Everything you need to know about voting early in Clark County


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.

Fri, Oct 16, 2020 (2 a.m.)

Clark County voters, many of whom were motivated to vote for change after two years of Republican Donald Trump’s presidency, turned out by the masses for the 14-day early voting window in 2018.

A record 310,842 residents voted early in Clark County to help usher in a new era of elected officials unlike any other era in state history. Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto ousted Dean Heller in the U.S. Senate, three of the state’s four congressional districts elected Democrats, and Democrats fell just one senator shy of having supermajorities in both houses of the Nevada Legislature.

Early voting for the 2020 general election begins Saturday with Nevadans again motivated to cast a ballot.

These are among the most consequential elections of our lifetime, staged in the wake of a summer marked by a global pandemic and an eruption of social justice protests. Every vote matters and local election officials anticipate a historic turnout.

Here’s everything you need to know about voting early:

Register to vote — it’s your civic duty!

The last day to register online to vote in the general election is Oct. 29. It takes only a minute or two and is as simple as going online. You can also register in person at polling places on Election Day or during early voting by bringing your Nevada driver’s license with you.

What about voting by mail?

Because of the pandemic, all voters were to have received a mail-in ballot in the mail last week. Properly fill out the ballot, seal it, sign it on the back and drop in the mail. As long as mail-in ballots are postmarked by Nov. 3 and received no later than seven days after the election, they will be counted. You can verify election officials received your ballot by using the county’s online tool.

Where are the early voting sites?

Here’s a list of where to vote early.

What should I do with the mail ballot if voting early?

Bring the mail ballot to the early voting site. You’ll turn that in before casting a vote, or sign an affidavit saying you aren’t voting twice. You can also turn in your completed ballot to the polling worker, who will verify it was completed correctly. Drop-offs also will be accepted at all of the county’s 125 election centers on Election Day, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Staying safe during the pandemic

Elections officials have taken many precautionary steps to ease minds of those who want to vote in person. They include:

• Seating poll workers behind plexiglass barriers and requiring them to wear masks. All voters will be expected to also wear a mask; the county will provide masks to voters who show up without one.

• Spacing out voting machines and establishing 6 feet of space between voters standing in line.

• Providing hand sanitizer at voting centers, and sanitizing the surfaces of voting equipment between voters. Officials say voters can wear gloves, which will not impede the use of touch-screen voting machines.

• We urge residents to bring their own gloves, mask and hand sanitizer. And, if we are showing signs of COVID-19, stay home.

Be prepared to wait

In Georgia, the initial day of early voting brought a record 128,000 voters. Similar crowds are expected in other states, including Nevada. We recommend bringing a chair and something to stay entertained, whether that’s a book or a charged electronic device. Clark County officials say the best time to vote early is in the morning.

Are there limitations on poll workers or political operatives?

Poll workers are permitted to help voters if they’re having trouble casting their ballots, per the Nevada Voters’ Bill of Rights.

While there is not a state mandate for poll worker identification, counties generally require workers to wear identifying clothes. Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin said workers in Clark County would be identifiable. Election observers will also be clearly identified. Kulin said workers should not discuss candidates or their policy positions with voters.

Political operatives and campaign workers are required to stay 100 feet from voting areas if they are electioneering. Further than 100 feet is fair game for electioneering and other political campaigning, as long as there is no voter intimidation.

If voters see anything that concerns them, they can contact the secretary of state’s office (775-684-5708, [email protected]) or the Clark County elections office (702-455-8683, [email protected]).

For whom do I vote?

Here’s a list of the Sun’s endorsement.

More questions

For further questions, contact the Clark County elections office at 702-455-8683, [email protected].

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