About 6,700 Nevada primary ballots rejected over signatures


John Froschauer / Associated Press

In this March 10, 2020, file photo wearing gloves, a King County Election worker collect ballots from a drop box in the Washington State primary, in Seattle.

Published Wed, Jun 24, 2020 (2:03 p.m.)

Updated Wed, Jun 24, 2020 (8:26 p.m.)

About 6,700 ballots were not counted in this month's Nevada the primary election after officials could not match signatures on the ballots, according to the Nevada Secretary of State's Office.

The 6,749 uncounted ballots represented less than 1% of all ballots mailed to voters ahead of the June 9 primary, which was conducted mostly by mail.

Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske eliminated almost all polling places and instead opted to send absentee ballots to voters to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

In Clark County, the state's most populated, all registered voters received ballots after the Democratic Party filed a lawsuit challenging the procedures.

Elsewhere in the state, all “active” registered voters, generally those who participated in one of the last two federal elections, received ballots.

Despite the mailed ballots, thousands still showed up at the polls on Election Day, including people who said they never received ballots.

Statewide there were 12,366 ballots, or about 2.5% of all cast, that initially were rejected because of missing signatures or signature mismatches, Deputy Secretary of State for Elections Wayne Thorley said Wednesday.

Of those ballots, just under half were counted after election officials contacted voters and confirmed the ballots. The rest were not resolved and were not counted.

Officials sent a letter through U.S. mail to voters who needed a signature verified, Thorley said.

But if the signature needed to be verified by Friday after the election or later, they tried email or phone — but only if that information, optional to give when registering to vote, was on file. If that information wasn’t on file, the vote couldn’t be verified and not counted, he said.

Thorley that 252,776, or nearly 14% of all ballots that were mailed out were not cast and were returned to elections officials as undeliverable.

Thorley said voters who were sent ballots and showed up at the polls had their absentee ballots voided to avoid duplication.

He said there was a report of one voter in Clark County who tried to cast a vote in person after voting by mail. The voter was given a provisional ballot which was not counted because the mailed-in ballot was active in the system.

Sun reporter John Sadler contributed to this report.

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