Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey rules in favor of voter registration challenge of legislative candidate John Ley

Greg Kimsey
Greg Kimsey

Kimsey tells Clark County Today that his ruling doesn’t affect Ley’s candidacy for state representative in the 18th Legislative District

Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey has ruled in favor of an area resident’s voter registration challenge of Clark County resident John Ley, who is a current candidate for state representative, position 2, in the 18th Legislative District. Kimsey told Clark County Today his decision does not change Ley’s candidacy.

“It doesn’t affect it,’’ said Kimsey, referring to his ruling and Ley’s candidacy. “The voter registration challenge was his address as of May 26, 2022. That’s all it was.’’

John Ley
John Ley

Kimsey said the Clark County Elections Department has no reason to prevent Ley’s name from being placed on the ballot for the Aug. 2 primary election. Ley is one of four candidates who have filed for the seat. The others are Duncan Camacho, Greg Cheney and Brad Benton.

Ley filed his declaration of candidacy on May 17 using a Battle Ground address. On May 26, Vancouver resident Carolyn Crain submitted a challenge, providing a statement and evidence that Ley did not actually reside at the Battle Ground address he used to change his voter registration on April 1 and that he was residing in the home he owns in Camas.

Kimsey conducted a hearing on June 28. Both Crain and Ley appeared at the hearing and presented their evidence and testimony. In a finding dated July 8, Kimsey offered his findings.

“As described above clear and compelling evidence supports Ms. Crain’s challenge of Mr. Ley’s residential address in his voter registration record as of May 26, 2022, that challenge is upheld,’’ Kimsey wrote.

Kimsey tells Clark County Today that his ruling doesn’t affect Ley’s candidacy for state representative in the 18th Legislative District.
Click to view PDF

Kimsey’s July 8 letter can be viewed here.

Ley claimed that he had a verbal agreement with the owner of the Battle Ground residence to rent a bedroom at the rate of $1 per month. Kimsey provided this timeline from the evidence submitted at the June 28 hearing:

• On April 1, Ley entered into the verbal rental agreement, leasing a bedroom in the Battle Ground home for $1 a month.

• On April 4, Ley registered to vote at the Battle Ground address.

• On May 17, Ley filed his declaration of candidacy for the 18th Legislative District seat.

• At some point in April or May, one of the homeowners returned from Arizona and resided at the Battle Ground home and Ley testified that he did not stay at the home when the homeowners were there.

• On May 26, Crain’s challenge to Ley’s voter registration was received by the Clark County Elections Department.

• On June 3, Ley changed registration of a vehicle he owned to the Battle Ground address.

• Only July 4, Ley registered to vote at a different address in Hazel Dell, which is in the 18th Legislative District.

“A reasonable observer would conclude from this that instead of physically residing at the Battle Ground home he had listed on his voter registration form that Mr. Ley’s residence was the home in Camas that he owns at which he was previously registered to vote,’’ Kimsey wrote in his conclusion.

As Kimsey stated, his ruling only addresses whether or not Ley was residing at the Battle Ground address on May 26, the day he received Crain’s complaint. 

Kimsey told Clark County Today that there are only two provisions that would prevent the Elections Department from placing Ley’s name on the ballot. The first would be a challenge to his declaration of candidacy made to a judge within two days of the closing of the candidate filing period, which was May 20. Crain’s challenge was made to the Elections Department on May 26.

The timeline for the second provision will come after the Aug. 2 primary election. A challenge can be made within three days after the results of the primary election are certified, asking a judge to prevent the Elections Department from placing a candidate’s name on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.

“Those are the two provisions where a candidate’s name can be prevented from being placed on the ballot,’’ said Kimsey, who reiterated his July 8 ruling did not have an immediate impact on Ley’s candidacy. “It doesn’t affect his name being on the ballot and it doesn’t affect our ability to count votes on the ballot for Mr. Ley.’’

Ley declined comment when reached by Clark County Today Friday.

“There are still questions I need to have answered so I am not prepared to comment at this time,’’ he said.

