By Sean Whaley, Nevada News Bureau: Secretary of State Ross Miller is seeking more than half a million dollars from a legislative contingency fund to pay the counties for the cost of the Sept. 13 special election in the 2nd Congressional District.
The request for $539,137 from the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee Contingency Fund would reimburse counties for all costs and expenses to conduct the special election to pick a replacement for Dean Heller, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Gov. Brian Sandoval. The fund has just under $12 million.
The request will be considered Monday by the Board of Examiners, made up of Sandoval, Miller and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. It will then go to the IFC on Aug. 31.
Former state Sen. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, is facing Democrat state Treasurer Kate Marshall in the race, which also includes Independent American Party candidate Tim Fasano and independent Helmuth Lehmann.
Counties budget for and cover the costs of administering regularly scheduled elections in Nevada, but Miller said previously that neither the counties nor the state have budgeted for costs to run a special election. As a result, Miller issued emergency regulations he said are necessary to assist the counties during a financially difficult period…and are also necessary to ensure the proper administration of the special election by the counties.
Under the emergency regulations, counties must submit invoices and other supporting documents with the request for reimbursement to the Secretary of State’s office following the election.
Miller said reimbursement of eligible costs and expenses “will be contingent upon available and authorized state funding.”
Miller earlier rejected the notion of approving requests from Esmeralda and Nye counties to expand the number of mail ballot only precincts in their counties for the special election. Both counties claimed they would realize modest cost savings by designating more mail ballot only precincts, but Miller said his overriding concern is the integrity of the election process.
The district covers all of 16 of 17 Nevada counties, plus a small portion of Clark County. The district has 141,330 active Democrat voters, 172,281 active Republican voters and 60,519 active nonpartisan voters.
The district, created in 1981 following the 1980 U.S. Census, has always been represented by a Republican.