Under/over votes causing confusion in Churchill Co. recorder’s race | NevadaAppeal.com

Under/over votes causing confusion in Churchill Co. recorder’s race

CHRISTY LATTIN
Nevada Appeal News Service

Even though Vicky Tripp captured the county recorder’s title, the election numbers behind the race continue to cause confusion.

Unofficial final election results released by the Churchill County Clerk on Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. list Vicky Tripp as having received 50.33 percent, Joan Sims with 31.41 percent and Tami McKnight with 18.26 percent. However, the results posted on the Nevada Secretary of State’s Web site list different percentages because those results include “under” and “over” votes.

The Secretary of State’s Web site, sos.state.nv.us/nvelection, lists Tripp with 48.54 percent, Sims with 30.29 percent and McKnight with 17.61 percent. The total number of votes each candidate received is identical on the county and state report.

Gloria Venturacci, Churchill County clerk/treasurer, said an “under” vote is registered if a voter chooses not to vote in that race while an “over” vote is recorded if a voter chooses to vote for more than one candidate when asked to only vote for one. Venturacci said the under and over votes are recorded but not added to the tabulated results.

Venturacci said the under and over votes are not included on the results released from her office but they are reported to the Secretary of State’s office. She said the actual number of votes each candidate received does not vary, but because of the under/over votes, it statistically skews the percentages reported.

She said she received a number of calls on Wednesday asking about the percentage differences between the county and state reports. She said her office called the Secretary of State’s office last night for an opinion on the outcome of the recorder’s race and they concurred with her that Vicky Tripp still captured a majority of the votes cast.

According to Nevada Revised Statute 293.260, section 4a, “If only one candidate is to be elected to the office and a candidate receives a majority of the votes in the primary election for that office, that candidate must be declared the nominee for that office and his name must be placed on the ballot for the general election.”

According to the Churchill County Clerk, 1,353 total votes were recorded in the race; McKnight received 247, Sims received 425 and Tripp received 681. Half of 1,353 is 676.5 and Tripp captured 4.5 more votes than half.

According to the Secretary of State’s figures, the same number of votes were received for each candidate, but 50 “under” votes were used in figuring the percentages. If the total votes and under votes are added, it comes to 1,403. Half of 1,403 is 701.5 … a number Tripp did not reach.

All the candidates for county recorder are registered as Democrats and no other parties had candidates listed. Venturacci said Wednesday she has a call in to the Secretary of State’s office to clarify if Tripp did indeed capture a majority of the votes, making her the winner.

“I want to say our results are correct,” she said.