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Attorney General Petitions Supreme Court in Term Limit Challenges

From the Office of the Attorney General

Carson City, NV - Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto today petitioned the Nevada Supreme Court in an effort to resolve the term limit challenges facing many candidates for public office throughout the state.

In 1996, Nevadans approved a constitutional amendment limiting the terms of service for certain public officers to twelve years.

Article 15, Section 3 of the Nevada Constitution states, "No person may be elected to any state office or local governing body who has served in that office, or at the expiration of his current term if he is so serving will have served, 12 years or more, unless the permissible number of terms or duration of service is otherwise specified in this Constitution."

"The will of the voters is clear from the results of two general elections," Attorney General Masto wrote in her brief.

"The voters added term limits to Nevada's Constitution to restrict the service of officials to twelve years. While the service of Nevada's devoted officials must be applauded, the voters' will must be faithfully enforced.

The candidates and the voters who may elect them need to know with certainty that candidates will not be barred by the Constitution from serving additional terms of service," Masto wrote.

The formal filing with the Supreme Court today was an Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandamus on behalf of Secretary of State Ross Miller compelling respondents Dan Burk, Registrar of Voters for Washoe County; Harvard L. Lomax, Registrar of Voters for Clark County; and Kelly G. Helton, Churchill County Clerk to perform their ministerial duty by excluding from their respective ballots the names of certain candidates who are precluded by the Nevada Constitution from serving additional terms of service.

In an affidavit submitted with the court filing, Secretary of State Miller stated that the ballots for the primary and general elections must be prepared in a sufficient amount of time prior to the election dates of August 12, 2008, and November 4, 2008, in order to have the ballots finalized for the voting machines and for the mailing of absentee and sample ballots.

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