Many voters felt this way after the Republican primaries and the outcome of the high-profile congressional race for Nevada 4th District with Cresent Hardy, Niger Innis and two fringe candidates, Mike Monroe and Carlo Poliak. How did a guy named Mike Monroe, who had no picture anywhere, filed not one FEC report, spent zero time or money, and had not one mention in the media, get 5,384 votes or 22.18 percent of the
Even more puzzling is how did he win in two known Republican stronghold counties, Esmeralda and White Pine, with 42 percent and 32.9 percent of the vote? Puzzling, right?
While many people were asking questions, the respective County Clerks, Clark County Registrar of Voters, and the Secretary of State never even raised an eyebrow. But four people did: Robert Frank, Julie Hersford, Lisa Mayo-DeRiso and Nic Alfonsetti. They could not shake the thought and suspicions that this 22.18 percent was never
questioned by those tasked with making sure our election process is transparent, secure and — more importantly — a system the voters can trust. So they took action.
After hours of analyzing the statement of vote, visiting Esmeralda County, Nye County and White Pine and speaking with election and political insiders and asking voters if they had ever heard of Mike Monroe, the resounding response was, “Who?”
In addition, they found a mysterious “extra precinct” in both Esmeralda County and White Pine County, the two counties where Mike Monroe won outright. Esmeralda County has five precincts but only in Congressional District 4’s primary race was a 6th precinct appearing; and in White Pine County, which has 10 precincts, an 11th precinct was reported.
They began asking some key questions: What are the NRS guidelines for an election audit? Was there an audit of the ballot results, and who participates in this audit? Is there a documented chain of custody of the ballots and the results?
Voter fraud has long been a concern of not only Nevada activists for voter rights, but voters’ rights activists across the country. The arguments usually center around the topics of: people registering under the names of deceased citizens, double registering or even voting without citizenship, machine manipulation, and a host of other issues, all of which can compromise the democratic system Americans hold dear. Yet critics say that voter fraud is an exaggerated and even nonexistent issue and often refuse to act.
But the Supreme Court answered this question in 2008 when it upheld Indiana’s voter ID law. “Flagrant examples of such fraud… have been documented throughout this Nation’s history by respected historians and journalists,” the court said, “[and] not only is the risk of voter fraud real but that it could affect the outcome of a close election.”
Citizens Task Force for Voters Rights was founded based on the premise the Supreme Court set forth in that statement, when it said that “the risk is real.” CTVFR, a nonpartisan group, is on a mission to reduce that risk in Nevada, and bring trustworthiness and transparency, and security to the Nevada election process and the citizens it is meant to serve.
While CTVFR delved deep into trying to figure out how the election process in Nevada is protected, the general election was proving to have some additional election issues come up: the issue of residency.
In Assembly Districts 10 and 34, two Republican candidates, were battling their own Secretary of State issues, which were propelled into legal battles right before the election.
Candidates Victoria Seaman (R), Assembly 34 and Shelly Shelton (R), both running in districts with voter registrations in favor of Democrats, found themselves with opponents who felt that it was okay to not reside in the district while still signing the Declaration of Candidacy and swore to the following NRS statute: NRS293.181Declaration of residency required of candidate for office of State Legislator.
1. A candidate for the office of State Senator, Assemblyman or Assemblywoman must execute and file with his or her declaration of candidacy or acceptance of candidacy a declaration of residency which must be in substantially the following form: I, the undersigned, do swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that I have been a citizen resident of this State as required by NRS 218A.200 and have actually, as opposed to constructively, resided at the
following residence or residences since November 1 of the preceding year.
Both Ms. Seaman and Ms. Shelton filed complaints with the Secretary of State, but received no action, so they were forced to file in court, with both of them getting a ruling by two different judges that their opponents Meghan Smith and Jesse Holder were “ineligible and disqualified as a candidate for Assembly.”
However, the Democrats and their leadership continued to assist both Smith and Holder to campaign, continuing to tell voters that they were eligible.
Clark County Registrar did post signage at each voting location to alert candidates, but CTFVR founders were taking no chances that\ voters would be misled. Citizens Task Force for Voters Rights co-founder Julie Herford worked with both candidates to assist them in educating voters with signage and volunteers to be at each location handing out fliers and holding signs. Lisa Mayo-DeRiso, a publicist, held a press conference and Bon Frank filed a complaint with the Nevada Public Integrity Unit. In addition, Nic Alfonsetti trained election observation volunteers and coordinated post election audit observations.
If the Democratic candidates had been elected, the Nevada Constitution would have allowed the Legislature to seat them; another issue that CTFVR will deal with in the 2015 Legislative session. Fortunately, both eligible candidates won.
“CTFVR is dedicated to making sure our voting process is secure for all voters, regardless of party affiliation,” added Lisa Mayo-DeRiso. Citizen Task Force for Voter Rights www.citizenstaskforce.org. Election Fraud Hotline 702-557-9369 or Email VoterRights@CitizenTaskForce.