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Nevada’s primary election in June will be conducted by mail only

Updated March 24, 2020 - 7:41 pm

CARSON CITY — Nevada will follow other states in moving to mail-only balloting for its scheduled June 9 state primaries, another impact of COVID-19 on daily life.

The secretary of state’s office made the announcement Tuesday. Active registered voters will be mailed absentee ballots automatically, without making a request. Voters may mail completed ballots in postage-paid envelopes or drop them off at designated locations.

Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske said the action was necessary in response to the risks of COVID-19 infection and spread among crowds of people. In addition, the state was scheduled to begin training thousands of poll workers next week, and a majority of poll workers are from groups at high risk for severe illness, such as the elderly.

“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,” she said in a statement.

Elections officials will staff at least one in-person polling location per county on Election Day to process same-day voter registrations and help voters with ballot issues. These locations will be set up to “ensure the safety of voters and poll workers alike,” the secretary of state’s office said. In-person voting opportunities “will be extremely limited,” so voters are encouraged to register ahead of Election Day, the office said.

Voters also are encouraged to confirm their registrations are up to date. The website RegisterToVoteNV.gov is available to register online or make changes.

Absentee ballots are still due either in person by the time polls close on Election Day or, if mailed, be postmarked on that day. Voters who don’t sign their ballot or whose signature does not match the one on file with their county will be contacted and given seven days after the election to make corrections.

More information is available by contacting the Secretary of State’s Elections Division at 775-684-5705 or at nvelect@sos.nv.gov.

Multiple states are postponing both state and presidential primaries or modifying voting procedures through both legislative and executive action. Georgia’s presidential primary, scheduled for Tuesday, has been postponed until May 19.

Eleven states had presidential primaries scheduled in April, including six states on April 28. One of the latter states, Pennsylvania, was expected to move Tuesday to postpone its state and presidential primaries to June 2. Louisiana moved its state primary from April 4 to June 20. Alaska, Hawaii and Wyoming, also with April 4 Democratic primaries, have moved to vote-by-mail only.

The Democratic National Committee has set June 9 as the deadline for state presidential nominating contests ahead of the party’s scheduled convention in Milwaukee July 13-16. So far there are no plans to cancel the convention. DNC Chairman Tom Perez on March 17 urged states with upcoming primaries to expand options for early voting, vote by mail and absentee voting.

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Bill Dentzer at bdentzer@reviewjournal.com. Follow @DentzerNews on Twitter.

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