INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — After a mailing error prevented residents with a Crystal Bay zip code from receiving sample primary ballots in May, Frank Wright says it’s only fair the original seven IVGID candidates get to run in the Nov. 4 general election.
Wright, who finished sixth in the Incline Village General Improvement District trustee primary in June, called the snafu within Washoe County’s mailing office “a major screw-up.”
“It would be horrible to let this go through,” the Crystal Bay resident said Wednesday. “It would make sense, just to erase all doubts … and just throw everybody back in the general election and leave it at that.”
Wright and two other Crystal Bay residents filed complaints last month with the Nevada Secretary of State.
Caroline Lu, public information officer for the Secretary of State, confirmed complaints were received on June 30 and that it’s waiting on a formal response from Washoe County.
It’s unclear, however, what action the state may take.
“It’s our general policy that we can’t confirm or deny any investigations,” Lu said this week.
In an interview this week, Deanna Spikula, senior deputy with the Washoe County Registrar of Voters, said the error came when the vendor it contracts with to handle mailing — a Rochester, N.Y.-based company called Complemar — mistakenly identified Crystal Bay as having moved out of the county.
During the process by which the county’s mail house runs its voter database against U.S. Postal Service data, 20,174 records were returned, Spikula said, either from voters who moved out of the county or those who moved within the county to another address.
Of those, 324 had a Crystal Bay 89402 zip code, and none got a sample ballot prior to the June 10 primary.
“… While there’s no way to be exactly 100 percent sure, the general consensus is it was in the process of the bulk mailer program and USPS data exchange,” Spikula said. “There was a miscommunication between those two.”
Wright said he’s asking for a fresh election because, according to Nevada law, registered voters are supposed to receive a “sample ballot which is accurate, informative and delivered in a timely manner.”
Regarding the IVGID race, Kendra Wong, Shelia Leijon and Tim Callicrate cruised in the primary, capturing nearly 70 percent of the votes.
The race for the final spot in the general election was tight, however, with Robert Olmer (277 votes) edging Megan Lade (261) and Wright (245). Aaron Katz was last with 198 votes.
Lade said she was approached to file a complaint, but chose not to.
“Sure,” she said Wednesday when asked if she’d like to be put on the November ballot. “With more time, people would be able to know me more and see what my views are, and they would see that I am a dedicated community member.”
Spikula said this type of error has never happened — at least in recent history — in Washoe County.
“On our end, we’re putting process in place from a quality control standpoint to make sure we’re properly reviewing these records,” Spikula said. “Our vendor is also doing the same — they’re flagging that info, so that it can be reviewed for any type of anomalies or errors … that unusual or seem out of place.”
The county should have a response to the state after Aug. 11, Spikula said, once Registrar of Voters Luann Cutler returns from vacation.