Court legally barred from deciding Angle’s challenge |

Court legally barred from deciding Angle’s challenge

Lawyers for candidate Dean Heller filed papers Thursday saying Carson District Judge Bill Maddox has no jurisdiction to even consider Sharron Angle’s challenge of her congressional primary loss.

Angle lost the GOP nomination for Nevada’s second congressional district by 422 votes to Heller. She has filed a lawsuit demanding a new election. Her lawyers say there were numerous irregularities and errors particularly in Washoe County that denied some of her supporters the chance to vote.

Her lawyer Joel Hansen charges the Washoe County Registrar of Voters is guilty of malfeasance by not properly training election workers; failing to get all the polling sites open on time; not sending out mail-in ballots on time; and providing Republican voters in some cases with Democratic ballots in the Aug. 15 primary.

The only remedy, Hansen argued, is a new election: “The real will of the voters cannot be known as it cannot be known how many voters were disenfranchised,” he wrote.

Bob Crowell, on behalf of Heller, points out in his response that the U.S. Constitution “clearly and specifically reserves unto the United States House of Representatives the exclusive authority to adjudicate cases, controversies and contests of any nature whatsoever, which concern an election of a member of the house.”

Crowell said the Nevada Legislature and Supreme Court have recognized that authority. In fact, NRS 293.407 specifically states a candidate can challenge any election except a contest for U.S. Senate or House of Representatives.

Crowell has asked Judge Maddox to dismiss the case. The hearing is scheduled for this morning.

Angle filed the court challenge to the election after being informed it would cost up to $290,000 for a recount of the election.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.