Information on Nevada's 2020 Primary Election

Nevada is trying to conduct its June 9 primary election almost entirely by mail as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, with limited options to vote in person. On May 11, The Nevada Independent interviwed Wayne Thorley, deputy secretary of state for elections, in a Facebook Live town hall. Below are some of his answers. You can find the full article by The Nevada Independent here. 

For more information on the mail-in voting process, visit www.mailitinnevada.com

Click here to find information on your county's election department, including locations of early vote and Election Day vote centers. 

Click here to find the 2020 Primary AFSCME Local 4041 Endorsements. 

Q&A on the voting process from The Nevada Independent: 

Why is this primary election being conducted by mail-in voting?

The secretary of state, in a partnership with the 17 county election officials, made the decision back in late March to conduct this election by all mail as a response to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic at the time. The secretary of state’s office and the counties work together cooperatively in all matters related to elections.

How does mail-in voting work? 

It’s a simple five-step process. First you receive your ballot and open it. Read the instructions. All ballots will come with instructions.

Review and mark your ballot. Then, insert your ballot into the privacy sleeve, and then put it back into the ballot return envelope. Seal it, sign it, and then send it back to your county election official. 

Every ballot comes with a postage prepaid ballot return envelope, and the ballot return envelope was also pre-addressed to your county election official.

So it really is as simple as marking your ballot. Putting it in your ballot return envelope, signing your ballot return envelope, and then sending it back to your county election official at no cost to you. 

That’s important to remember — to sign your ballot return envelope. There’s a clearly identified spot on your ballot return envelope where you’ll sign the ballot.

We use that signature, once we get the ballot back, to match against the signature we have on file for you, to make sure to verify your identity and that it is actually you who voted that ballot. Once we get the ballots in, all ballots are scanned by a machine. We have scanners in all the counties that will scan your ballots.

If the machine can’t read your ballot, it kicks it out over to a bipartisan review team of what we call adjudicators. And they review your ballot to determine the voter’s intent.

What do you do if you make a mistake on your ballot or you fill it in incorrectly?

If you make a mistake and you vote for the incorrect candidate, you can simply cross out that selection and then clearly mark the candidate that you do intend to vote for. Do not use a whiteout or correction fluid or tape on your ballot. Just simply cross out the errant mark and clearly mark the candidate.

If you spill something on it or rip it, or you just simply misplace it, we can send you a replacement ballot. If you need a replacement ballot, you can contact your county election official and they will send you a replacement ballot. 

You’ll need to do that by June 2, however. If you need a ballot after June 2, you’ll need to go vote in person at one of our in-person polling locations.

When can a person return their ballot after they received it?

By now, all the counties have put their ballots in the mail. Most voters across the state have already received their ballot. If you have not received your ballot, please contact your county election official.

But if you’ve already got your ballot and you are ready to vote your ballot, you can go ahead and mark your ballot, put it in the ballot return envelope and return it right away. You do not have to wait until closer to the election to return your ballot. 

Since we’re mailing everybody a ballot, will in-person voting still be available? And what will in-person voting be like?

Yes, in-person voting will be available for the June 9 primary election. In-person voting will also be available during the early voting period and on Election Day, which is June 9.

Early voting starts on May 23 and goes through June 5. Although in-person voting is available, we encourage everybody to vote by mail and use their prepaid ballot return envelope to cast their ballot. In-person voting really is designed for those that have no other option to participate in the election and need to vote in person.

The way in-person voting will work, for the vast majority of voters, it’ll be just like voting your mail ballot. 

You will go to the polling place. They will issue you a paper ballot. You will mark your paper ballot, and then you will drop that ballot off in a ballot dropbox. There will not be voting machines in any of the counties except Washoe County.

Voters in Washoe County when they vote in person will use the voting machine that all voters in the state are used to. Voters in all the other counties, when they vote in person, it will be very similar to the mail-in process. 

There’ll be a paper ballot that’ll be issued to you and you will mark that ballot and then drop it in the ballot box.

How will the polling locations be set up to ensure that people can vote while minimizing the risk of the spread of COVID- 19? 

All the in-person polling locations will be set up in a way to maintain social distancing. And the election workers will also be utilizing personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves to keep themselves safe.

We encourage in-person voters to wear masks and to also practice good hygiene themselves by washing their hands, and hand sanitizer will be available. We will be cleaning hard surfaces frequently and disinfecting them.

Again, the best way to vote in this election, and the safest way to vote is by mail. You avoid any lines at the polling place, and you don’t potentially risk spreading COVID-19 or contracting the virus yourself. 

The in-person process for most voters will be no different than the mail process. So if you’re looking for an alternative to the mail process, you won’t find that at in-person voting in any of the counties except in Washoe County. It’ll be the paper process. 

How can voters with disabilities vote in this election?

The goal of all election officials is to make sure that all voters can vote independently and privately. However, we know some voters have difficulty hand-marking a paper ballot without assistance, and we want voters to be able to vote privately without assistance, if they so choose.

Voters with a disability can use our online ballot delivery tool to request and to receive and mark their ballot. And the way they do that is to go to our effective absentees system for elections, website or nvease.gov.

And voters with disability can receive and mark their ballot using our online ballot delivery portal.