A board chaired by the governor voted unanimously Monday to ask the Legislature to cover the $539,137 cost of the special election on Sept. 13 to fill a vacancy in Congress.
Instead of requiring counties to cover election costs, the state Board of Examiners wants the Legislature to reimburse counties out of its $12 million interim contingency fund. The Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee will consider the proposal on Aug. 31.
The need for the special election occurred in May when Gov. Brian Sandoval appointed Rep. Dean Heller to the U.S. Senate. He replaced John Ensign, who resigned amid a scandal and congressional investigation.
Democrat Kate Marshall, the state treasurer, and Republican Mark Amodei, a former state senator, are vying to fill the last year of Heller’s two-year term in the 2nd Congressional District seat. The district includes all of Nevada except the Las Vegas metropolitan area.
Secretary of State Ross Miller initially had put the cost of the special election at $1.3 million.
A member of the Board of Examiners, Miller has not asked legislators if they would approve the election expenditure, but noted Monday that counties are cash-strapped and can ill afford the unforeseen cost. The legislative committee usually approves Board of Examiners’ requests.
Miller said he already has spent $150,000 in federal Help America Vote Act funds in preparation for the special election, the first House special election in the state’s history.