Judge rules to uphold law allowing signatures be removed from recall petitions for 2 state senators

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A court victory today for opponents of the effort to recall Democratic State Senators Joyce Woodhouse and Nicole Cannizzaro. 

An Eighth Judicial District Court judge just ruled to uphold the law allowing people to remove their signatures from the recall petition after the petition has been submitted, and deduct those signatures from the total.  

The recall efforts were led by Republican State Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson and argued for in court by Republican Lieutenant Governor Mark Hutchison.  They gathered enough signatures to launch recall elections against Cannizzaro and Woodhouse, who had been narrowly elected the previous year from swing districts in the Las Vegas area. 

A similar effort against Non-partisan State Senator Patricia Farley failed to get enough signatures.  No official reason was given for the recalls, and none was required. Though some conservatives have been open about it being a way for Republicans to regain control of the State Senate. 

Judge Jerry Wiese of the Eighth Judicial District Court’s ruling was in response to the Democrats launching a counteroffensive by suing in federal court. The Democrats argued the recalls violate the U.S. Constitution.  

Their attorney told a judge that allowing people to remove their names from a recall petition protects them from fraud and deception. “It protects the rights of the voters, so they are not duped into signing a petition they don’t believe in,” attorney Marc Elias told the Associated Press.

Democrats persuaded thousands of people who had signed the two recall petitions to withdraw their signatures.  The number will likely drop the petitions below the threshold needed to qualify for the ballot. But the Clark County Elections’ Department will still have to go through and verify each of the removal signatures first. 

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