Preparations underway for General Election |

Preparations underway for General Election

A quarter cent sales tax going on the ballot in November would be used to purchase open space easements on Douglas County land.
Kurt Hildebrand

Proponents of a quarter-cent sales tax are hoping that voters in November cast ballots in the same proportion that the Minden Town Board did on Wednesday.

The Town Board voted 4-1 to endorse the proposal which would raise nearly $2 million a year for the purchase of open space easements.

The question is one of several on the November ballot that could turn up in voters’ mail boxes as early as the first week of October.

Under a new law passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor this week, the General Election will be mostly by mail, but the law allows one polling place for early voting and at least one and perhaps more on Nov. 3 for Election Day.

The Douglas County Clerk-Treasurer’s Office is still working out the logistics on where polling places might be. Typically, the Douglas County Courthouse serves as the main early voting location.

The primary election was conducted entirely by mail, with a site open where the clerk’s office could collect ballots, register new voters and provide provisional ballots.

According to the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office, 38,304 ballots were mailed out in May and they received 18,297 back, resulting in a 47.7 percent turnout.

They also had 3,694 ballots returned as undeliverable. Some of those were returned because ballots can’t be forwarded to a new address, so the clerk’s office sent out follow-up notices which can be forwarded to those voters to find out where they were.

Election Administrator Dena Dawson said that resulted in the number of inactive voters jumping from 3,002 to 5,625. Inactive voters may still cast a ballot by going to the clerk’s office or going online to check their registration.

“If those voters did not respond to that card within 30 days, we are required to inactivate their record,” Dawson said. “Inactive voters are still eligible voters. If they do not update their records and fail to vote in the next two consecutive Federal Elections, we’ll cancel their voter registration records. Of course, this is all mandated by the National Voter Registration Act policy.”

The new law specifies that ballots only be sent to Douglas County’s 36,015 active voters as of July 31.

The clerk’s office is preparing for a 90-percent plus turnout in the General Election, which is almost typical of a presidential election year.