Nevada officials: Too few signatures for recall campaigns
LAS VEGAS — Nevada Democrats cheered Monday the apparent end of a controversial Republican effort to recall two state Democratic lawmakers, whose ouster could have turned control of the state Senate over to Republicans.
In court documents filed Friday, Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske said GOP campaigns to recall state Sens. Nicole Cannizzaro and Joyce Woodhouse each fell short by at least 1,500 signatures.
Democrats persuaded more than 2,300 voters to remove their names from the petitions, a move a judge upheld in a ruling last month.
There was no allegation of misconduct as the stated reason for the recalls, and no reason is required, but conservatives argued the politicians should leave for political reasons and cited the Democrats’ stance on taxes and other issues.
It’s unclear if backers of the recall have any avenue to appeal the judge’s decision or the certification of the signatures, but a hearing is scheduled next week.
Woodhouse said she was relieved to have the threat of a recall lifted. Cannizzaro said in a joint statement with Woodhouse that the recalls “were an attempt at a desperate power grab by self-serving politicians who lost at the ballot box in the 2016 election.”
Some feared that if the Nevada effort went forward, it could undermine elections across the country and inspire similar recall efforts to swing control of statehouses.
Republican Nevada Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison, whose private law firm represented the recall effort, did not return an email seeking comment. Hutchison’s government office would not comment on the lawsuit.
Democrats, who had challenged the recall efforts in court, also convinced thousands of voters who had signed the petitions to remove their names.
Even without voters withdrawing their signatures, Cegavske said the recall campaigns still fell several hundred signatures short of the required number.
In 2016, the GOP lost control of Nevada’s Senate, which Democrats now control by an 11-9 margin.