(Thomas Daly) – The train wreck of a primary election we just experienced in Washoe County begs for election reform.
If you missed it, consider the litany of errors and failures admitted to by the Washoe County Registrar of Voters office (the registrar was MIA from March 8th thru election day and subsequently resigned). Despite the absence of this key official County Manager Brown did not seek help from the Secretary of State to supply a qualified temporary official to oversee the County election effort. Further, Manager Brown reportedly left the Registrar’s office understaffed in the months preceding the primary.
Mail-in ballots were printed incorrectly and, thus, the instructions on how to return them were flawed.
Registered voters had their designated filing status changed to ‘non-partisan’ by an error prone DMV, with no quality control check by the Registrar and, as such, those otherwise qualified and registered voters could not vote for their choice of Republican or democrat candidates.
Some voters who ‘opted-out’ of getting a mail-in ballot nonetheless recieved one.
Some voters got two mail-in ballots sent to their home address.
Some voters received the wrong ballot as the boundaries of their election district changed based on the last census. The Registrar botched that simple task despite having months to get it right before our primary election.
I could go on.
So, you might think our Board of County Commissioners, who are responsible for ensuring our voters rolls are accurate, (see the federal National Voter Registration Act of 1993), might authorize an audit of the Registrar’s office and/or the county voter rolls to identify problems and employ the necessary fixes before the upcoming November general election.
You would be wrong. Despite multiple requests to do so, they have taken no action, save for appointing an ‘interim’ Registrar, the same individual who oversaw the latest election debacle. A permanent Registrar will not be appointed before the general election in November.
With the exception of Commissioner Herman, our Commissioners continue to believe ‘all is well’, see Kevin Bacon final scene in Animal House – Bing video.
Perhaps after our November election our two new Commissioners will take their responsibilities seriously and restore confidence in our electoral process.
The 2024 elections are coming.
Thomas Daly is a conservative Republican resident of Washoe County and a former candidate for Assembly District 26.