Yochum wants filing fee back | NevadaAppeal.com

Yochum wants filing fee back

Nevada Senate candidate Merritt “Ike” Yochum complained Thursday no one ever told him they had moved him from one state Senate district to another. And, he said, he wants his filing fee back.

Yochum found out earlier this week he doesn’t live in the Capital Senatorial District where he filed as a candidate. That means the Independent American Party candidate couldn’t be seated even if he won – admittedly a long shot against Republican incumbent Mark Amodei.

He doesn’t qualify for the seat because he lives in Washoe District 4 which reaches into northern and eastern Carson City – the seat held by Randolph Townsend of Reno.

To add insult to injury, that means he can’t even vote for himself.

“The whole thing became news to me,” Yochum said Thursday. “I’ve been living in this same house here for 36 years and it’s not on wheels. When they gerrymandered me out of my district I wasn’t informed.”

The boundaries of the Capital Senatorial District were moved by the 2001 Legislature during reapportionment.

He said the district line “probably runs through my backyard.”

Carson Clerk-Recorder Alan Glover said it’s the candidate’s responsibility to know which district he lives in, not the county clerk or secretary of state’s offices.

Yochum said it should be the county clerk’s responsibility to inform people when they are moved to a new district by reapportionment.

“I think they have a duty to at least alert the voters,” he said. “Apparently they didn’t do that.”

But Glover said Yochum should have become aware of the change during the 2002 elections which followed reapportionment.

Yochum said he has asked the secretary of state’s office to at least refund his $100 filing fee. Elections Deputy Ellick Hsu said he was researching the issue but doesn’t believe the state can refund the money.

But Yochum said the state essentially accepted his filing fee under false pretenses and, “maybe they’d want to tell a judge why they didn’t give it back.”

But he added that he has gotten from the race what he most wanted – a platform to speak his mind on the issues and “say what other candidates won’t say.”

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.