Editor’s note: John Ley is a former Clark County Today staff reporter. Like other members of the community he occasionally still contributes content. After 20 months as a full-time reporter, Ley resigned his position on April 22, prior to registering as a political candidate.


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Mary
Mary
4 months ago

John Ley is hands down the best candidate to represent the 18th. Voting for John is also voting to stop the IBR. No candidate in any race knows more about the bridge and the players pushing for the tolls and the bridge. Vote John Ley!

Stephen Mosier
Stephen Mosier
4 months ago
Reply to  Mary

Whether he was qualified or not he no longer is. Regardless the peculiarities of the election laws which bar his name from being removed from the primary ballot the plain view of it is that he has violated the spirit of the law in falsifying his place of residency at the time he filed.

The plain truth is that John Ley lives in the 17th Legislative District and has no righteous claim to run for an office within the 18th.  His playing fast and loose with loop-holes in the law and signing election filing documents that are not based on truth severely damages his credibility and renders him less of a people’s champion in his advocacy against the IBR. 

A  previous fan of Ley, I am disappointed by this behavior.  How can he not know that the end does justify the means and that honesty is always the best policy.  

Margaret
Margaret
4 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Mosier

According to this article, Ley does live in the 18th district. He lived in the former 18th district for many years. The district boundaries were recently modified.
Moving to another district is legal.
An example of that in Clark County is Don Orange in 2017, who owned a house in Clark County, did not sell it, and moved to an apartment in another district. Then he ran for Vancouver Port Commissioner in that new district. He too was challenged by Crain, yet prevailed in the challenge and went on to win the election.

Stephen Mosier
Stephen Mosier
4 months ago
Reply to  Margaret

“A reasonable observer would conclude from this that instead of physically residing at the Battle Ground home he had listed on his voter registration form that Mr. Ley’s residence was the home in Camas that he owns at which he was previously registered to vote,’’ Kimsey wrote in his conclusion.

John Ley, lives in Camas. It is dishonest of him to represent otherwise. The inability of the  Auditor’s office to remove his name from the ballot has no bearing on the truth of the matter. 

Margaret
Margaret
4 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Mosier

“As Kimsey stated, his ruling only addresses whether or not Ley was residing at the Battle Ground address on May 26, the day he received Crain’s complaint.” 
Upon what basis do you claim that John Ley now lives in Camas?

Jesse
Jesse
4 months ago

In your editors note, you say John Ley is a former contributer, yet today you posted an opinion article authored by him.

Does this liar work for Clark County Today or not? Or do you just publish dishonest politicians “opinion” peices as a favor?

Ken Vance, Editor
Admin
4 months ago
Reply to  Jesse

Hello Jesse …

The editor’s note has been updated to address your question.

Ken Vance, editor

Melissa
Melissa
4 months ago

It would be great if Clark County Today could post a county map with updated redistricting changes. Thank you.

Scott Hogg
Scott Hogg
4 months ago

Today, a Clark County Judge will rule whether County Auditor Greg Kimsey broke the law AGAIN. In his OWN RACE.

We deserve better.

https://www.simpson4auditor.com/post/brett-simpson-files-lawsuit-against-clark-county-auditor-greg-kimsey

Jack Burton
Jack Burton
4 months ago
Reply to  Scott Hogg

The law says there isn’t supposed to be a primary for nonpartisan positions with only two candidates. Though a quick glance through your candidate’s website displays just how nonpartisan he plans on being. I didn’t see “Stop the Steal” merchandise for sale, but I wouldn’t have been surprised based on the rest of the website.
My question is this: is a primary occurring when you mail out ballots with people’s names on them ~OR~ does the primary occur when the votes are tabulated? Seems to me it would be quite simple to not tabulate the votes for that position and let the two square off in November.
This isn’t like pretending to live somewhere you don’t really live in an effort to subvert candidacy rules, this seems pretty innocuous. In fact, one might wonder if the lawsuit is about righting a wrong or about getting some publicity in the uphill fight against an incumbent. Either way, let’s hope we get an auditor that puts county over party.

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