The Reno City Charter, Section 1.050(2)(a), specifies that ward boundaries be examined and changed following each national census. If the census indicates that any ward exceeds any other ward in population by more than five percent, the boundaries must be adjusted.
Census Results for Reno City Council Wards
The 2010 Census came up with these population numbers for Reno City Council wards...
- Ward 1 - 41,301
- Ward 2 - 49,914
- Ward 3 - 43,876
- Ward 4 - 47,103
- Ward 5 - 42,121
Changes to Reno City Council Wards
Following a period for public comment, the Reno City Council approved the boundary changes at a meeting in December, 2011. This is one of three proposals that were under consideration. Ward populations will now be within five percent of each other...
- Ward 1 - 44,854
- Ward 2 - 45,868
- Ward 3 - 44,491
- Ward 4 - 45,553
- Ward 5 - 45,046
Map of Reno City Council Wards
Most voters remain in the the wards they were in before the boundary adjustments, but not all. If you are not sure, check this ward boundaries map published by the City of Reno. If you are still not sure, you can call the Washoe County Registrar of Voters at (775) 328-3670.
How Reno City Council Elections Work
It's not obvious how Reno City Council members are elected. In election years, candidates who are duly filed run by ward in the primary election. Voters living in each ward may only select from those candidates vying for election in that ward, with the two top vote getters moving on to the general election. In the general election, citizens vote on all the surviving candidates from the primary, regardless of their ward of residence. The sixth Reno City Council seat is at-large and selected by all Reno voters in both elections, as is the mayor.
All Reno City Council members and the mayor serve four year terms. Terms overlap, so all members are not up for election (or re-election) during elections every two years. Term limits began coming into play starting with the 2012 elections, opening up some seats that the incumbents might have tried to retain.
Registering to Vote in Reno and Washoe County
There are certain deadlines and residency requirements you must observe in order to vote. Registering to vote is relatively easy and casting a ballot in Nevada does not require a photo ID at the polling place. Online voter registration is only available in Clark County (Las Vegas and vicinity), but may become available for elections in 2012. I will provide details when they are released.
Sources: City of Reno press release, Washoe County Registrar of Voters, Nevada Secretary of State.