Early in-person voting Saturday | RecordCourier.com
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Early in-person voting Saturday

Dame Helen Mirren cast her first ballot in an American Election in Minden on Thursday morning. Mirren has lived at Lake Tahoe for five years and has been a citizen for three.
Kurt Hildebrand

Early in-person voting starts on Saturday, and people are already spreading social media posts that have false information.

On Wednesday, The Record-Courier received a message purporting to be from someone who claimed to have undergone poll worker training and warned residents not to let anyone mark their ballots because it would invalidate them.

That’s horse pucky, according to Clerk-Treasurer Kathy Lewis, because Douglas residents don’t get a paper ballot when they’re voting in person.

“We don’t put a paper ballot in a machine,” Lewis said on Wednesday. “If people vote in person and bring their ballot, we will ask them to surrender it and when they surrender it, we will write ‘canceled’ on it and securely keep it with our election records.”

A search for the message online reveals that it was sent out in South Carolina last month and it wasn’t particularly true there, either.

Polls open for in-person voting at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Lewis is asking that residents with questions about the elections or their ballots contact the clerk’s office at 783-6095 or elections@douglasnv.us.

“We want to be your trusted source for information about the election,” Lewis has said repeatedly.

Douglas County voters aren’t waiting for the polls to open to send in their ballots in this hybrid election.

As of Wednesday, 4,940 ballots have been accepted by the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office. That’s 13 percent of the 38,487 ballots mailed out Sept. 24. In a rare instance, Democrats voting before polls open slightly exceeds the number of Republicans 1,936-1,934. A total of 1,070 nonpartisan and minor party voters have already cast their ballots.

About 2 percent of the ballots returned are requiring a signature cure, either because the voter didn’t sign it or the signature didn’t match that on record.

Clerks verifying voter signatures have rejected 48 ballots they had difficulty matching signatures to those on record. A dozen ballots have been rejected because they weren’t signed at all. Letters have been sent out to notify those voters there were issues with their ballots.

Ballots were mailed to all 37,770 active Douglas voters on Sept. 24, and people started mailing in and dropping them off starting on Sept. 28.

“We want people to know they can drop off their ballot now in our tent, if they want,” Lewis said. “They do not need to wait until early voting starts to drop it off.”

Voting machines will be available at the community center 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 19-23; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 24 and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 26-30.

The polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 3 for Election Day at the Douglas County, Washoe Tribe, Kahle and Topaz Ranch Estates community centers.

Voters can drop off ballots they received in the mail at any of the locations in addition to mailing them. Ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3 in order to be counted.

In addition to the Election Tent, which will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, election workers will be touring the county to collect voters ballots.

They will be at Sunridge Fire Station 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the Genoa Town Hall 3-6 p.m. Oct. 19.

Through the two weeks of early voting, clerks will be picking up ballots at the Fish Springs, Gardnerville Ranchos, Johnson Lane, Sunridge fire stations, along with the Genoa Town Hall and the TRE and Washoe Tribe Community Center.

For details, visit govotedouglas.com.