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County prepares for 2012 election season
by Joshua H. Silavent
Feb 14, 2012 | 651 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune File - Washoe County Registrar of Voters Dan Burk said Tuesday there are 213,524 registered voters in the county.
Tribune File - Washoe County Registrar of Voters Dan Burk said Tuesday there are 213,524 registered voters in the county.
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RENO – Preparations are being made across Washoe County for this year’s election cycle, including implementation of newly drawn voting districts based on the 2010 census count, Registrar of Voters Dan Burk told county commissioners on Tuesday.

In his presentation, Burk said county staff has logged hundreds of hours redrawing precinct lines and reassigning voters to new districts based on boundary changes made by all political jurisdictions.

There are 40 elected seats countywide that will be contested this year, including two on the county commission and three on the Sparks City Council. Candidate filing begins March 5 and ends March 16.

Burk said there are currently 213,524 registered voters in Washoe County, which accounts for 80 percent of eligible voters, a number higher than the national average.

“That says a lot about our quality of life,” Commissioner Kitty Jung said.

State government has developed Nevada Online Voter Access (NOVA), an online voter registration application that interfaces with Washoe County’s registration system, providing voters another option by which to register or make changes to their file, such as address and party affiliation. The rollout for Washoe County is expected to occur in mid-April.

Future changes also could include allowing elderly and disabled voters the option to apply for “permanent absentee” status.

Currently, about half of all voters in Washoe County cast an absentee ballot or participate in early voting, Burk said.

Burk also said he plans to implement an expedited voter processing system that could reduce labor costs for primary and general elections by as much as $40,000.

Both proposals require changes to state law.

Primary elections will be held June 12. The registration deadline is May 12, though eligible voters can register in person until May 22. Early voting runs from May 26 to June 8.

General elections will be held Nov. 6. The registration deadline is Oct. 6. Eligible voters can register in person until Oct. 16. Early voting runs from Oct. 20 to Nov. 2.

By mid-April, residents will be able to check their registration status online at www.washoecounty.us/voters.
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