Van Camp retained as Mayor, O’Brien and Gardner finish in tie

Some new faces will be joining the Ely City council and retained Mayor Melody Van Camp after city voters made their voices heard in the 2015 City of Ely General Election on Tuesday. Pat Robison and Kurt Carson both defeated  opponents Tammy Carlgren and Marty Westland respectively to secure their spot on the new-look council. The race between Mike O’Brien and Jolene Garnder has still yet to be determined after both candidates finished with exactly 448 votes.

According to County Clerk Nichole Baldwin, the state of Nevada usually breaks ties with both candidates drawing a card from a deck of playing cards, with the person who pulled the highest value card winning the race. Baldwin said that the game of “high card” is just one possible way to break the tie.

According to Nevada Revised Statute 293.400 on determination of winner if tie vote, the NRS states, “the county clerk shall summon the canddates who have received the tie votes to appear before the county clerk at a time and place designated by the clerk and determine the tie by lot.”

According to Baldwin, what that means is that both candidates need to get together and determine a method in which they both agree upon determining the outcomed if the race. The same NRS also states that “the right to a recount extends to all candidates in case of a tie.”

According to Baldwin, no request had been made for a recount, which would come at the expense of the candidate who made the request. Gardner has, however, retained the services of Scott Husbands from the local law firm of Gianoli Husbands PLLC as of Wednesday.


Untitled-1Husbands said that plans on helping Gardner consider all of her options, whether it be through a recount or a tiebreaker. The votes will become official when the current city council “canvasses” the votes at a special meeting on Monday at 5 p.m. The newly elected council members will officially  take office on June 11.

The process for counting the votes was a long and arduous one that went past midnight Tuesday and into early Wednesday morning at the Convention Center. City Attorney Chuck Odgers read aloud each ballot individually to three different people who kept a running tally. After every 10 ballots, the three women keeping track of the votes would double check their numbers with Odgers to make sure they all had the same figures before continuing on.

The official vote counts from the election, including all early and absentee ballots, totaled as follows:

Vote Totals

City Council Seat 2

Kurt Carson — 580

Marty Westland — 309

City Council Seat 3

Pat Robison — 533

Tammy Carlgren — 348

City Council Seat 5 

Mike O’Brien — 448

Jolene Gardner — 448


Melody Van Camp — 478

Don Purinton — 414

Total Number of Registered Voters —


Total number of votes cast — 897

Total voter turnout — 38.74%