Secretary of State Ross Miller has issued a letter warning officials in eight rural Nevada counties not to shut down early voting on Nevada Day.
Miller said, historically, the final day of early voting has the highest turnout other than election day.
By statute, early voting ends the Friday before the election but, this year, that falls on October 31, Nevada Day, and eight county clerks have advised his office they will be closed for the holiday because of budget considerations.
"I believe Nevada law mandates permanent polling locations to remain open on Nevada Day despite the fact it is a state holiday," he wrote in letters to county commission chairmen in Churchill, Esmeralda, Eureka, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Nye and Pershing counties.
"Already this year, Nevada has experienced a record number of new voter registrations," Miller said. "In light of this and because Nevada is targeted as a battleground state, I expect a record turnout for the November election."
He said as the state's chief elections officer, he has instructed all county clerks and registrars to be open for business on Friday, October 31.
But Miller said if those counties can't, his office will pay the costs to operate polling places on Nevada Day.
Asking county officials to direct their clerks to be open for voters that day, Miller concluded, "it is in the best interest of the state to afford our citizens the opportunity to cast their ballot in this upcoming election."
Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.