By Kayla Anderson/Sparks Tribune
Washoe County voters have started to receive their ballot instructions in the mail for the June 9 Primary Election and due to COVID-19, the process has changed a bit regarding how to vote. New this year, every registered voter will receive an absentee ballot for next month’s Primary in the mail and the Washoe County Registrar of Voters office strongly encourages all voters to register online.
To register to vote in your precinct, visit www.registertovoteNV.gov and prove that you have a driver’s license or ID issued by the Nevada DMV. If you do not have an official Nevada ID, you must register to vote by mail or in person.
Unlike years past, the Office of the Washoe County Registrar of Voters is the only polling location that will be open for early in-person voting, same-day registration during early voting and Election Day on June 9. Here are the important dates about how to vote:
May 12: Last day to register to vote by mail or through the DMV
May 21: Last day to register to vote online
May 22-June 4: This is an extended online registration period for people who need to appear in person with a current Nevada driver’s license and proof of residency to finish their online registration
May 23-June 5: Early voting begins at the Washoe County Registrar of Voters office at 1001 E 9th Street, Building A, Room 135 in Reno. Here are its hours of operation:
May 23, May 25, May 30: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
May 24, May 31: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
May 26-May 29, June 1-5: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Who is Running in the City of Sparks:
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Primary must go on and this is a big election year. Three 4-year Ward seats are up for reelection as well as the Sparks City Attorney and Sparks Municipal Court Judge in Department 1 who serves a 6-year term. Since the current incumbent in Sparks City Council Ward 5 (Kristopher Dahir) is running unopposed, he will not appear on the ballot. But there will be some options for people to vote for candidates in wards 1 and 3. Here is a snapshot of the candidates and why they are running for office:
Donald Abbott: Serving on the Sparks City Council since 2016, Abbott owns a local photography business and is seeking re-election to continue representing the city in which he was born and raised as well as advocate for Sparks’ senior citizens through the Sparks Senior Citizens Advisory Committee. For more information regarding his campaign, visit https://sparksproud.com/.
Kristine Grimes: Following her retirement from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center, Kristine Grimes is running for Sparks City Council Ward 1 to help improve citizen safety by possibly establishing neighborhood watch programs, push for more visible road markings and traffic signage, and improve the overall cleanliness of Ward 1. For more information about Grimes, visit https://twitter.com/Kristine4S.
Dick Kirtley: Living in Sparks for 35 years, Dick Kirtley recently retired after working in the City of Sparks parks, sewer, storm drains, and traffic/graffiti departments. He believes that Sparks residents need to have a comfortable and safe life in the city and that the seemingly uncontrolled growth is affecting that. Kirtley is advocating for a more police, open and fair city government, and actively removing litter and graffiti from Sparks’ streets. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wendy Stolyarov: As a progressive democrat and owner of Bighorn Communications, Wendy Stolyarov previously worked as the director of government affairs for a blockchain technology startup and acted as the legislative director for the Libertarian Party of Nevada during the 2017 Legislative Session. Stolyarov is running for city council to help improve affordable housing, fair wages, and encourage proper representation of minorities. For more information, go to wendyforsparks.com.
Paul Anderson: As a 30-year resident of Sparks and the incumbent in the Ward 3 seat, Paul Anderson also is the chairman of the Nevada Department of Agriculture and serves on various commissions and boards that align with his priorities to provide a high level of safety and public health. Endorsed by current Sparks Mayor Ron Smith and former Mayor Geno Martini, Anderson focuses are on maintaining a strong infrastructure and responsible budget. https://paulanderson4sparks.org/
Elvira Diaz: Residing in Sparks for 15 years, Elvira Diaz is a former small business owner who is sensitive to the needs of fellow Sparks businesses and is pushing for an exemplary and inclusive educational environment for Sparks students. She won the Harvey Milk Trailblazer Award in 2016 and was recognized as a Champion of Change by The White House during the Obama era. https://elviraforsparks.com/
Andrea Tavener: Running for Ward 3, Andrea Tavener has lived in Sparks for 47 years, is the daughter of a Marine, and her parents were small business owners. Therefore, she is a strong advocate for veterans, sustainable business development, public safety, parks and recreation, and affordable housing for Sparks’ aging population. https://www.andreatavener.com/
Dan Ness and Quentin Smith: No information available
The Sparks City Council is a nonpartisan office and two people with the highest number of votes will advance to the General Election in November, unless a candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes, then that person is deemed automatically elected.