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Judge in Nevada nullifies results of GOP primary election

September 19, 2018

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Las Vegas judge has nullified the results of a Republican primary election, saying the apparent winner didn’t file campaign finance reports on time.

Jason Burke defeated Mack Miller by 122 votes in the June 12 primary for state Assembly District 5, but Clark County District Judge Jim Crockett signed an order last week declaring the election null and void, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Tuesday.

Crockett declared Miller “the rightful winner of the election” because Burke did not file campaign finance reports in time.

State law states that an election may be contested if the winner was not eligible for office, illegal votes were cast or valid votes were not counted. The secretary of state’s office said Tuesday that failure to file campaign finance reports is not an automatic disqualifier.

“The judge made a mistake,” said Lisa Mayo-DeRiso, Burke’s campaign consultant. “You can’t be kicked off the ballot because you didn’t fill out contribution and expense reports. The judge clearly doesn’t know this is not a remedy.”

Crockett declined comment through a court spokeswoman because the case is active. A hearing is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 18. Early voting for the Nov. 6 general election begins Oct. 20.

The judge ruled in Miller’s favor after Burke didn’t show up for a Sept. 13 court hearing, according to court minutes. Burke said he was never notified about the hearing.

Miller, despite losing in the primary, has continued to introduce himself as a candidate and has not taken down his campaign signs.

“I’m fighting not for myself,” he said. “I’m fighting for the fact that we have to follow those rules.”

Burke, a first-time candidate, said it is an honor to be picked by the voters.

“I’m doing everything I possibly can to do them justice,” Burke said of the voters. “He’s trying to undermine democracy.”

Matthew Callister, Burke’s attorney, said Tuesday that he will file a motion to rescind Crockett’s decision.

Mitchell Posin, Miller’s attorney, said he expects Crockett’s ruling to stand. Posin said voters were robbed of the opportunity to choose the best candidate because of Burke’s failure to disclose campaign contributions.

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Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com

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