Mailed ballot count resumes today | RecordCourier.com
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Mailed ballot count resumes today

A poll worker sanitizes stations at the Douglas County Community Center on Tuesday evening just before the polls closed.
Kurt Hildebrand

As many as a seventh of Douglas County ballots have yet to be counted in the 2020 General Election.

In order to staff in-person voting on Election Day, the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office paused counting mailed ballots, leaving 3,384 in the hopper waiting to be counted.

“Plus we have everything that was returned in the mail or from all of the vote centers and drop boxes (Tuesday) that has to be processed,” Election Administrator Dena Dawson said. “At this time we do not have a complete count but we’ll be glad to share the numbers once we get all of the mail ballots through the signature verification process.”

There are also still another 460 same-day provisional ballots that have yet to be counted, pending confirmation of voters’ eligibility.

“We are now shifting all gears to the processing and counting of our mail ballots,” Dawson said. “Voters can track the status of their mail ballot at GoVoteDouglas.com and our office is open to anyone that wants to observe the process,”

The counting board plans to tackle all the mailed ballots that have yet to be counted.

The number of mailed ballots not counted on Tuesday exceeded the number of voters who turned out to the polls on Tuesday as Douglas posted a preliminary turnout of 72.88 percent.

For presidential elections, more than 90 percent of the county’s voters generally turn out.

According to figures released 10:45 p.m. Tuesday, 3,354 Douglas residents voted in person on Tuesday.

Around 200 people lined up for the opening of polls at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center on Tuesday. But after the initial enthusiasm died down, the polls were quiet with only a handful of voters still at the Gardnerville polling place at 6:45 p.m. Clerk-Treasurer Kathy Lewis said there were no lines at the end of the day.

According to the election summary report posted to the Clerk’s web site, 14,624 mailed ballots were counted, short of the 18,008 clerks reported accepting on Monday. That meant there is a 3,384-ballot difference. Turnout results were 72.88 percent as of Tuesday night, but that’s expected to increase as more ballots postmarked for Tuesday arrive in the mail over the next few days.

Lewis said the day went well and that voters were in a good mood.

“Things went very smoothly,” Lewis said as the clock ticked down to the final 10 minutes the polls were open.

The initial line at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center in Gardnerville when polls opened went down quickly and by lunch time people were able to walk right into the polling place without waiting outside.

“I think people were excited to vote how they wanted to vote and were generally in great spirits,” she said. “They were very complimentary of our processes, and of being able to vote and how smoothly it went.”

The hybrid election was made necessary by the coronavirus outbreak. The clerk-treasurer’s office mailed out 39,037 ballots to active voters on Sept. 24. They received 1,102 back as undeliverable.

The virus struck home for the clerk’s office when it was announced on Monday that someone working the election had tested positive.

“We would like to express our concern for the individual who tested positive and their family at this time, as their health is important to us.” Lewis said. “Part of our election plan for this year included planning for a potential COVID-19 exposure. Part of our planning included having adequately trained staff to successfully conduct in person voting on Election Day in the event that we had any type of exposure. We are confident that this will not affect the election process.”