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KUNR Today: Washoe County Registrar of Voters on unexpected leave, Nevada primary deadlines to know

A woman is smiling and standing in front of a bulletin board with election papers and stickers on it.
Lucia Starbuck
/
Reynolds Media Lab
Washoe County Registrar of Voters Deanna Spikula in Nov. 2018.

Read or listen to the news headlines for Friday, April 15, 2022.

Washoe County Registrar of Voters on unexpected leave
By Lucia Starbuck

Washoe County’s top election official is currently on leave with no announced date of return.

County public information officer Bethany Drysdale confirmed in an email to KUNR that Registrar of Voters Deanna Spikula is “taking unexpected leave” and “she is paid while taking leave.” No reason was given. Spikula was appointed in 2017.

Washoe County Deputy Registrar Heather Carmen and Government Affairs Manager Jamie Rodriguez will be handling Spikula’s duties.

Nevada Primary Election deadlines to know
By Lucia Starbuck

There are several important dates coming up for Nevada’s primary election in June.

Under a new Nevada law, all registered voters in the state will receive a mail-in ballot. If you don’t want to receive a ballot in the mail, the deadline to opt out is Friday by midnight. This can be done online at the Nevada Secretary of State's website.

As a reminder, Nevada has a closed primary. That means you can only vote for candidates in the party of your registration. Registration can be changed online at any time or when you go to vote. For Washoe County, mail-in ballots will be sent to registered voters by May 25th.

More information can be found here.

Sisolak, GOP opponents split on restricting transgender student athletes
By Da Yeon Eom

Several GOP opponents looking to unseat Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak say they don’t support transgender women competing on female sports teams.

As some other states move forward on legislation banning transgender girls from playing on school sports teams that match their gender identity, Governor Steve Sisolak said Nevada is moving in the opposite direction to support transgender youth.

At the same time, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo told the Indy that he firmly believes in "protecting the sanctity of women’s sports." Former U.S. Senator Dean Heller issued a similar statement, saying "biological males competing in girls’ or women’s sports cheats women out of their hard-earned athletic achievements." And Joey Gilbert, a former professional boxer, says sports should continue to be separated into men’s and women’s categories.

Because state lawmakers have not passed any laws explicitly addressing the issue, the next governor could have more leeway to adopt policies requiring youth to play on the sports teams that correspond with their sex assigned at birth.

Read more of this story at The Nevada Independent.

Nevada panel backs funding to expand Sisolak's security team
By The Associated Press

A state panel has endorsed an agency's request for funding to expand Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak's security team. The Board of Examiners' vote Tuesday forwards the Department of Public Safety's request for $373,051 to the Legislature's Interim Finance Committee. The department wants to expand Sisolak's security detail to eight positions by adding a sergeant and two officers.

A department memo cited "various national threat alerts" and referenced two incidents in which Sisolak and Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo were separately accosted and verbally attacked in public. Sisolak, a Democrat, is running for re-election this year, while Lombardo is a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor.

Limited busing has increased student absences in WCSD
By Lucretia Cunningham

During the latest Washoe County School District Board of Trustees meeting, the discussion focused on the impact of ongoing labor shortages in schools.

The board heard from the superintendent’s designees early this week that labor shortages - especially in transportation - are impacting students’ attendance throughout Washoe County schools. The board implemented a plan in February where buses run in an area one week, and another the next. And, recent data shows that student absences increased as much as five percent during a week without bus service.

Board President Angela Taylor says schools should ensure they’re connecting with students who’ve been absent in order to apply distance learning if needed.

“Just the schools making every effort to try to keep those students engaged so that they don’t lose that week of instruction, and then be there to provide support once they do go back. In this horrible situation, at least we’re doing all that we can to try and mitigate that loss for them,” Taylor said.

District heads are continuing to look at options such as combining employee positions, like a bus driver who'll serve lunch in the cafeteria between shifts. They’ll also propose a contract for a route consultant at the board’s next meeting.

This newscast was produced with assistance from the Public Media Journalists Association Editor Corps funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

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