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Clerk eyes precinct change

Updated August 8, 2023 - 3:54 am

BEATTY — Nye County Clerk Mark Kampf says he will address county commissioners later this month about redistricting some voters into a new precinct.

While Kampf told Beatty officials last month that the town’s voting precinct can only legally include those living within its boundary, he said a handful of voters from Sacrobatus Flat have cast ballots there in the past.

“The only election impacted was the 2012 election for Justice of the Peace after the formation of the Town of Beatty in 2010,” Kampf told the Pahrump Valley Times.

Those votes had no affect on the outcome of the elections, he said.

“At that time, the voters did nothing illegal since they voted the ballot they were given,“ Kampf told the Pahrump Valley Times.

He is expected to address county commissioners about the topic at their Aug. 15 meeting. Kampf hopes to move Sarcobatus Flat voters into a new precinct that would allow them to cast their in-person votes in Beatty about 23 miles away, rather than Tonopah which is more than 60 miles away.

“We are working to add their new precinct to those that can vote in Beatty,” Kampf said.

Beatty Town Board Chair Erika Gerling said Sarcobatus residents often use Beatty as a base and get their mail at the town post office.

If Sarcobatus voters are allowed to cast ballots at Beatty polling stations in the future, they wouldn’t be able to cast any ballots for town leaders or referendums.

Kampf explained the rationale behind the plan.

“The actions being taken by the Nye County Clerk are to prevent issues from occurring in the future through a thorough review of precinct boundaries and the voters who should be voting within those boundaries throughout the county,” Kampf told the Pahrump Valley Times.

Complications

Sending out ballots for Beatty voters is a bit of a complicated issue because of multiple boundaries for jurisdictions within the precinct.

These include separate boundaries for the Beatty General Improvement District, the Beatty Water and Sanitation District and the Beatty Library District. Some voters live within all of these boundaries, while others only in some.

Residents of the precinct who do not live within the boundaries of the Water and Sanitation District cannot vote for candidates for that board.

It’s unclear how voting will be conducted in Beatty for the 2024 presidential primary, Kampf said.

The Democrats will be holding a primary election, but the Republicans could stick with a caucus.

If this is the case, only Democrats will be voting in the primary, unless they only have one candidate, in which case there will be no primary.

Kampf said that he would be able to either have early voting in Beatty or Election Day voting, but not both and was interested in which the community would prefer.

The clerk said he aims to get the results of the election as quickly as possible after the vote.

Beatty’s precincts are some of the last to be counted because of the need to securely transport the ballots to the official tallying site.

After the poll closes, the town’s ballots are transferred in a secure locked steel box—one that does not have a slot for depositing ballots—and transported by a sheriff’s deputy, complete with chain of custody documentation, to the location where the ballots are counted.

Richard Stephens is a freelance reporter living in Beatty.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with corrections and clarifications from the Nye County Clerk, as well as new comments.

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