Signs must be altered, secretary of state rules

Mayoral candidate Sean Lehmann must alter his signs to indicate he is not an incumbent, the Nevada Secretary of State's office ruled Thursday.

In a one-page letter, Secretary of State Ross Miller and Matt Griffin, his elections deputy, informed Lehmann that his signs violate state law and give the appearance that he is the incumbent in the race.

Griffin, in the letter, said that Lehmann's signs, which read "Lehmann Mayor" and "Vote August 12, 2008" said that "while the term 'vote' may sometimes be synonymous with the term 'elect,' the instant language appears separate and distinct from the 'Lehmann Mayor' language that follows.

"Therefore, the campaign signs fail to comply" with both a Nevada state statute and a Nevada administrative code that detail how campaign signs must read if the person isn't an incumbent.

Lehmann and mayoral candidate Jim Shirk were subjects of complaints filed by Carson City resident Hal Carmack and fellow mayoral candidate Steve McClung, who asked Carson City elections official Alan Glover to investigate whether Lehmann and Shirk were violating election laws with their signs.

Shirk said he took down as many of his signs he could find when McClung filed his complaint.

Lehmann said he ordered stickers that would denote his status as a challenger and that he was placing them on signs around town Thursday evening.

"I respect the secretary of state's interpretation" of the law, Lehmann said. "I think it's an easy fix. I've had stickers made and have them ready to go."

In addition to McClung, Lehmann and Shirk, mayoral candidates include Bob Crowell, Pete Hansell and Ken Haskins. Mayor Marv Teixeira is not seeking another term.

In the letter, Griffin wrote that "there is no evidence to suggest that this is a willful or intentional violation. ...Because you have been cooperative throughout this process, this office is confident that you will correct this issue and no further action from this office is warranted."

- Contact reporter David Mirhadi at dmirhadi@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1261.

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