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.