says he has never met car dealer Joe Scala, who financed much of recall effort

Updated Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 | 3:35 p.m.

Click to enlarge photo

Byron Goynes

Click to enlarge photo

Steve Ross

As early voting began today, the negative back-and-forth continued in the special recall election for the Ward 6 spot on the Las Vegas City Council, featuring incumbent Steve Ross and his challenger, Byron Goynes.

Two early voting centers have been operating today for the special election, which Ross claims is being spurred by car dealer Joe Scala, who was denied a waiver to continue operating a dealership in Centennial Hills, which is in Ross’ ward.

The election is open to voters registered in Ward 6 (see map).

One voting center will be open until 5 p.m. today in a trailer in the Centennial Plaza shopping center at Centennial Center and Tropical Parkway, according to Larry Lomax, Clark County Registrar of Voters.

Lomax said ballots can also be cast until 6 p.m. today at a voting place set up in Room 4 at the Centennial Hills Community Center, 6601 N. Buffalo Drive at Deer Springs Way.

On Friday, two early voting centers will be open. One will be in the trailer at Centennial Plaza, which will be operating from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The other will be at the Alberstons grocery store, 4850 Craig Road at Decatur Boulevard, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On Tuesday, which is election day, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Centennial Plaza, at the Centennial Hills Community Center and at Albertsons.

Meanwhile, the election campaigns for Ross and Goynes have been slamming each other with negative press releases over the last couple of days.

For example, one of the disputes is about the relationship Goynes has with Scala, who Ross says paid for 93.31 percent of the recall campaign against him, or $120,000.

Ross’ campaign has sent out mailers that say Goynes is Scala’s candidate, with an image showing Scala as a puppeteer manipulating Goynes.

And a sample ballot says that Goynes is Scala’s candidate, saying "now he's back (Scala) again with a fresh attempt to get his candidate, Byron Goynes, elected."

However, Goynes, who has served on the planning commission for 16 years, insists he is an independent candidate and said he entered the race at the urging of homeowner association leaders.

Goynes, who ran for the Ward 6 seat in 2005, said he has not personally ever met Scala.

And Goynes’ campaign manager, Steve Forsythe, said the sample ballot with the information on it saying that Goynes is Scala's candidate "is not only a travesty, but quite possibly illegal."

“I don’t think he has any argument that it’s illegal,” Lomax, the county's chief election official, said, when asked about the issue this afternoon.

Lomax said Article 2, Section 9 of the Nevada Constitution has a provision that allows those calling for the recall to submit a 200-word explanation to voters about the recall effort and gives the officer involved in the recall 200 words to respond.

“I’m not aware of anything that requires anyone to review that language or change it,” Lomax said.

The Ross campaign says there is no separation between the Goynes campaign and the Committee to Recall.

The Ross campaign points out that the Goynes campaign committee includes four of same people who were also listed on the recall effort in documents filed with the state.

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