Friday, Dec. 18, 2009 | 2:05 a.m.
A judge has ruled that a recall election of two Boulder City Council members can go forward, despite a previous decision by the secretary of state that a recall petition was invalid.
The ruling on Dec. 11 in Carson City by 1st District Court Judge James Russell was part of a lawsuit brought against Secretary of State Ross Miller by petitioners.
Miller had refused to approve a recall election of council members Travis Chandler and Linda Strickland, because petitioners failed to collect signatures from 25 percent of those who cast ballots in those races.
The petitioners had argued that they only needed to collect signatures from 25 percent of registered voters, regardless of whether they actually voted in the original election.
The conflict arose over the interpretation of language in the state constitution that calls for the signatures of individuals who “actually voted in the election.”
“We were wrapped around an axle that was preventing the recall election,” said Boulder City resident Jim Beneda, one of those behind the push for a recall election.
Miller said that for a recall, a majority of jurisdictions interpreted the state constitution to require signatures from voters who cast ballots in the original election.
“With any law, there are gray areas and interpretations need to be clarified,” he said.
To eliminate future confusion, the state Legislature passed a law in May that states any registered voter in the district an elected official represents may sign a recall petition.
Strickland and Chandler said they plan to file an appeal of the judge’s ruling to the Nevada Supreme Court.
“I received 2,213 votes out of 3,379, so I believe the majority of people don’t want me to be recalled,” Strickland said.
Chandler said he believes he is being targeted because he takes political stances that challenge the status quo.
“I make a lot of motions and they are contrary to the way things are run,” Chandler said. “If I resign, it’s not going to have anything to do with the recall.”
Clark County Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax said he hasn’t seen anything in writing to move forward with a special election. He said once he is notified by the city clerk’s office, he will submit the recall petition signatures to Miller again for approval.