Deadline for mail-in voter registration is Tuesday
October 9, 2016
Any mailed-in voter registrations must be postmarked Tuesday in order to be valid for this election cycle. After Tuesday, anyone wishing to vote must do so in person or online by Oct. 18. Early voting begins four days later on Oct. 22.
On Friday, Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske requested that all 17 Nevada County Clerks and Registrars of Voters extend the deadline for mail-in voter registration to Tuesday to resolve a conflict between state and federal law.
Under state law, mail-in voter registrations must be post-marked by the fifth Saturday preceding the general election, which was Oct. 8. The National Voter Registration Act, which is applicable to federal elections, requires that the period for registering by mail remain open at least through the 30th day prior to Election Day. Since the U.S. Postal Service is not open for business on Sunday or Columbus Day, the deadline to register to vote by mail-in application must be extended to the next business day, which is Tuesday.
While Nevada doesn't recognize Columbus Day as a holiday, the U.S. Postal Service does.
In previous elections, the Saturday preceding the fifth Sunday was observed as the post-marked deadline for submitting mail-in registration, and the Secretary of State's office believes that the NVRA requires the deadline for submitting mail-in voter registration be extended to Oct. 11.
"As the Chief Elections Officer, I want to ensure that all Nevadans are afforded the opportunity to register to vote in accordance with state and federal law," said Cegavske. "The Secretary of State's office will be submitting a bill draft request in the 2017 legislative session to resolve any confusion."