Court to hear petition appeals

CARSON CITY " The state Supreme Court plans an Aug. 20 hearing on an appeal from a lower court ruling that blocked Nevadans from voting in November on three petitions backed by Las Vegas Sands Corp. owner Sheldon Adelson.

One petition would divert room tax money from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to public education. Another would take convention authority revenue and spend it on education, transportation and public safety. The third would require a two-thirds vote to approve ballot measures that raise taxes.

Carson City District Judge Todd Russell ruled July 2 that the petitions couldn't be placed on the ballot because of problems with affidavits signed by petition circulators.

A 2007 law requires circulators to sign statements that they personally circulated the petitions, counted signatures and observed the signing of the petitions, and that each signer had a chance to read the full text of the petition.

But the petition sponsors, former state Treasurer Bob Seale and former state Controller Steve Martin, relied on outdated requirements for circulators that they found on Secretary of State Ross Miller's Web site.

Lawyer Scott Scherer, who represents Martin and Seale, said tens of thousands of people had signed the petitions and he thought it was important to appeal to the Supreme Court so their views could be considered.


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