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Sample ballots begin to arrive

Kathy Lewis talks about the election at a town hall debate on Wednesday

The first sample ballots mailed out on Sept. 17 started turning up in Douglas mailboxes on Thursday.

That’s when regular ballots were mailed out, according to Clerk-Treasurer Kathy Lewis.

Lewis was the opener for Wednesday’s Town Hall Debates sponsored by The Record-Courier, the Business Council of Douglas County and the Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe chambers of commerce.

“We will conduct this election by allowing voters to vote by mail or in person,” she said. “We call this a hybrid election.”

Lewis said mail-in elections are not new to her office.

“In 2018, we had the highest per capita number of residents vote by mail,” she said. “We successfully conducted the 2020 primary election entirely by mail.”

She said absentee and mail ballots are synonymous.

“This is due to changes in election law that no longer require a person be absent to vote by mail,” she said.

For the 2018 election, residents could request a mailed ballot without giving a reason.

Anyone who registers to vote by Oct. 15 will receive a ballot in the mail. Residents may register the day of the Election at the tent set up behind the Douglas County Courthouse in Minden.

“Only one ballot can and will be accepted in our voter database,” she said. “Replacement ballots will be provided to voters who have updated their records, didn’t receive an original ballot or whose ballot was damaged.”

If a voter has moved or died, Lewis asked that the ballot be returned to the Clerk’s Office. She said that isn’t evidence of voter fraud.

“But voter fraud would occur if someone chose to vote that ballot,” she said. “They would have to sign the name of that voter and that would be discovered during the signature verification process.”

Just as in the primary, signatures that don’t match those in the Clerk-Treasurer’s database won’t be counted unless the voter comes in and corrects the measure.

Voting twice or fraudulently is a felony. Ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3 or delivered by 7 p.m. that day.