LAS VEGAS (AP) — A judge in Las Vegas on Wednesday dismissed a case brought by a Republican congressional candidate that asked for a re-do of the Nov. 3 election he lost to an incumbent Las Vegas-area Democrat.
Clark County District Court Judge Trevor Atkin denied the request from former professional wrestler and Republican Dan Rodimer to order a re-vote because of allegations of voter fraud and ballot-counting irregularities he claims contributed to his loss to U.S. Rep. Susie Lee.
Atkin ruled he did not have jurisdiction to order a re-vote of a U.S. congressional race and, even if he did, said that Nevada law did not require a re-vote. Rodimer lost by more than 12,000 votes, or about 3% of the 417,000 votes tallied in the congressional district, which lies entirely within Clark County and encompasses suburbs south of Las Vegas.
Rodimer’s attorney, Craig Mueller, argued that Clark County officials rushed to approve the election result without examining it enough — a move he called “worthy of the Politburo.”
He argued that Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria botched the election by improperly using Agilis machines to validate signatures; taking too long to count ballots; and acknowledging 936 ballot “discrepancies” among the more than 974,000 votes counted countywide.
Mueller said his unofficial “casual audit” revealed thousands of irregularities — including voters who cast ballots in multiple states, dead voters left on registration rolls and ballots returned as undeliverable.
He did not explain how he collected or verified the information, which raised questions from lawyers representing Clark County and Nevada Democrats.
Mueller also represents two other Republican challengers who have unsuccessfully sought new elections in the state’s most populous and Democratic-leaning county.
Clark County Counsel Mary-Anne Miller said although Rodimer opposed Nevada's decision to alter its election procedures amid the pandemic, neither Clark County nor Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria could be faulted for adhering to election laws passed by the Legislature.
“There’s no indication that the signature verification process did not work exactly as designed by statute,” said Clark County Counsel Mary-Anne Miller, who represents Gloria.
Bradley Schrager, the attorney representing Nevada Democrats, said the petition was brought “under the wrong statute, in the wrong place.”
“There is no provision in the entirety of the election code that would allow this court to order a new election in any event,” Schrager said.
Jim Marchant, another Republican congressional candidate, also wants a do-over of his 33,000-vote loss to Democratic U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford. And Republican candidate April Becker wants another vote of her 631-vote loss to the Legislature’s top Democrat, state Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro.
Clark County District Court Judge Gloria Sturman declined a request for a do-over in Marchant’s case. Mueller is seeking to have her removed from the case.
In Becker's case, Clark County District Court Judge Joe Hardy Jr. ruled on Tuesday against requiring a re-do of the election.
Metz is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.