August 2, 2006

Voter Registration Cards and Sample Ballots

LCDCC has been getting calls and emails from people who have (A) registered to vote but have not gotten their Voter Registration Cards and/or (B) have not yet received their sample ballots.

Answer to A from Nikki Bryan, Clerk Treasurer of Lyon County after I sent her an email asking her why people weren't receiving their cards even though their web site clearly states that they will receive them within 2-3 weeks after registering. My note to her:

Dear Nikki,

According to your web site:

A new voter registrant is mailed a Voter Registration Card within 2-3 weeks after their application has been processed.

When I was in your office the other day getting voter reg forms and maps, a friend of mine was there with his twin granddaughters who had registered to vote at our central committee meeting in Yerington in April but had still not received their registration cards. He thought that I had blown it and not turned in their forms. I knew that I had.

The clerk at the window (sorry, I did not catch her name) told them that the girls may still be registered even though they didn’t get their cards explaining that they would need to go to the polls and show ID and THEN, when the next batch of cards was printed up, they would be sent one. As it was, the girls were properly registered and I was saved from being strung up by my friend, but my question is: Has your policy changed? We have been telling people when we register them to vote that they can expect their cards in about three weeks and if they don’t get them, to call you. We have also been telling new registrations that they will probably be asked to show ID at the polls the first time, but not that they wouldn’t receive their registration cards. Your web site also says:

Your Voter Registration Card contains important information such as your name, residential address, mailing address, party affiliation and precinct number. Sign the back when you receive it in the mail and remember to take it with you to the polls at election time.

Finally, your web site says

A new Voter Registration Card will be sent if your polling place or precinct is changed.

Since you have added ten new precincts and several new polling places, will all the voters be sent new registration cards?
Her answer:
First of all, our website needs lots of changes. The new site should be up by September.

We quit sending cards when the ID required (sic) went into affect because a voter card was a form of valid ID and it didn’t seem right to allow a voter to show nothing but a voter card to proved identification to be a valid voter. What a circle! We will probably send new voter cards after the primary when most of the ID issues are resolved. Also, a voter card is not required at the polls. It merely facilitates figuring out what precinct a voter is in. The cards really served a better purpose before we had computers.

This didn't and still doesn't feel right/legal to me, so I passed this info on to our legal counsel at the state Dem Party and I am waiting to hear from them. In the meantime, if you registered to vote since the end of the last legislative session in 2005, and you have not received either your registration card or a sample ballot for the Primary, give the Clerk/Treasurer's office a call to confirm that you are on the voter registration list. (775) 463-6501 or (775) 577-5033 (toll free)

Then you might want to give a call to the Secretary of State to ask if not issuing voter registration cards is legal. That number is: (775) 684-5705

Regarding Sample Ballots - I called the Clerk/Treasurer's office last week and was told that the sample ballots were scheduled to be mailed out Friday, July 28th - the day before Early Vote began. Sweetie and I received ours yesterday, but I am hearing from folks out there that they have not yet received theirs. Again, if you have a concern, please contact the Clerk/Treasurer's office.

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