Mail-in primary enters last days | RecordCourier.com
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Mail-in primary enters last days

The sign at the front of the Genoa Town Hall, one of Douglas County's oldest precincts.
Kurt Hildebrand Photo

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If you’ve got that mail-in primary ballot sitting around, Douglas County election officials are hoping you’ll mark it and put it in the mail before the last day of voting on June 9.

As of end of business on Tuesday, a third of the ballots the county mailed out at the beginning of May have been returned and accepted.

Of the 12,017 ballots returned, 7,723 are from Republican voters, who will be picking a majority of county commissioners.

Because Nevada has a closed primary and county commissioners are a partisan office, Douglas County’s large Republican majority determines the outcome of that race.

Election officials say so far in-person traffic at the election tent behind the courthouse has been slow.

“Delivering early has two benefits for voters,” Election Administrator Dena Dawson said. “One, the election tent has not been busy at all, drop off your ballots in person between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. to safely avoid the crowds on Election Day. Two, we’ll be able to post a more complete preliminary result on Election Night.”

Election staff will be working the tent 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday so ballots received that day likely won’t be counted until Wednesday.

Official results won’t be ready until after the county canvasses the vote on June 19, but the clerk’s office will be announcing preliminary results on Tuesday night.

All ballots postmarked by Election Day will be counted up until the June 16 deadline. Those who register to vote and cast a ballot on Election Day, won’t have those votes counted until after June 16. Dawson said that’s so the Secretary of State’s Office can verify no one voted in more than one county.

“As the number of ballots being received shrinks, results will be limited to protect the anonymity of the voters,” Dawson said.

Statewide results should be released on Tuesday night after the last in-person voters cast a ballot.

The Nevada Secretary of State’s Office ordered the primary election be conducted entirely by mail in April in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Douglas mailed out 38,311 ballots to active voters only, including 20,785 to Republicans, 8,760 to Democrats and 8,766 to nonpartisan and minor party voters.

A tenth of those ballots were returned as undeliverable. Voters who believe they are registered but didn’t receive a ballot should contact the Clerk’s Office or go to the election tent.

As of Tuesday, 465 ballots have been rejected because of an issue with the signature. The clerk’s office is contacting those voters so they can fix the issue, either by signing the ballot or showing ID.

Voters who’ve sent in their ballots can track them by visiting govotedouglas.com.

Only four voters have registered and cast a ballot so far, while nine updated their registration and received a new ballot.

No voting machines will be open on Tuesday, but clerks will be accepting mail-in ballots in person. Voters dropping off a ballot for another person must sign an affidavit.