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Gilbert files election contest lawsuit after GOP governor primary loss

Michelle Rindels
Michelle Rindels
Jacob Solis
Jacob Solis
Election 2022
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Attorney Joey Gilbert has filed an election contest lawsuit after initial results, and then a subsequent recount made at his request, showed he lost the Republican governor primary by about 26,000 votes to Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo.

Robert Beadles, a cryptocurrency millionaire and activist who funded the recount, wrote on his website that the lawsuit was filed Friday in Carson City District Court and will prove that “Joey Gilbert rightfully won the primary with 100% certainty.”

“It’s simple; we prove with mathematical certainty Joey Gilbert is the winner of the primary gubernatorial race and that he had over 55,000 votes taken from him,” Beadles wrote. “It’s a slam dunk case. We’ll post the suit, the exhibits, opinions, etc., as soon as the State publishes them.”

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the lawsuit was filed by attorney Craig Mueller, who was involved in several unsuccessful Republican candidates’ challenges to 2020 election results.

The lawsuit, obtained Monday by The Nevada Independent, asserts that Gilbert’s challenge is “not a political question, but rather a mathematical issue.” 

Alleging Lombardo’s win is a “mathematical impossibility,” the suit argues that the votes — once “statistically corrected” — will demonstrate “with irrefutable geometric finality” that Gilbert won the Republican gubernatorial primary by more than 55,000 votes.

More specifically, the suit points to alleged irregularities, including the lack of linear correlation between percentages of Election Day, early and mail-in votes for Gilbert — a missing correlation that, it argues, suggests a “geometric impossibility” derived through an “illegal formula.”

The suit then argues that, per its own adjusted statistical model, thousands of alleged votes for Gilbert were “drawn illegally” into Gov. Steve Sisolak’s pool of votes, and that per the “corrected” mathematical model presented in the suit, Gilbert had instead received more than 83,000 votes to Lombardo’s 44,000 in Clark County. 

The complaint includes a lengthy exhibit authored by Edward Solomon, an “expert mathematician” who previously claimed to have found evidence of the 2020 election being rigged via algorithm. Independent fact-checkers have debunked many of Solomon’s claims as showing “a basic misunderstanding of how vote counts work,” and his credentials were challenged by voting machine company Dominion in a lawsuit that claimed he was a “convicted drug dealer who never graduated college and whose current job was setting up swing sets in Long Island, New York.”

The final recount in Clark County showed Lombardo receiving 57,808 votes to Gilbert’s 29,468. The recount in Clark reduced both candidates' original vote tallies, dropping Lombardo’s by eight votes and Gilbert by seven. 

The contest also requests not only that the election be annulled and certification delayed until the count and recount are “mathematically corrected,” but that a special master be appointed for “a proper determination” of the race, and that the court order a statewide investigation of the existing voter program.

Gilbert, a Reno attorney, needed to file an election contest no later than Monday to meet state deadlines.

Former President Donald Trump’s campaign unsuccessfully filed an election contest lawsuit in the 2020 election, but the effort sputtered in court after the campaign was unable to show sufficient legal evidence to overturn President Joe Biden’s 33,596-vote margin of victory. 

Nevada law allows candidates or voters to contest an election, and lays out a variety of grounds on which a contest can be brought, including proof that an election board was guilty of malfeasance or illegal or improper votes were cast in an amount equal or greater than the margin of victory or “in an amount sufficient to raise reasonable doubt as to the outcome of the election.”

Only two elections in state history have been overturned after a legal challenge — one time for a Douglas County state Senate seat in 1878, and in a 1970 Assembly race where a faulty voting booth incorrectly marked votes for the wrong candidate. 

A statewide recount Gilbert paid for revealed the candidate received seven fewer votes than in the initial count, according to a Nevada Independent analysis of county-level results. Gilbert has refused to concede the race.

Carly Sauvageau and Riley Snyder contributed to this report.

Updated: 7/18/22 at 11:22 a.m. - This story was updated to include details on the full lawsuit filed by Gilbert on Friday.

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