This past Tuesday, Election Day, I had the privilege to cast my vote. What a sight at the Convention Center, it was standing room only and by 10 am, 2,000 votes had been cast and what a turnout it’s going to be.
The City’s Elections occur on the off year of the Mid-term and General Elections. Of the 2,352 City Registered Voters, in 2017 only 568 of those voted or approximately 25%. That is an extreme minority making the final decisions. It has been determined that more people turn out for a Mid-term/General Election then those of an off year.
The County has offered to conduct our Elections, if the City would be willing to move our Elections from an off year, to the Mid-term/General Election year. The County will only charge us, 15 Cents a ballot or $352.80. Currently it will cost the City approximately $20,000.00 to hold an Election which comes directly out of our GENERAL FUND. This includes, but not limited to, ballot costs, legal notices, renting of the Convention Center, poll workers and not to mention the countless hours of City Staff, Deputy Clerk and the City Administrator. Currently , it costs the City approximately $8.50 per ballot and with only 568 voting last election, cost per ballot was $35.21. The Election is a 6 month process starting in January and ending in June.
The City handles the Election the OLD FASHIONED WAY – hand counting ballots, sometimes into the wee hours of the morning and God forbid a tie or close race, as that’s more recounting by HAND. The County uses state of the art voting machines, they have stream lined the whole process and there is less probable of errors.
It is said, if the City of North Las Vegas moved their Elections from an off year like ours, to coincide with the City of Las Vegas Elections on a Mid-term/General Election year, it would save the tax payers, 1 Million dollars.
The catch to all of this is, that it would add 18 months to each term of the Councilmen and Mayor. The real question is $352.80 or $20,000.00? Sooner is better then later…….
Thank you, Mayor Van Camp