Mail-in primary in progress
With ballots starting to arrive in the mail on Saturday, election information will be flooding out into Douglas County for the June mail-in primary.
Republican voters will essentially decide the majority of the Board of County Commissioners.
Residents of Indian Hills and Topaz Ranch Estates will also see candidates on their primary ballots, due to the large number of people who filed for those improvement districts.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the primary election will be conducted entirely through the mail and town hall forums will be held online.
On Monday, the Business Council of Douglas County, the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce and The Record-Courier will host a virtual town hall for county commissioner candidates. The newspaper will publish its primary election guide in Thursday’s edition.
Members of the Good Governance Group are working on a virtual forum sometime in the next few weeks.
For the first time in nearly a half-century, there won’t be a single voting machine operating in Douglas County during a primary election.
The Record-Courier reported the first voting machines arrived in the county in July 1972, replacing the paper ballots that had been used for more than a century.
While an in-person election center will be open at the historic Douglas County Courthouse, there won’t be any way for voters to directly input their votes.
Voters will be able to drop off their ballots in person instead of by mail. Voters who register, or change their party or address online between May 21 and June 4, will be able to pick up a replacement ballot by showing their identification. The election center will also permit people to register to vote and will provide them with a provisional ballot.
“The main thing to remember is that there is no in-person voting, only in-person registration with provisional ballot voting,” Election Administrator Dena Dawson said. “The way to vote in this election, for registered voters, is by marking and returning the ballot you were mailed.”
She said that if a resident didn’t receive their ballot in the mail they can check their voter registration record by visiting GoVoteDouglas.com or contacting the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office, which will mail a out a ballot.
According to the office, 18 percent of Douglas voters cast a ballot by mail in the 2018 General Election.
Dawson said clerks will be mailing out ballots starting next week and continuing through June 2 as people register to vote.
“There are very limited reasons that require voters to appear in-person to pick-up, or vote a paper provisional ballot,” she said. “The majority of our voters will have their ballot mailed to them and be able to return it via USPS in the postage paid return envelope.”