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Carson judge rejects bid to overturn Biden winning election results

Published: Dec. 4, 2020 at 5:53 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - A Carson city judge on Friday rejected an attempt by Republican attorneys to overturn the results of the Nov. 3 election and give the state’s electoral college votes to President Donald Trump.

Carson District Judge James Russell’s decision follows oral argument he heard Thursday from attorneys representing the designated electors from both parties, but much of the testimony in the case was by deposition, a list of allegations aired in press conferences and protests during and following the vote count in Clark County. That a ballot sorting machine had failed to detect improper signatures on mail-in ballots. That surveys and data analysis by GOP experts detected serious problems with the count. That there had been votes cast by ineligible voters, dead people, even double voting.

GOP Attorney Jesse Binnall argued the alleged irregularities added up to an election gone wrong and the only solution was to reject the outcome, essentially throwing out the votes of 1.4 million Nevada voters, an argument Democratic attorney Kevin Hamilton termed “breathtaking,” adding it should require breathtaking evidence.

Judge Russell found nothing of the kind.

In his 34-page decision, he rejected the allegations one by one for the same reason--a lack of evidence--concluding " the Contestants failed to meet their burden to provide credible and relevant evidence to substantiate any of the grounds to contest the election.”

A statement from GOP spokeswoman Jessica Hanson said they disagreed with the decision and would appeal, The Associated Press reported.

Earlier in the day, before Judge Russell’s decision, KOLO talked with the president of the National Judicial College, Judge Benes Aldana, who noted a similar consistency in the decisions by other judges facing similar cases elsewhere.

“One of the things they have all consistently in their decisions noted is the lack of evidence. When you go to court you have to have facts.”

Aldana said the Judicial College had anticipated the post-election legal battles, holding an election law webinar for judges across the country in October.

Judge Russell’s decision leaves time for an appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court. Such an appeal would be filed in Carson District Court and would likely make its way to the high court sometime next week. The Electoral College meets in 10 days.

Russell dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning it can be appealed but the plaintiffs can’t bring it back to him to consider otherwise. Russell also ordered the Republican side to pay the legal fees for the Democrat side.

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