For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Ventetuolo
Reno, Nev. October 23, 2018. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting:
1. The Board of County Commissioners receive an update on the 2018 General Election. Washoe County Registrar of Voters, Deanna Spikula, provided Commissioners with an update on the 2018 General Election including record-breaking voter registration, early voting turnout, and new features for this election.
Voter registration reaches an all-time high. The Registrar is reporting record-breaking voter registration with 269,018 voters currently registered in Washoe County. The current voter breakdown is as follows:
- Democratic: 94,520
- Republican: 99,675
- Nonpartisan: 56,408
- Minor parties and other: 18,415
2018 General Election early voting turnout. Thus far, the first weekend of early voting turnout and absentee combined total voters are 14,666, which includes 6,556 Democratic voters, 5,669 Republican voters, and 2,441 Minority Party and Nonpartisan voters. This is compared to the first weekend of combined early voting and absentee turnout for the 2016 General Election which had a total of 15,010 voters.
“We are very pleased with the record-breaking registration and voter turnout,” says Deanna Spikula, Registrar of Voters. “Our numbers of registered voters and early voting turnout is looking more like a presidential election than a midterm election,” remarks Spikula.
There are 23 early voting locations that will be in operation throughout Washoe County until Friday, November 2, in addition to an early voting location in Sun Valley. For General Election Day, there will be 83 Election Day polling locations throughout the county.
New for 2018. New features for the General Election voter experience includes new LED light that warns voters if the ballot is not cast properly, new larger privacy shields, enhanced poll worker training and system updates from the vendor.
Also new for 2018, thanks to the technology enhancement of the new electronic poll books, voters can vote at any poling location in Washoe County, they do not have to cast their ballot at their assigned polling place.
“Our enhanced poll-worker training now offers more hands-on training with the new equipment so our workers can handle the equipment as much as they like,” says Spikula. “We heard feedback from our citizens and the poll workers after the Primary Election.”
2. Commissioners approve more than $1.5 million in agreements to serve Washoe County’s most vulnerable. Commissioners approved two agreements, equaling more than $1.5 million between the Human Services Agency (HSA) and Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada to cover the costs of running the Crossroads Program.
Crossroads is a local housing program that helps local men and women make a successful transition from substance abuse and homelessness to productive members of society. Funding in the agreement will pay for housing, property management and supportive services at several Crossroads Program sites from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.
“Washoe County thanks Catholic Charities for their commitment to assist us in helping with the Crossroads Program, which has proven to be successful the past seven years by providing an innovative approach to helping the addicted, the homeless and the mentally ill,” HSA Director Amber Howell said. “These agreements will go a long way in assisting Washoe County, in not only continuing to provide Crossroads to our area’s most vulnerable populations but expand those valuable services, so we can reach more people in need.”
Crossroads has accomplished the following since its inception in 2011:
- 800+ clients served.
- Expanded from nine beds to 122.
- Grown from one building to eight.
- Partnering agencies increased from five to 12.
3. County Commissioners approve appointments to Open Space and Regional Park Commission. Due to four vacant commissioner openings, the Board of County Commissioners approved the following appointments:
- Jennifer Oliver, District 3 to serve a term of October 23, 2018 to June 30, 2021.
- Polly Boardman, District 4 to serve a term of October 23, 2018 to June 30, 2020.
- Stephanie Chen, District 4 to serve a term of October 23, 2018 to June 20, 2019.
- Darla Lee, District 5 to serve a term of October 23, 2018 to October 22, 2022.