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Nevada: Early Voting vs. Budget Cutbacks

PHOTO: The ACLU of Nevada says Washoe County commissioners have reversed a budget-cutting measure that would have reduced the early-voting schedule for the upcoming primary election. Photo courtesy Mahoning County, Ohio.

PHOTO: The ACLU of Nevada says Washoe County commissioners have reversed a budget-cutting measure that would have reduced the early-voting schedule for the upcoming primary election. Photo courtesy Mahoning County, Ohio.


April 10, 2014

RENO, Nev. - Nevada's Washoe County, which includes Reno, has reversed a proposed budget cutback that would have reduced the early-voting schedule for the upcoming primary election, according to the ACLU of Nevada. Vanessa Spinazola, legislative and advocacy director at the Nevada ACLU, said Washoe County Commissioners listened to public opposition to a proposal that would have eliminated two Sundays during the early-voting period, May 24 through June 6.

"So it actually would have cut off the last day of early voting, which was problematic, particularly because we actually have a pretty big election in Reno this year," she said. "We have the mayor and also city council positions coming up. So, the primary's actually pretty large."

Spinazola said some people, because of their schedules, can only vote on Sundays during early voting. She added that several organizations, including Progress Now Nevada and the Nevada Women's Lobby, joined the ACLU in the effort that led to the county reversing the proposed cutback, which would have saved up to $20,000.

Looking at the bigger picture, Spinazola said there was broad concern that reducing the early-voting schedule could start a trend.

"And we also feared that it would set an example for other counties that, 'You know, hey, when you're having budget crises, it's OK to just cut these days,'" she said.

The primary election is June 10. On the state level, it includes gubernatorial and legislative races. There are also mayoral and city council races in Reno and Sparks, as well as Washoe County Commission seats on the ballot.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV