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Illegal ballot adds uncertainty to North Las Vegas council race

Updated Sunday, June 12, 2011 | 4:16 p.m.

Richard Cherchio

Richard Cherchio

The close race for the Ward 4 seat on the North Las Vegas City Council might have gotten closer.

The fiercely contested race was decided Tuesday by a single vote, with Wade Wagner ousting incumbent Richard Cherchio. On Sunday, Sun columnist Jon Ralston reported election officials have discovered one voter cast his ballot in the wrong ward and a poll worker missed the error.

The voter hadn't changed his registration information, a source told Ralston.

Ralston reported that North Las Vegas hired Matt Griffin, former deputy secretary of state in charge of elections, to present a recommendation to the city council on Wednesday. The council could call for a new election, a new vote in that precinct or allow voters in that precinct who legally cast ballots to vote again.

Wagner received 1,831 of the 3,661 votes cast, beating Cherchio by two one-hundredths of a percent. Only 72 votes separated the candidates in the April primary, which Wagner also won.

Cherchio issued a statement Sunday saying he was notified about the illegal ballot.

"I have been notified by the city and the Clark County elections department that a voter cast an illegal ballot in North Las Vegas City Council Ward 4 election," he said. "The city and the elections department are in the process of determining the most appropriate way to proceed as prescribed by law. Until they let me know what their recommendation is, there is nothing more that I can say at this time."

A union-driven attack on Cherchio dominated much of the campaign, as residents were flooded with mailers criticizing his tenure and approach to public safety.

Cherchio was appointed to the council in 2009 and approved a number of cuts to public safety as the city struggled with steep budget deficits. As many as 259 layoffs, including 40 firefighters and 43 police officers, could be needed to close a $30 million hole in this year’s city budget, a move Cherchio supported.

Wagner, a dentist, seized on the issue and said the city needed to increase its public safety presence to attract new residents and businesses, a position unions supported.

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  1. A law requiring positive identification prior to casting a ballot would go a long way in preventing election "errors".

  2. It would be a major loss if Cherchio did not return to the Council. Rather than a single dimensional view of North Las Vegas,which is that of Mayor Buck,the unions and Wade Wagner, Cherchio is an active and energetic person who has a dynamic vision for North Las Vegas--one which involves the active support of all aspects of life style, including the use of the parks, libraries, VA Hospital,etc; North Las Vegas has unlimited potential for development, social amenities, and growth. Cherchio is in tune with this vision while Wagner, and Mayor Buck are not.

  3. For Immediate Release:
    Steve Sanson President of Veterans In Politics International 702 283 8088

    Madness in North Las Vegas Nevada

    Veterans In Politics believes that North Las Vegas is border line of being dysfunctional

    North Las Vegas Nevada: North Las Vegas has a lot to offer to its constituency, but they have been comfortable for far too long. Let's start out with their voting public 6% of North Las Vegas voters control the vote. Somebody tell us where 94% of their voting population is?

    In this year's 2011 primary municipal election for the Ward 2 City Council race we had two candidates Tanya Flanagan and Linda Meisenheimer tied for second place with 328 votes. they had to revert to the highest card being drawn to declare a winner to move onto the General Election. Are you kidding me, where are the voters? See the video on Hacking Democracy:

    Now, in the General Election for Ward 4 City Council we have two candidates in the General Election that have a one vote separation to declare a true winner for the race between Councilman Richard Cherchio and Wade Wagner. Later, we found out that one of the precinct casted an illegal vote. Some of our members attended both North Las Vegas City Council meetings regarding the election between the two candidates. It is clear to the City Council that they cannot canvas the vote and a new election would have to take place.

    Questions were asked would that illegal vote tie the election or give a two vote lead to Wade Wagner. With this the City Council made up of William Robinson, Anita Wood, and Robert Eliason unanimously voted for a new election in precinct 4306 where the illegal vote was found. Once the election is over they would add all the votes that affect the Ward 4 race with the new votes casted in precinct 4306, because of this I couldn't understand why some voter's were saying that their vote would be disenfranchised. Especially a legal action filed by former North Las Vegas Mayor Michael Montandon. According to Larry Lomax our Voter Register mail in ballots would still be accepted.

    Veterans In Politics have received an e-mail and heard testimony at the North Las Vegas City Council that former Mayor Michael Montandon wanted an $11,000 settlement from the city of North Las Vegas to withdraw his law suit. This is the same person that received benefits, notoriety, and a salary from the city for years. This is the same person that wants money from a city everybody knows that is going through a financial downturn that has laid off its employees. Where is his loyalty to a city that put his name on the map?

  4. We also witness the current Mayor of North Las Vegas Shari Buck recuse herself from the city council special election meeting, due to having her husband and children as paid workers on Wade Wagner's campaign the opponent of City Councilman Richard Cherchio. Veterans In Politics was told that Wade Wagner was brought into this race by Mayor Buck. We believe Mayor Buck needs to take lessons from Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and stay out of council races.

    North Las Vegas Mayor Buck a registered Republican has aligned herself with the police and fire fighters unions. Republicans are against unions going back to the Eisenhower era. It is clear that Mayor Buck is the type of politician we warn the public about; self serving and an opportunist not looking out for the people's best interest, but looking to win the next election.

    That goes the same for Wade Wagner who made it clear on Veterans In Politics endorsement interview that he did not know the budget of North Las Vegas, but he would be willing to raise taxes on his constituency. This is the same individual that has none of his four businesses in North Las Vegas. See interview:

    Veterans In Politics believes the madness and dysfunctionality that is now faced with the North Las Vegas City Council is their budget deficit. The council is now faced with laying off employees. The council is trying to be fair about it by laying off people across the board however the Police Union appears to have a sense of entitlement and feels that they are "God" and should not follow suit with everyone else.

    According to the Police Unions President Michael Yarter, libraries and parks are frivolous spending. We would like to find out if the spending that is done by the Police Unions are frivolous as well, for example attack mailers against Councilman Richard Cherchio and billboards all over North Las Vegas telling criminals that they have a safe haven in North Las Vegas.

    What about unethical behavior that is being conducted by the Police Unions, they have their off duty police officers wearing their "POLICE" shirts knocking on doors and intimidating the people of North Las Vegas to vote for Wade Wagner?

    Has anyone asked why the Police Unions want Wade Wagner so bad? Four words "puppet on a string".

    For more information: