Las Vegas Sun

December 16, 2017

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Judge dismisses GOP Assembly hopeful’s election challenge

A Clark County District Court judge today dismissed a challenge to the primary election of Republican Assemblyman James Oscarson of Pahrump, saying there were no grounds for the case.

The so-called statement of contest — filed by Oscarson’s primary challenger Tina Trenner, who lost in the June election — argued registration cards sent to some voters in Assembly District 36 in December included the wrong district number, confusing voters and potentially impacting the election results. She asked the court for a new vote in two precincts.

Judge Elissa Cadish said Trenner did not demonstrate the errors on the voter registration cards would have changed the results of the election. She also noted the court does not have the authority to grant another vote.

Trenner said she heard some voters were confused, but did not point to specific examples. She also argued her election team was confused by the error and may not have been campaigning to the right voters.

A lawyer representing the county registrar of voters said the issue with the two precincts was resolved in January, and the sample ballots sent to voters before the election reflected the correct district number.

Assembly District 36 spans a large portion of rural Southern Nevada, from Moapa Valley to Sandy Valley to Pahrump, and includes portions of Clark, Nye, and Lincoln counties.

In an original court filing, Trenner had argued there may have been a malfunction with some voting machines and asked the court to let the parties compare the electronic results to a paper copy.

“That’s not what I wanted to focus on,” Trenner said, adding that was why she filed an amended version to instead focus on the issue over the voter registration cards. Trenner said she did not plan to seek any other remedies over the results of the primary election.

Oscarson said that he appreciated the judge’s clarity in the decision.

“These kinds of situations are unfortunate, but I believe the court made the right decision,” Oscarson said.

He said that he and his election team were prepared and looking forward to the general election.

Five other Republican Assembly candidates who lost the election are also contesting the results in court but have yet to have their hearings. Three of the hearings are scheduled for later this month, while another is scheduled for mid-August.

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