Nevada to conduct its June primaries via mail-in ballots due to coronavirus

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Wade Vandervort

Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske attends Table Top the Vote 2018, a national election cyber exercise hosted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, Cegavske announced that voting in the June 2020 primary elections in Nevada would be conducted via mail because of the coronavirus outbreak

Tue, Mar 24, 2020 (7:20 p.m.)

Voting in Nevada’s June 9 primary elections will be conducted primarily via the mail due to the coronavirus, the secretary of state’s office announced Tuesday.

“Because of the many uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the immediate need to begin preparations for the 2020 primary election, it became necessary for me to take action regarding how the election will be conducted,” Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske said in a statement.

Cegavske made the decision in partnership with election officials in all 17 of Nevada’s counties. The June primaries involve congressional, legislative and judicial contests in both the Democratic and Republican parties.

All active registered voters in the state will received an absentee ballot in the mail ahead of the primary, Cegavske said. Voters will not need to request a ballot to receive one.

Voters can mark their ballot at home, and return it by mail or drop it off at a designated county location. The mail-in option is free of charge.

Absentee ballots must be dropped off in person or postmarked by Election Day and must be received no later than seven days after Election Day to be counted.

In the statement announcing the decision, the secretary of state’s office said the majority of Nevada’s poll workers fell into groups with a high risk of severe illness should they be exposed to the coronavirus.

There will be one in-person polling location per county, the office said, due to same-day voter registration and any potential issues that arise with the mail-in ballot.

Other states, including Georgia, Louisiana, Kentucky and Maryland, have postponed primary elections either for presidential or congressional contests.

Gov. Steve Sisolak, in a Tuesday evening press conference, said that Cegavske had called him when she made the decision. Sisolak said the decision to conduct the mail-in voting was unanimous among Cegavske and the county election officials.

“I will respect her decision as it relates to that,” Sisolak said.

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