Primary voting changes made after Democratic Party complaint

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John Locher / AP

In this Feb. 15, 2020, file photo, people wait in line at an early voting location at the Culinary Union’s workers hall in Las Vegas.

Tue, May 5, 2020 (4:23 p.m.)

The Clark County Registrar is making some changes to June primary voting procedures in response to a lawsuit filed by Democratic organizations.

Registrar Joe Gloria agreed to send mail-in ballots to all registered voters rather than only active voters, operate three in-person polling locations in the county instead of just one and strengthen the ballot signature verification process.

Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, a Republican, announced in April that the primary would be conducted mainly through mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Democratic organizations, including the Nevada State Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee, filed the lawsuit, which has now been dropped, against the Secretary of State’s Office.

Democratic spokespeople said they wanted to ensure there were enough safe options for voters to cast their ballots.

A single in-person polling site would create a bottleneck and problems maintaining proper social distancing, Daniel Bravo, a lawyer for the state Democratic Party said.

“Nevada’s other county elections departments should follow Clark County's lead to ensure nobody has to choose between their health and their right to vote,” the plaintiffs said in a statement.

Nevada’s primary election is June 9, with state legislative and congressional races, among others, on the ballot.

The plaintiff’s statement said while adding two polling sites “should suffice for a low turnout primary, it is wholly inadequate to serve Clark County voters in the general election.”

Primary turnout was 23% of active voters in 2018 and 18.5% in 2016.

The Republican National Committee and Nevada Republican Party petitioned to intervene in the lawsuit in favor of the secretary of state’s voting plan, claiming Democrats were trying to force Cegavske to skirt election law.

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