Getting ready to vote? Sign the envelope and mail it early

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Nevada State Senators, from left, David Parks, D-Las Vegas; Pat Spearman, D-Las Vegas; Melanie Schiebel, D-Las Vegas; Dallas Harris, D-Las Vegas, using photo prop envelopes, remind everyone they must sign their ballot envelopes correctly for ballots to be valid. The lawmakers urge voters to mail far in advance of the Nov. 3 deadline, due to issues with delayed mail delivery. Ballots can also be dropped o at early polling locations, into designated, locked drop boxes, thus avoiding the post o ce entirely. Each registered voter should be receiving ballots in the mail. To check your registration, go online to https://Vote.org. Photo by Tonya Harvey/Las Vegas Spectrum

Vote early and vote often was a popular phrase uttered in Chicago before elections, but it was intended as tongue-in-cheek.

President Donald Trump and the GOP have thrown a verbal monkey wrench into the election process this year by challenging the legitimacy of elections held in Nevada and other states where there is mail-in voting. Nevada takes it a step further than other states for Nov. 3rd’s election by automatically mailing ballots to registered voters rather than waiting for a request.

Trump had urged voters in North Carolina who vote by mail to also go vote in person on election day to make sure their vote counts. He later changed that to checking on whether their mail-in vote was processed.

Double voting is a felony and would be caught by Clark County computer systems that tally whether someone’s vote was counted by mail or in person. Nevada has also survived legal challenges to the legitimacy of the state’s first-time mail-in voting for a general election.

Whether people vote by mail or in person, they are urged to vote early to overcome delays in processing mail by the U.S. Postal Service and any long lines on election day. Clark County will have more than 100 voting centers but that’s fewer voting locations than normal because of COVID-19. Ballots must be postmarked by election day and received by Nov. 10th and filled out to instructions provided by the county or risk being voided.

Clark County will have 35 voting early voting sites between Oct. 17th and 30th. People can also drop in their mail-in ballot at the early voting sites listed on your sample ballot or go to https://cms8.revize.com/revize/clarknv/Election%20Department/EVSched-20Gen.pdf?t=1600279795717&t=1600279795717

There is same-day registration at the early voting sites and on election day for those miss the option online at www.registertovotenv.gov.

Nevada State Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, said he believes “everything is under control” and expects a smooth election process this fall. “I think Nevada is in good shape,” Parks said.

Parks is encouraging people to mail in their ballots early and vote in person if they have a concern their ballot might not be received and processed in time. If they do vote by mail, Parks said people shouldn’t wait until the week of the election to turn it in.

Parks said mailers sent to the public from the U.S. Postal Service should be ignored since they provide misleading information, including that people should request a ballot. They are sent one automatically.

Annette Magnus, executive director of the Institute for a Progressive Nevada (PNN) and Battle Born Progress (ProgressNow Nevada Action), said she’s excited and expects a good election and isn’t worried about voter intimidation or any breakdown in the system.

“We have a fabulous Registrar of Voters in Clark County in Joe Gloria,” Magnus said. “He does a fantastic job. If someone votes twice like the President has told them to do that is a felony and that will be prosecuted. I would highly suggest people not do that. Don’t break the law.”

Magnus called the voting systems in place safe and effective. There are so many options for people to vote, and that only helps the process, she said.
“We ranked them by the order of the way we would like to see them do it,” Magnus said. “Voting by mail is the easiest to vote right now. The system is safe. They should do that if they can.”

When voters receive their mail-in ballot at home, they don’t have to mail it in but can drop it off at designated locations in Clark County, Magnus said.

“In addition to that, you have early in-person voting, and then you have election day voting,” Magnus said. “I would not wait until election day because we don’t know what the lines are going to be like. So my suggestion is vote early and get your ballot in.”

Magnus said people will have the ability to track their ballots to ensure Clark County received them. That information will be on the ballots, she said.
“If they are going to drop them off in the mail, I would suggest they do it early just so there’s no problem with the mail,” Magnus said. “I would not wait until election day to put it in the mail or you can drop it off. Either option is good.”
Magnus said the biggest concern about people sending in mail-in ballots is that they forget to sign them. The county will check those signatures with those on file with the election’s department.

“It was a problem during the primary, and the election’s department does chase those ballots down to try and get a signature for them,” Magnus said. “If they come in without a signature or if people don’t read the instructions as they are marking that ballot, that could void them.”

The county will contact the voter if there are problems that need to be cured as long as voter registration and contact information is up to date, Magnus said.
Voters should update any change of address online with Clark County to ensure they get a ballot by mail because they’re not forwarded, Magnus said.

Here is a list of election day vote centers where people can also drop off their ballots: https://cms8.revize.com/revize/clarknv/Election%20Department/VC-Web-20G.pdf?t=1600279795717&t=1600279795717.

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