The primary election system in Nevada is broken and probably rotten and needs to be fixed. Three unsuccessful Tea Party Candidates in the recent Republican Primary election contested the results of the republican primary election in court on one of the grounds set forth in NRS 293.410(f), that is, that if there is a possibility that there was a malfunction in the voting system for gathering and tabulating the votes, a contest could be brought. These candidates were Diana Orrock (AD9), Blaine Jones (AD 19), and Mary Rooney (AD41). Attorney Joel F. Hansen represented these candidates in District Court in Las Vegas on July 25th in a very revealing all day hearing. The sworn testimony of Tony Dane, the Contestants’ expert on election statistics and predictions, exposed the inaccuracy and/or manipulation of the vote count.
Here’s what is broken and/or rotten: In the past 19 years, this expert has predicted every election he tried his hand at with a margin of error of only 1%, based on exit polls of early voting. Via robo-calls, he asks early voters to call in and tell for whom they voted. He receives return calls from about 7% of them, and from these he predicts, before election day, who will win the primary, with almost pin-point accuracy. But somehow, that didn’t work in the case of these three candidates who were running against the Governor’s anointed, pro-tax candidates (Gardner, Armstrong, and Phillips). The swings which occurred in the various precincts should have been in the range of the final outcome of the election, but they weren’t. The swing was going in all directions, which makes no statistical sense. According to Mr. Dane’s sworn testimony, it appears “that the final outcome was predetermined, and the numbers were just filled in to match the totals. These swings are only explained by a malfunction in the voting system.” In other words, something was rotten.
Of course, from these statistics it is impossible to prove that there was any malfunction in the voting system or that there was intentional vote manipulation. But that’s not what is required by the statute-only a possibility of a malfunction is necessary, which of course was established, not only possibly but probably. Under the statute, if that possibility is shown, then the Judge can order that the raw data from the election must be produced, including the paper ballots which are printed out before the voter casts his vote, and based upon those data, the Judge can either affirm the results, declare the other candidate the winner, or nullify the election and order the county registrar to schedule another election.
Despite all of this, Judge Leavitt (herself an elected official), ruled that the Contestants could not get access to the raw data to see if there were malfunctions or manipulation. Mr. Hansen asked, “If the Registrar has nothing to hide, why is he so adamantly opposed to letting these candidates get the truth?” Obviously, the Registrar does have something to hide, that is, the truth. The Contestants’ other expert witness, Bob Frank, a secure systems expert, was prepared to testify that the system used by Nevada is extremely vulnerable to hacking and other forms of manipulation (as shown by recent revelations of Russia’s ability to hack our elections) and that without the raw data, there is no way for anyone to prove any malfunction or manipulation. In response to all of this, the registrar, Mr. Gloria, just asks us to “trust” him; everything is fine. Where does the Constitution or the law require us to trust an elected official? As Senator Rand Paul aptly observed, “ Our Founders never intended for Americans to trust their government. Our entire Constitution was founded upon the notion that government was a necessary evil, to be restrained and minimized as much as possible.”
All of these problems with the primary elections are quite easy to solve, if the legislature will do so. Presently, all taxpayers pay for the cost of the primary elections. Why do do taxpayers who are non-partisans, Independent Americans, Libertarians, and other parties have to pay for the Republicans and Democrats to decide who will be their candidates? Obviously, they shouldn’t. Nevada should adopt a system like Virginia’s. There, the parties can choose the general election candidates by conducting their own nominating convention . BUT, the cost of the convention is born by the parties themselves without burdening the rest of the voters. In open conventions, where the votes are cast on the floor of the convention, everyone knows and can easily verify the outcome.
The convention process for choosing candidates, as is done by the Independent American Party of Nevada, has another distinct advantage: The party platform has meaning. The delegates can require the candidates to promise that they believe in and will abide by the platform. Those who refuse obviously will not become the party’s general election candidate. This way, the active members of the party who take the time and effort to attend the convention, and who are interested in the principles of the platform, have actual influence over the candidates, and in addition, the voters know what the candidate stands for. As it is now, a major party candidate can be a communist, a socialist, a fascist, or an anarchist ( as some who are presently running are) and still register and run as a democrat or a republican, and no one knows the difference, thus keeping the public in ignorance of the true beliefs of that candidate. This system promotes what we now currently have: an election which is only to determine who will hold power, without the voters ever knowing what the candidates really believe, or what the political parties stand for.
Nevada needs to change its primary system to eliminate malfunction/fraud in its voting system, to end taxpayer support of primaries, to give the party platforms force and effect, and to let the voters know what the parties and the candidates really stand for. Wouldn’t that be novel and refreshing? As it is now, bureaucracy wins, democracy loses. BUT, the case is currently pending before the Nevada Supreme Court pursuant to a writ of mandamus, asking the Justices to order that the Contestants be allowed to inspect and manually audit the currently sealed, raw voting data.
The Independent American Party of Nevada stands for verifiable elections with true transparency so the PEOPLE can KNOW FOR CERTAIN WHO WINS. As it is now, only the bureaucrats know, and they also know how to manipulate the data so that the Governor’s anointed candidates will win. Thank goodness the Independent American party chooses our candidates in convention, so that our candidates stand for something, LIBERTY under GOD. The IAPN invites all other political parties in Nevada to support this change in our election laws so that the PEOPLE can know the truth. What’s wrong with that?
By Joel F. Hansen, Esq.
Joel F. Hansen is the Attorney for the Tea Party Candidates and Chairman of the Independent American Party of Nevada.