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Nevada > Statutes > Ties, Recounts and Contests

N.R.S. 293.427 - Contest of general election for office of State Legislator: Seating of candidate with highest number of votes; withdrawal of statement of contest; hearing and deciding of contest by appropriate house of Legislature; certificates of election; remedy

Overview of Statute

This section requires the seating of a candidate with the highest number of votes after the contest for the office of State Legislator.


      1.  The Secretary of State shall deliver the statement of contest filed pursuant to NRS 293.425 and all other documents, including any amendments to the statement, to the presiding officer of the appropriate house of the Legislature on the day of the organization of the Legislature.

      2.  Until the contest has been decided, the candidate who received the highest number of votes for the office in the contested election must be seated as a member of the appropriate house.

      3.  If, before the contest has been decided, a contestant gives written notice to the Secretary of State that the contestant wishes to withdraw his or her statement of contest, the Secretary of State shall dismiss the contest.

      4.  The contest, if not dismissed, must be heard and decided as prescribed by the standing or special rules of the house in which the contest is to be tried. If after hearing the contest, the house decides to declare the contestant elected, the Governor shall execute a certificate of election and deliver it to the contestant. The certificate of election issued to the other candidate is thereafter void.

      5.  In a contest of a general election for the office of Assemblyman, Assemblywoman or Senator, the house in which a contest was tried or was to be tried shall determine the remedy, if any, to be awarded to a party to such a contest. The remedy may include, without limitation, any costs incurred by a party in connection with the contest.

      (Added to NRS by 1960, 265; A 1971, 450; 1981, 1742; 1995, 1661; 2003, 1700)

Definition [General election]

The election held pursuant to NRS 293.12755.

See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.060.

Definition [Certificate of election]

A certificate prepared by the county or city clerk or Governor, as the case may be, for the person having the highest number of votes for any district, county, township, city, state or statewide office as official recognition of the person’s election to office.

See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.034.

Definition [State]

A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293D.080.

Definition [Contest]

An adversary proceeding between a candidate for a public office who has received the greatest number of votes and any other candidate for that office or, in certain cases, any registered voter of the appropriate political subdivision, for the purpose of determining the validity of an election.

See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.042.

Definition [Candidate]

Any person:

      1.  Who files a declaration of candidacy;

      2.  Who files an acceptance of candidacy;

      3.  Whose name appears on an official ballot at any election; or

      4.  Who has received one or more contributions in excess of $100, regardless of whether:

      (a) The person has filed a declaration of candidacy or an acceptance of candidacy; or

      (b) The name of the person appears on an official ballot at any election.

See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 294A.005.


Nevada Cases

Case Name: Child v. Lomax

Citation: 124 Nev. 600, 188 P.3d 1103

Year: 2008

Case URL:[...]

Case Summary:

  • A newly elected State Legislator begins serving in office on the day after the general election, and his or her predecessor is no longer a member of the Legislature after that date.
  • A newly elected State Legislator's term of office is not linked to the canvass of the votes, and he or she becomes a member of the Legislature on the day after the general election even if a special session is called on that day.
  • A writ of mandamus was an available remedy in a pre-election challenge to the qualifications of a state legislative candidate under the term-limits amendment to the Nevada Constitution.
  • The authority to judge the qualifications, elections and returns of newly elected State Legislators is vested in reach House of the Legislature and is not dependent upon the canvass of the votes.
  • The term-limits amendment to the Nevada Constitution did not bar a state legislative candidate from being re-elected where a prior term of office commenced before the amendment's effective date.

Case Name: Heller v. Legislature of Nevada

Citation: 120 Nev. 456, 93 P.3d 746

Year: 2004

Case URL:[...]

Case Summary:

  • Secretary of State lacked standing to bring mandamus action to oust or exclude state executive branch employees from the Nevada Legislature.
  • Election contest involving a general election for a seat in the Nevada Legislature may not be brought in a state court.

Out-of-State Cases

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