52°F
weather icon Clear

County use policy sets new guidelines for electioneering, bulletin boards

New electioneering and bulletin board policies are going into effect in Nye County ahead of early voting and the general election.

The Nye County Property Use Policy adopted on Tuesday by a 4-1 vote by the county commission is intended to provide additional guidelines to aid County Manager Pam Webster in making decisions regarding county property use.

Commissioner Donna Cox cast the dissenting vote.

County Clerk Sandra “Sam” Merlino said she hadn’t had time to review the adopted policy but said that it follows current election laws.

“We don’t have a lot of contentious local races this election, so I don’t see any of the designated parking areas for booths as a big issue but I don’t know if we will have any campaign booths for the ballot questions or the presidential race,” Merlino said.

Nye County commissioners encourage electioneering activities that maintain the safe and orderly use of county property, according to the policy.

Electioneering means campaigning for or against a candidate, ballot question or political party by posting signs, distributing literature, soliciting signatures, conducting exit polls or surveys, setting up booths or tables.

The policy sets some limitations for electioneering activities.

Under the policy, electioneering activities are allowed only at the farthest parking places by the sidewalk of the courthouse. Under the new guidelines; all electioneering activities must be approved in writing by the county manager at least 24 hours before the activity taking place; all booths and tables used in electioneering activities must be removed at the end of each day. To set up a booth, electioneers will need to sign a document provided by the county manager.

Commissioner Lorinda Wichman said she doesn’t believe the new policy will affect the upcoming general election in a negative way.

“It will provide more comfortable ingress and egress to the voters that arrive at the polls,” she said. “I don’t believe that will be a hardship to any voters in the general election. It simply maintains a reasonable order to the activity.”

During the Nye County Commission meeting on Tuesday, officials made a few changes to the policy.

The policy stated that all election observers must complete the form required by Nevada Administrative Code.

“That’s a little vague,” District Attorney Angela Bello said. “It should say all observers of voting within a polling place would have to fill out a form. Not all observers standing out in the parking lot watch the booths.”

Bello said she also took out permits for signs and rights of way that were previously included in the policy.

“My office did take out all of the sections that refer to the county buildings and we did that because I think that we need to bring it back and I wanted to add that because there was some confusion and we just need more discussion with Pam because it was referring to buildings and there’s a distinction between the inside of the building compared to grounds such as at Calvada Eye,” Bello said.

Additionally, the policy stated that candidates, campaign groups, observers, watchers, and anyone conducting exit polls must abide by the election laws outlined in the Nevada Revised Statutes for polling places. According to state law, anyone in violation of these laws may be charged with a gross misdemeanor.

“It’s vague as to which laws it’s referring to,” Bello said. “We can’t make a new crime through a policy. It would have to be an ordinance change.”

The policy also sets new guidelines for bulletin boards and signs.

County bulletin boards and signs are not intended as a forum for the expression of the views or opinions of individuals or groups, according to the documents.

County bulletin boards and signs are only for official county use including, but not limited to notices and agendas for public meetings, information regarding county services, legal notices, court calendars, public safety announcements, or law enforcement “wanted” signs.

On May 17, Nye County commissioners adopted a Nye County resolution that authorized Webster to make decisions related to county property use by general constitutional principles. The Nye County Property Use Policy was driven by that resolution, officials said.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Cleveland Clinic marks 100th anniversary

The Cleveland Clinic celebrated its 100th anniversary Feb. 26, marking the day in 1921 when four physicians hosted a ceremony in Cleveland to celebrate the opening of their group practice, unveiling a new model of care based on cooperation between clinicians.

Landlords oppose proposed eviction reforms

Landlords opposed a bill that would automatically seal eviction records for nonpayment of rent during the ongoing pandemic and require landlords to give some tenants longer notice for a no-cause eviction.

Nearly 25K sign petition opposing renaming McCarran after Harry Reid

With many in the Las Vegas Valley disagreeing with what McCarran International Airport should be renamed, a petition began circulating online in hopes of addressing the situation.

Easter Curbside event in the works for Pahrump

In just over four weeks’ time, Easter will be upon the community and in the Pahrump Valley, that means the Pahrump Holiday Task Force is hard at work preparing for its annual event in celebration of the occasion.

Nye County COVID Relief Program Policy adopted, applications to be available March 17

Last month, Nye County commissioners held an in-depth discussion regarding the county’s newest program to help address the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial strain that both business owners and residents have been experiencing. Because of that, the Nye County COVID Relief Program, with all of the details nailed down, and the policy that will guide that program as it unfolds has now been approved.

Dozens line up for vaccinations

Last month’s severe winter storm in the Midwest and eastern parts of the country delayed shipments of COVID-19 vaccines to western states, including Nevada.

Lifeguards, cashiers sought for 2021 Pahrump pool season

The sizzling, scorching heat of summertime may still be several months off, but the town of Pahrump is already in the midst of the recruitment process for the much-anticipated reopening of the Pahrump Community Pool and is seeking qualified applicants to fill both lifeguard and cashiers positions.

NNSS receives highest honors

Employees at the Nevada National Security Site were awarded the highest internal honors.