Thursday, Aug. 26, 2010 | 10:46 a.m.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rory Reid did not vote in five of the last six municipal elections in his hometown of Henderson, leading his Republican rival Brian Sandoval to accuse him of skipping his civic duties.
Municipal elections in Clark County have a traditionally dismal turnout. One of the elections Reid missed, for example, generated just 7 percent turnout and had only one question on the ballot for Henderson voters.
Others, however, were more contested and resulted in some slim margins, meaning every vote did indeed count. For example, in 2009 Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen won by just 45 votes in an election Reid missed
Sandoval’s campaign argues Reid should take his civic participation seriously, especially while holding elected office.
“It’s troubling that a man who wants to be governor has failed to meet the most basic duty he has as a Nevadan,” Sandoval’s spokeswoman Mary-Sarah Kinner said. “More than anything, this issue is beginning to give voters a little better sense of Rory Reid’s character.”
Reid’s spokesman Mike Trask said Reid agrees municipal elections are important.
“Rory has a consistent voting record,” Trask said. “He regrets missing a couple of municipal elections.”
Reid has voted in every “on-year” primary and general election since 1998. Municipal elections in Clark County are held in odd-numbered "off-years."
Reid supports moving Clark County’s municipal elections to even-numbered years, which would increase turnout and could save local governments money.
Sandoval hasn’t missed voting in a single election since 1992, according to the Washoe County Voter Registrar. Reno’s municipal elections are held in on-year elections.
Trask countered that Sandoval had missed 72 floor votes during his two terms in the Nevada Assembly.
“I think the question you should be asking is where Brian Sandoval was when he missed 72 floor votes during his terms in the Legislature,” Trask said.
A review of the records indicate Sandoval abstained from 12 votes in 1997, but was present in the chambers.
In 1995, he was excused from two days of session to attend the birth of his first son. He missed 64 votes during those two days.