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Voting is easier this year

by Merrie Leininger

Douglas County residents will have no excuse not to get out and vote this year.

According to County Clerk-Treasurer Barbara Reed the county clerks’ office will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.

The office at South Lake Tahoe will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Saturday is the last day to register for the Sept. 1 primary.

Anyone who is 18 and older, and has been a resident 30 days before the primary is allowed to vote.

“So if someone moves here Saturday, they can come down and register to vote,” Reed said.

A resident has to reregister only to report a change in name or party affiliation because Nevada law mandates a closed primary. This means residents only vote for the party primary races they are registered in.

Reed said if a Douglas County resident has moved, there is no need to reregister, but they do need to call the clerk’s office to get their new precinct and polling place.

Early voting is also available this year and starts Aug. 15.

The dates, places and times for early voting are listed in the sample ballots, which will be mailed out to registered voters Aug. 11, Reed said.

Each ballot will list the voter’s precinct and polling place address.

There are new polling places because precincts were split. A Nevada law allows only 1,500 people per precinct.

The precincts that split are in Indian Hills, Johnson Lane, Westwood, the Centerville/Kimmerling area and Topaz Lake.

The three Douglas County Sheriff’s Office substations will be used as polling places and the CVIC Hall will be used as an alternative to the Sheridan Acres Volunteer Fire Department because of construction at the department.

Reed said there is also a new polling place in Jacks Valley.

The polls will again be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

One difference with the sample ballots this year is all unopposed races are also listed, a state requirement. Reed said she supplied an explanation on the ballot to avoid confusion.

Absentee ballots are now available, but the office requires a request in writing.

The form is available in the office or it can be downloaded from the office’s website: http://cltr.co.douglas.nv.us.

The ballots must be received at the clerk’s office by 7 p.m. Election Day.

Reed said although there are some local races that are uncontested, many of the state races have multiple candidates. There is also a question on the primary ballot regarding an increase on sales tax which everyone votes on.

Despite all this, Reed said she is not expecting a large turnout.

“It just seems like there is a lot of apathy this year,” she said. “I estimate about 50 percent turnout based on absentee ballot requests we have got so far.”

Reed said as of July 17, 26,238 people in Douglas County were registered to vote.

Of that, 7,543 are Democrats, 14,532 are Republicans and 4,163 are Independents.

For more information, call the clerk’s office at 782-9032. The office is located on the first floor of the Minden Inn.

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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