Secretary of State finds no election fraud in Incline district

Miranda Jacobson

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske and her office found there was not sufficient enough evidence to support multiple allegations of election fraud and misappropriation of public funds after a complaint was submitted by an Incline Village resident.

The concerned citizen, Frank Wright, who is also a member of the Ordinance 7 General Manager’s Committee for the Incline Village General Improvement District, alleged that GM Indra Winquest has been buying votes with public funds through services and venue operations in the district.

On March 23, Wright was delivered the final findings of the investigation.

“The Secretary of State, as the Chief Election Officer for the State of Nevada, is responsible for enforcement of the election laws contained in Title 24 of the Nevada Revised Statutes,” stated Cegavske via email. “However, our office has not received sufficient evidence to support the allegation of an Election Law Violation. … As a result, no further action will be taken by this office and this file will be closed.”

Winquest wasn’t shocked to hear there was no evidence proving there was any election fraud or violations, but is saddened to know that time and attention was taken away from other work to investigate the claims.

“This is an unfounded and pathetic attempt to create division and fear in our community where there is zero justification,” said Winquest. “It’s a fear tactic. The majority of the IVGID workforce are members of the community, so to me, something like this is extremely disrespectful to this individual’s fellow community members.”

The allegations made by Wright included concerns that under Winquest’s direction, public tax dollars are being used to rig elections, through actions such as allowing private golf clubs to allegedly play at lower rates and get preferred tee times in exchange for votes.

Winquest explained that the district has worked with the golf clubs for as long as the golf courses have existed, which is a much longer period of time than Winquest’s run as GM. The clubs pay their fees and reserve tee times with priority due to their commitment to purchasing rounds, which is common at golf courses everywhere.

“Our relationship with the golf clubs has always been kind of this evolution,” said Winquest. “It has been, at times, controversial in the golf community, but it’s complete nonsense to try to say that staff or the district is giving favoritism to golf clubs in exchange for votes.”

Other actions on the complaint that were investigated include the allegation that Winquest is giving away free use of facilities, venues, and public tax dollars in order to secure votes through work with nonprofits and IVGID employees.

None of these allegations were found to be true after a full investigation from the Secretary of State’s Office, according to Nevada SOS Compliance Officer Sandra Edwards.

“We would expect the person who initiates the complaint to provide sufficient evidence to support the allegation,” said Edwards via email. “In this case, after reviewing the complaint with the Office of the Attorney General, we determined there was not enough evidence to support the claim.”

Edwards explained that while the amount of complaints in Nevada, especially in Washoe and Clark counties in regards to voter fraud, there are very few cases where actual fraud has been committed.

“What our office tries to do is combat mis/disinformation through education the public on election laws and processes,” said Edwards. “There is a population of voters, however, who are misinformed and will adhere to their beliefs that Nevada is rampant with voter fraud regardless of our efforts. The best thing for us to do is pursue the cases of voter fraud that we have and publicize cases of groups and individuals who break the law.”

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