Las Vegas Sun

July 25, 2016

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Ross Miller to spend $800,000 in federal funds on voter awareness campaign

If wall-to-wall television ads, media coverage, yard signs and campaign workers in front of your grocery store didn't clue you in something political might be going on, don't worry.

The state will spend $800,000 in federal money to tell you that there's an election coming in November and get some of the 600,000 to 700,000 unregistered Nevadans on the voting rolls.

On the heels of this month’s primary election with “abysmal” turnout this month, Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller, a Democrat, will launch a campaign to raise awareness about the upcoming November election.

On a nearly party-line vote, a Legislative committee approved using the federal election funds for the campaign, which is being competitively bid.

"We want to get as many people registered and out to the polls as we can," said Secretary of State Ross Miller.

The office has issued a request for proposals for the nonpartisan voter registration campaign, which would run from August to Oct. 31.

One emphasis will be to get potential voters to use online registration, to either register for the first time or update their registration. The system was instituted in Clark County in September 2010, and will be instituted by other counties by August.

Republicans have used the online registration system more than Democrats, according to statistics.

About 9,000 voters have registered or updated their registration since it became available. Miller said this was below his expectations.

Republican lawmakers questioned who would be featured in the campaign.

Miller said that his office has contacted Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval's staff to see if he'd be willing to participate.

Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, questioned the need for a campaign.

"There isn’t a grocery store you can go to where there's not someone trying to get you to register," she said.

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