N.R.S. 293C.186 – Written challenges concerning qualifications of candidates; enforcement in preelection actions
Overview of Statute
This section provides the procedure and requirements for an elector’s challenge to declared or accepted candidacy based on the grounds that the candidate fails to meet any qualification required for the office for which they are running.
1. After a person files a declaration of candidacy to be a candidate for an office, and not later than 5 days after the last day the person may withdraw his or her candidacy pursuant to NRS 293C.195, an elector may file with the city clerk a written challenge of the person on the grounds that the person fails to meet any qualification required for the office pursuant to the Constitution or laws of this State. Before accepting the challenge from the elector, the filing officer shall notify the elector that if the challenge is found by a court to be frivolous, the elector may be required to pay the reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs of the person who is being challenged.
2. A challenge filed pursuant to subsection 1 must:
(a) Indicate each qualification the person fails to meet;
(b) Have attached all documentation and evidence supporting the challenge; and
(c) Be in the form of an affidavit, signed by the elector under penalty of perjury.
3. Upon receipt of a challenge pursuant to subsection 1, the city clerk shall immediately transmit the challenge to the city attorney.
4. If the city attorney determines that probable cause exists to support the challenge, the city attorney shall, not later than 5 working days after receiving the challenge, petition a court of competent jurisdiction to order the person to appear before the court. Upon receipt of such a petition, the court shall enter an order directing the person to appear before the court at a hearing, at a time and place to be fixed by the court in the order, to show cause why the challenge is not valid. A certified copy of the order must be served upon the person. The court shall give priority to such proceedings over all other matters pending with the court, except for criminal proceedings.
5. If, at the hearing, the court determines by a preponderance of the evidence that the challenge is valid or that the person otherwise fails to meet any qualification required for the office pursuant to the Constitution or laws of this State, or if the person fails to appear at the hearing, the person is subject to the provisions of NRS 293.2045.
6. If, at the hearing, the court determines that the challenge is frivolous, the court may order the elector who filed the challenge to pay the reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs of the person who was challenged.
1. Definition for Filing officer
The Secretary of State, county or city clerk or any other officer authorized by law to receive designations and declarations of candidacy, certificates and acceptances of nomination or any other nomination papers.
See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.057.
2. Definition for Clerk
The election board officer designated or assigned to make the record of the election in the roster, tally list and challenge list in the precinct, district or polling place in which such officer is appointed.
See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.040.
3. Definition for 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.
4. Definition for Person
1. A natural person;
2. Any form of business or social organization;
3. Any nongovernmental legal entity, including, without limitation, a corporation, partnership, association, trust, unincorporated organization, labor union, committee for political action, political party and committee sponsored by a political party; or
4. A government, governmental agency or political subdivision of a government.
See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 294A.009.
5. Definition for Elector
A person who is eligible to vote under the provisions of Section 1 of Article 2 of the Constitution of the State of Nevada.
See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.055.
6. Definition for Candidate
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.