Chapter 3.44


3.44.010    Grounds for contesting election.

3.44.020    Notice of contest of election.

3.44.030    Investigation procedures.

3.44.040    Expenses of investigation.

3.44.050    Appeal to Superior Court.

3.44.010 Grounds for contesting election.

A defeated candidate or any ten qualified voters may contest the election of any person or the approval or rejection of any proposition upon one or more of the following grounds:

A.    Misconduct, fraud or corruption of an election official sufficient to change the result of the election;

B.    Disqualification of the person under provision of law or ordinance; or

C.    Existence of a corrupt election practice as defined by the laws of the State sufficient to change the results of the election. (Ord. 05-09 § 2, 2005)

3.44.020 Notice of contest of election.

The defeated candidate or one or more of the voters initiating a contest shall deliver a written notice of contest, or such written notice shall be filed with the Clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Monday following the election, and shall appear before the governing body at the meeting held to certify the election returns. The notice of contest shall specify the election being contested, shall state the grounds of the contest in detail, and shall bear the notarized signatures of the candidate or the qualified voters bringing the contest. (Ord. 05-09 § 2, 2005)

3.44.030 Investigation procedures.

A.    Upon receiving a valid notice of contest, the governing body shall order such investigative action as it deems appropriate. If the contest involves voter eligibility, the election canvass board, the Clerk and the Municipal Attorney shall be ordered to investigate the allegations and report their findings to the governing body. If other illegal or irregular election practices are alleged to have occurred, the governing body shall order an investigation to be made by the election canvass board or the Municipal Manager, with the assistance of the Clerk and the Municipal Attorney. If the election canvass board and the Municipal Manager are both named in the contest, the governing body shall appoint an investigating board to conduct the required investigation with the assistance of the Clerk and the Municipal Attorney. Those contesting the election, those whose election is contested, and the public shall be allowed to attend all investigation proceedings.

B.    After considering the reports of the investigating officials and any other evidence presented, the governing body shall determine whether the grounds for contest were valid and whether any illegally cast votes could have affected the election results. If they could not have, the governing body may so declare and uphold their previous action in declaring the election validly held. (Ord. 05-09 § 2, 2005)

3.44.040 Expenses of investigation.

Unless the grounds for which the contest was brought are determined to be valid, the contestant or the contestants shall be individually liable for the whole amount of the expenses incurred by the municipality in its investigation and deliberation of the election contest. (Ord. 05-09 § 2, 2005)

3.44.050 Appeal to Superior Court.

An applicant who requested a recount and has reason to believe an error has been made in the recount involving a proposition, candidate, or the validity of a ballot may appeal to the Superior Court not later than ten days after the Council has declared the election results. If no such action is commenced within the ten-day period, the election and the election results shall be conclusive, final and valid in all respects. A person may not appeal or seek judicial review of an election for any cause unless the person is a voter and has exhausted all administrative remedies. (Ord. 05-09 § 2, 2005)