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Registrar of voters gears up for 2012 election season



With the June 12 primary and Nov. 6 general elections quickly approaching, the Washoe County registrar of voters is gearing up to make sure this year’s election is as smooth, efficient and accurate as possible.

At today’s Board of County Commissioners meeting, commissioners approved the release of bid requests for several key services used by the registrar of voters:

  • Moving Services (estimated cost- $64,000). The registrar of voters’ office uses moving company services to securely transport equipment to and from polling places for both the 2012 primary and general elections.
  • Absentee Ballot Printing (estimated cost- $82,000). In 2010, the registrar of voters’ office moved to a same-day, on-demand printing process for absentee ballots. This more efficient approach saved $30,000 over printing a bulk of absentee ballots in advance. The selected vendor will be responsible for printing and issuing ballots, allowing registrar of voters staff to concentrate on other critical processes.

“We are the only jurisdiction in NV,” said Registrar of Voters Dan Burk, “that uses an absent ballot print vendor who prints, packages, addresses and mails absent ballots to each voter requesting one within one business day. This approach assures that even military and overseas voters receive their ballots in time to return them to be counted for each election.”

  • Sample Ballot Services (estimated cost- $108,500 for printing and $90,000 plus postage for mailing). In each election year, between the primary and general elections, the registrar of voters mails out more than 400,000 sample ballots to registered voters in the county. Over the last several years, the registrar’s office has continued to work on ways to reduce costs associated with this function. Strategies such as changing the type of paper used and printing a single, all-inclusive, sample ballot has reduced printing and mailing costs from over $600,000 each year to just over $220,000. By state law, every registered voter must be mailed a sample ballot before each election.

“As we continue to experience financial challenges,” Burk noted, “we are constantly evaluating the way in which we provide this vital service to the community for continued efficiencies and cost savings, while remaining mindful of the absolute necessity of providing a secure, accurate voting experience for every voter.”

Vendors or citizens interested in reading the full bids for service can access them online at http://www.washoecounty.us/purchasing or by contacting the Purchasing Division at 775.328.2280.

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