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6 things you need to know about early voting

Updated October 17, 2020 - 7:00 am

Early voting is underway and continues until Oct. 30 at 31 long-term sites around Clark County. An additional 17 temporary locations are open on various days during the early voting period.

Here’s a list of six things you need to know if you are planning to cast your vote early.

1. It’s all on computers now. Unlike the primary election, in-person early voting for the general election will be conducted entirely on electronic machines, not paper ballots. When you come to the polls, you will sign in on a tablet computer, and once your signature is verified, you will be given a card to insert into the voting machine, where you will make your choices. When you are done voting, a printer will show you your selections for verification.

2. Study up before you go to the polls. This is the longest ballot that Clark County voters have ever seen, with dozens of judicial races and five constitutional amendments in addition to Congress, Legislature, School Board and other offices. It’s important to study your sample ballot before going to the polls, or you might be there for a long time. It’s OK to mark your choices on your sample ballot and take that with you as a reference when casting your vote.

Related: Review-Journal Voter Guide 2020

3. Please wear a mask! No one will be turned away from the polls if they refuse to wear a mask, but election officials strongly encourage voters to wear one. They have taken steps to protect every person who decides to vote in person, including plexiglass shields, offering masks to those who show up without one, and cleaning every voting machine after each voter has used it. In some cases, those without masks will be directed to socially distanced voting machines, and their wait may be longer than usual.

4. There may be lines. Elections officials say they expect lines on the first couple of days of early voting, and again on the final day, so plan accordingly. (The length of the ballot and coronavirus safety measures may make voting a slightly longer process than usual.) The best bet for skipping the crowds is to go on a weekday during business hours.

There are, however, hacks to beat the lines. The county will have a feature accessible by mobile phone on the elections department website that will provide estimated wait times for early voting sites. And a company called NowCrowd has an app in which employees will monitor wait times at most early voting sites and provide users real-time waiting times, complete with photos and videos, updated at least once per hour.

5. You should bring your mail ballot with you, although it’s not required. Under a new law, every active registered voter will receive a ballot in the mail for this election. If you decide to vote in person, bring your mail ballot with you to the polls so you can surrender it there. If you forget it or didn’t get one, it’s all right, but officials will ask you to sign an electronic form that says you won’t vote in person and by mail. (Voting twice in the same election is a felony.) Once you vote in person, your mail ballot will be canceled anyway.

Related: Review-Journal endorsements for the 2020 election

6. What else you should bring. You generally won’t need to show identification to vote. But if you are registering to vote for the first time, you will need to bring a Nevada picture ID with you to the polls. And if the address on your driver’s license or ID card is out of date, you will need to bring proof of residency, such as a utility bill.

More questions about the 2020 election? Check out the Review-Journal’s comprehensive election Q&A online.

Contact Steve Sebelius at SSebelius@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0253. Follow @SteveSebelius on Twitter.

Clark County Early Voting 2020 by SteveSebelius on Scribd

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