LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The 2020 primary election will be a vote-by-mail election due to health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mail-in ballots provide Nevadans an accurate and valid way to vote this primary election from the comfort, safety and privacy of their own homes.
Runbeck Election Services, an election services company focused on delivering election printing, equipment, and software solutions, announced that 1.3 million ballots have been mailed to all Clark County registered voters for the upcoming primary election on June 9.
Runbeck Election Service was contracted by Clark County, Nevada, to handle the production of ballots for the all-mail primary election.
In an effort to reduce person-to-person contact amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske announced in late March that the June 9 primary election would be conducted by mail.
“Based on extensive conversations with Nevada’s 17 county election officials, we have jointly determined that the best option for the primary election is to conduct an all-mail election,” Secretary Cegavske had said in a prepared statement.
“We are proud to do our part to help ensure the health and safety of Clark County residents while maintaining confidence in the elections process,” said Kevin Runbeck, Chief Executive Officer for Runbeck Election Services.
Federal and state health officials have discouraged large gatherings of people to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Additionally, most volunteer poll workers fall into high-risk groups for severe complications from COVID-19.
This has led to many jurisdictions working to increase their vote-by-mail capacity in upcoming elections.
On Monday, May 11 at 3 p.m., Nevada voters had the opportunity to have their questions about the mail-in ballot process for the primary election answered by the Nevada Secretary of State’s office during a Facebook Live Q&A event.
Thorley explained the mail-in ballots process:
- Open your ballot and read the instructions
- Read options available and make your selections
- Put the ballot in the return envelope
- Sign ballot return envelope the in clearly identified spot
- Send it back
“If you make a mistake and vote for the incorrect candidate, cross out your original vote. Then, clearly mark the candidate you would like to choose,” said Thorley.
If a ballot is misplaced or damaged, replacement ballots are available. Requests for new ballots must be submitted by June 2.
Thorley explained the difference between active and inactive voters. An ‘active’ voter has a verifiable mailing address while an ‘inactive’ voter is someone who has likely moved. Those interested in voting can visit http://registertovoteNV.gov to check their voter registration status.
Inactive registered voters can still vote, explained Thorley, by making any necessary changes (i.e. address, party affiliation) online. Those changes must be made by midnight May 21 to receive a ballot in the mail. Voters who submit changes that are received after May 21 must go to polling location.
Registered voters who do not receive their ballot by May 18 are encouraged to call 702-455-VOTE (8683).
Thorley said anyone other than the voter themself is not allowed to return the ballot. If you cannot return your ballot by yourself in-person or by mail, you can let an authorized family member return it.
Mailing the ballot is safest way to enter your ballot in this election, according to Thorley.
The last day to register to vote or update voter information for the June 9 primary election is May 12, if registering by mail or May 21, if registering on the Secretary of State’s website at registertovotenv.gov.
Voters returning their completed ballots by mail must ensure the signed envelope is postmarked by June 9.
Ballots must be received by June 16 at 5 p.m. for them to be counted. Voters may also elect to drop off their completed ballots at any drop off location listed at clarkcountynv.gov.
Thorley adds, “If there is an issue with your primary ballot, your county election official will contact you about it.”
In-person voting will be available during the primary early voting period from May 23 to June 5, and on the day of the primary, June 9.
There will not be voting machines at polling locations. A paper ballot will be issued, filled out, then returned to ballot box
In-person voting locations will be set up in a way that encourages social distancing.
Polling volunteers will be wearing personal protective equipment and cleaning practices implemented. Voters encouraged to wear PPE as well.
He stressed that mail-in is the safest way to vote.
Regarding voters with disabilities, Thorley said they may use the online ballot delivery tool to receive and mark their ballot. Effective absentee ballots are also available at http://nvease.gov
Thorley said election results will be posted online the night of the primary, but they will still be counting days after, which results will be updated daily.
It may take up to 10 days after the primary election to have final election results.
Below are key dates leading up to the June 9, 2020 primary election:
- May 12 – Close of standard voter registration. This is the last day to register to vote or to update existing registration information by mail or at a voter registration agency (such as the Department of Motor Vehicles).
- May 21 – Last day to register to vote or update existing registration information online at www.RegisterToVoteNV.gov and be eligible to receive a mail-in ballot in the primary election.
- May 22 to June 4 – Those registering to vote or update existing registration online at www.RegisterToVoteNV.gov are eligible to vote in the 2020 primary election but must vote in person.
- May 23 to June 5 – In-person early voting is available in all counties. For the health and safety of voters and election workers, all voters are encouraged to vote by mail rather than in person.
- June 4 – Last day to register to vote or update existing registration information online at www.RegisterToVoteNV.gov and be eligible to participate in the 2020 primary election. After this date, voter registration will only be available on June 5 and June 9 at an in-person polling location.
- June 9 – PRIMARY ELECTION DAY – Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked by June 9, 2020. Ballots returned in person at a drop-off location must be received by 7:00 pm on June 9, 2020. Also, on this day, there will be limited in-person voting available for those who are not able to vote a mail ballot.