Las Vegas voters may soon be able to cast a ballot in their city’s elections at a Henderson vote center, and vice versa.
City councils in Clark County are voting one-by-one on a new agreement with the county election department that would allow voters in city elections to cast ballots at vote centers, regardless of jurisdiction.
“I think it will be much more convenient, and hopefully it increases our turnout,” Las Vegas City Clerk LuAnn Holmes said. “This way we’re giving one more option to engage the citizens.”
The cities of Henderson, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Boulder City hold municipal elections in the spring of odd-numbered years, off-cycle from county, state and federal elections. The city races post notoriously low turnout.
The cities have transitioned from traditional polling locations to vote centers, which allows voters to cast ballots at any location in their city, not an assigned polling place. The new agreement would create more voting options.
If all of the cities OK the agreements, a Henderson resident who works in downtown Las Vegas, for instance, could cast their Henderson ballot at Las Vegas City Hall on a machine that accepts a multi-jurisdictional ballot, rather than trying to dash back to Henderson before polls close, Holmes said.
The Las Vegas and North Las Vegas city councils are slated to vote on agreements with the county on Wednesday. The Boulder City Council approved the agreement last month.
Henderson officials are mulling the same agreement with the county, and the council will likely take a vote at one of its two August meetings, city spokeswoman Kathleen Richards said.
All four cities need to sign onto the agreement for it to move forward.
The Clark County Election Department administers city elections. The department is in the process of updating voting hardware and software this summer, and the new equipment can support countywide voting for both early voting and on Election Day.
The next city election cycle is in the spring. If all four cities approve the agreements with the county election department, cross-jurisdictional voting could be rolled out in time for 2019 races, Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin said.
The cities already have interlocal agreements with the county for elections. In the case of Las Vegas, the city won’t pay the county any additional money for moving to cross-jurisdictional vote centers. The change will cost North Las Vegas under $2,000 per election cycle.