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Election 2024: Nye County to utilize state’s ballot-buying power

Updated August 15, 2023 - 11:07 am

The 2024 Presidential Preference Primary is less than six months away and thanks to a new law enacted this year, Nye County is now able to tap into the state of Nevada’s buying-power when it comes to purchasing mail-in ballots.

Nye County Clerk Mark Kampf went before the Nye County Commission this month seeking the green-light to accept the use of state-purchased ballots, a decision that needed to be made at least six months ahead of the next election. With the presidential preference primary set for Feb. 6, 2024, the deadline was looming.

“Earlier this year, we were notified by a previous vendor (of election ballots) that they were dropping us as a client because we didn’t have sufficient business for them. They required us to spend over $125,000 a year with them. They were selected in the last ballot because they were the lowest bidder,” Kampf explained for the board on Aug. 1.

He said he had already started reaching out to other potential ballot vendors when he was made aware that Assembly Bill 192 was under consideration by the Nevada Legislature. It was ultimately passed by a large majority and went into effect in June.

“This bill requires the form of all envelopes in which mail-ballots are sent to voters and all return envelopes for mail-ballots, with certain exceptions, be uniform throughout the state. The bill also authorizes the secretary of state to enter into one or more contracts for the purchase of ballots and return envelopes used in any statewide or local election,” Kampf detailed. “It also authorizes each board of county commissioners and governing body of any incorporated city to elect to use the ballots and return envelopes purchased by the state…

“Basically, I see us as getting better buying power through the state,” he continued. “And even though they always reimburse us for all of our costs of doing the ballots, this will have no impact on the county cash flow because they will be paying the bill. We will not have to come up with the cash and then wait for reimbursement. It’s always at the end of the year, so we are waiting to see how that happens. And the state is a partner in dealing with any service issues, so I see this as being a benefit to the county.”

Kampf said the main concern was the possibility of the state disputing any future invoice for ballots purchased by the county itself, remarking, “If I were to go out, like some counties have, and negotiate a price that is worse than the state can generate, would there be any challenges to our bill? So I see this as a good thing for us and the clerk’s office. We don’t have to negotiate the agreement… and then we will have that buying power and not have to be questioned as far as our invoices.”

The commissioners were obviously all on-board with the proposal and there was no discussion on the subject. Commissioner Frank Carbone offered a quick motion to accept the use of state-purchased mail-ballots and return envelopes, with a second from commissioner Debra Strickland. The motion passed with all in favor.

The agreement for the use of state-purchased ballots is valid for all elections held in 2024 and 2025.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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