Clark County certifies (almost all) election results; Anthony-Miller special election looms

Clark County Commission
Clark County Commission on Monday, Nov. 16 certified all but one of its 2020 general election race results. (Photo via Clark County official Twitter)

Clark County on Monday certified its 2020 general election results for every race except one — a county commission contest where the razor-thin margin of victory is unlikely to hold up against an inevitable court challenge.

That race, for Clark County Commission District C, is between Democrat Ross Miller and Republican Stavros Anthony. Unofficial results have Miller winning by a mere 10 votes. Miller, a former secretary of state, received 76,586 votes. Anthony, a term-limited Las Vegas city councilman, received 76,576.

Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria told commissioners the number of election discrepancies recorded within District C is 139, meaning the outcome of the election could have been affected by them.

Clark County Attorney Mary-Anne Miller told commissioners a court would likely rule against the county’s certification of the results and require a special election.

Commissioner Jim Gibson said the county should not wait for a court to require a special election and instead “get it out of the way.” He said the situation has been elevated to a place of transcendent importance to the commission, the county and its elections department.

He added that a special election is “imperfect” but the only likely scenario.

Discrepancies are an expected part of any election. They typically have no bearing on official results because the margin of victory is larger than the number of discrepancies. Discrepancies are often due to human error. For example, someone could have checked into their polling place but not submitted their ballot on the voting machine. Similarly, someone could fail to sign in but still receive a card for the voting machine and cast a ballot. Both scenarios would result in a mismatch between the number of voters signed in and the number of votes cast — something flagged by election officials during the canvassing process.

Discrepancies cannot be addressed through a recount.

The Clark County Commission voted to certify all election results except the District C race. They directed Gloria to appear before the commission in early December with possibilities for a one-race special election between Anthony and Miller. If Anthony were to prevail in the special election, he would be the only Republican on the all-Democratic board.

Gloria emphasized that the District C outcome is the only race up for dispute.

The existence of 139 discrepancies in a district where more than 153,000 voters cast ballots is not proof of widespread voter fraud or irregularities. However, outgoing President Donald Trump and his allies have already used the county’s decision to further misinformation and suggest that wide-spread voter fraud occurred despite offering no proof.

“Big victory moments ago in the State of Nevada,” Trump wrote in a misleading tweet. “The all Democrat County Commissioner race, on same ballot as President, just thrown out because of large scale voter discrepancy. Clark County officials do not have confidence in their own election security. Major impact!”

Trump’s campaign and his Nevada Republican allies have filed multiple lawsuits challenging Nevada’s election process. Those suits are routinely dismissed because no evidence is provided to back up the suits’ allegations.

Countywide, Clark County recorded 936 discrepancies out of 974,185 ballots cast. Trump lost Clark County by 90,922 votes.

Six people have been identified as having voted twice. Gloria said Clark County is passing along evidence and information regarding those voters to the Nevada Secretary of State for investigation for possible action.

April Corbin Girnus
April Corbin Girnus is an award-winning journalist with a decade of media experience. She has been a beat writer at Las Vegas Sun, a staff writer at LEO Weekly, web editor of Las Vegas Weekly and a blogger documenting North American bike share systems’ efforts to increase ridership in underserved communities. An occasional adjunct journalism professor, April steadfastly rejects the notion that journalism is a worthless major. Amid the Great Recession, she earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. She later earned an M.A. in media studies and a graduate certificate in media management from The New School for Public Engagement. April currently serves on the board of the Society of Professional Journalists Las Vegas pro chapter. A stickler about municipal boundary lines, April enjoys teaching people about unincorporated Clark County. She grew up in Sunrise Manor and currently resides in Paradise with her husband, two children and three mutts.