When every vote counts
We’ve talked about close races in Douglas, but one of the first was the two-vote margin J.W. Haines had over H.F. Dangberg in the 1878 race for Nevada Senate.
The canvassed vote was in Dangberg’s favor by two votes, but a commission appointed by the Legislature tackled the problem after irregularities were reported at Glenbrook and East Fork.
In one instance, an East Fork ballot that had Dangberg’s name scratched out and Haines name written in was originally counted for Dangberg.
At Glenbrook, two votes that were Dangberg’s were awarded to Haines, putting him ahead 244-242.
Despite not having a serious effect on the balance at the Legislature, the election was news across Old Nevada and even California. One man who voted for Haines was also registered in Truckee, though he called Genoa home. Advocates claimed that another man, who voted for Dangberg, wasn’t even a citizen.
In the end the Nevada Senate decided the issue in Haines’ favor 18-6 and he served in the Legislature for two years. H.F. Dangberg would handily defeat Henry Van Sickle in 1882, and serve the following four years in the Legislature.
This and other tales of tight elections serve to illustrate that when it counts, one person’s vote can make a huge difference.
We join the candidates in our thanks to the staff of the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office, who tackled this contentious election despite the obstacles posed by the coronavirus.