CARSON CITY — Clark and Washoe counties could have voting centers for all elections, allowing any person eligible to vote to cast a ballot at any of them on Election Day.
Senate Bill 492, sponsored by Sen. Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas, and heard Wednesday by the Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections, authorizes Nevada’s two largest counties to establish voting centers for all elections. The centers, where voters can go to the nearest location to cast their ballot, are now used during early voting and in municipal elections in Clark County.
Under existing law, people who vote on the day of the primary or general election must go to a designated polling place based on their precinct. Cannizzaro said the bill would establish the same procedures currently in place during early voting on election days.
Clark County Registrar Joe Gloria said the change would eliminate confusion and make the election process more efficient and more accessible to voters.
In the 2016 general election, Gloria said Clark County issued 5,400 provisional ballots, and most of those were for voters who showed up at the wrong polling place.
Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Minden, asked what safeguards are in place to ensure someone doesn’t vote at different locations.
Gloria said information on who votes is entered into a computer system, which is updated constantly and available to all poll workers regardless of location.
Sen. Heidi Gansert, R-Reno, was concerned about confidentiality and if who someone voted for would be transmitted online.
But Gloria said actual voting machines remain isolated.
“There would be no transfer of information from the voting system,” Gloria said.
While the bill only applies to Clark and Washoe counties, Sue Merriweather, clerk-recorder in Carson City, asked that the option be available to rural counties as well.
There was no opposition, and the committee took no action on SB492.
The committee did approve another election-related bill. Senate Bill 117, sponsored by Settelmeyer, requires polling places to have a separate line for people with disabilities or allow those people to move to the front of the line. That bill now moves to the full Senate.
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