close up of political voting pins for 2020 election on white
The Legislative Interim Finance Committee on Thursday approved receipt of nearly $4.5 million in funding through the CARES Act to help cover the cost of moving Nevada’s June primary election to a mail in vote.
Wayne Thorley, elections
deputy for the Secretary of State’s office, said that, historically, 90 percent
of Nevadans vote in-person, not by mail.
“So a mail-in election is
expensive,” he said.
The decision was made because
of the health and safety concerns over the pandemic.
He said the money will pay
for $565,000 worth of equipment including ballot scanners and adjudication equipment,
computers and other materials to help count the incoming ballots. Another $500,000
will buy other non-ballot equipment.
The largest single cost,
Thorley said, is $2.4 million to print ballots at a cost of $1.10 apiece along
with postage to mail them.
He said the prepaid envelopes
to send in those ballots will cost another $235,000.
There is also a $753,000 for
a voter education campaign including media and social media buys to get the
He said the key is that
Nevada voters must be told exactly how this new system will work, including how
to ensure they are among the active voters. He said a lot of voters move from
one place to another and don’t think to update their voter registration,
rendering them inactive. He said while they can still go to a polling place on
election day but that it makes much better sense to update their registration
online or on paper by mail. People can update on line at
He said the state, under
current law, could be hit with a 20 percent match of about $900,000 but he said
the states have asked Congress to eliminate that.