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County to spend nearly $1M on mail ballot counting machines

Updated February 18, 2022 - 6:46 am

Clark County will spend nearly $1 million to purchase four high-speed counting machines to tabulate mail-in ballots for the coming primary and general elections, commissioners decided Tuesday.

The move comes after the Legislature made permanent a law that automatically sends mail ballots to every active registered voter in Nevada elections, a change that has seen voting by mail become the most popular way to cast a ballot in Clark County.

Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria told commissioners that the county had applied for a grant to purchase the counting machines, but that a decision wouldn’t come in time for officials to buy them. The commission unanimously voted to move ahead using $950,000 in county funds instead. If the county is eventually approved for the grant, it would use the money to reimburse the expense.

Gloria reported that in 2020, more than 453,000 people voted by mail, with an additional nearly 412,000 people casting ballots during the two-week early voting period. Just more than 109,000 voters opted to vote in person on Election Day, he said.

This year, Gloria said that there will be 110 early voting sites in the county during the general election, and 105 in the primary. Sites are distributed around the county based on the percentage of registered voters, in locations such as malls, grocery stories, voting tents in large parking lots and community centers. During the general election, early voting will also be conducted on college campuses, Gloria said.

This year will also see municipal elections — which were formerly conducted in odd-numbered years — merged with federal, state and local balloting, Gloria told commissioners.

Contact Steve Sebelius at SSebelius@reviewjournal.com. Follow @SteveSebelius on Twitter.

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