Mail-in ballots to vote in the upcoming election are starting to arrive in Carson City voters' mailboxes.
The ballots are being mailed to all registered voters no later than Oct. 14 and can be returned via mail or at designated drop-off locations.
But, voters still have the option of voting in person instead during a two-week early voting period starting Oct. 17 or on Nov. 3, election day.
The changes to the process are due to the ongoing coronavirus public health crisis. Assembly Bill 4, legislation on election procedures during a state of emergency passed in the 32nd Special Session of the Nevada Legislature in August, outlines it.
The new procedures, similar in states nationwide, mean the outcome of the election may not be certain for days after election day.
In Nevada, ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 will be accepted for up to seven days after the election. (Voters hand delivering their ballots must do so by election day.)
“Due to the extended period of accepting mail ballots and signature cures, official election results will be canvassed on Nov. 16,” by the Board of Supervisors, said Aubrey Rowlatt, Carson City Clerk-Recorder.
Voters using their mail-in ballots to vote can mail them in or drop them off at one of three locations: the Clerk-Recorder’s Office, 885 E. Musser St., Suite 1025, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week or during polling hours after Oct. 17; to Fuji Park, 601 Old Clear Creek Road, where a drop-off box in the east parking lot will be staffed by election workers during polling hours; or the Community Center, 851 E. Musser St., on the east side of the building, during polling hours.
Early in-person voting starts Oct. 17, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and continues Oct. 19-23, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Oct. 24, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Oct. 26-30, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Voting on election day, Nov. 3, is from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Voters can track their ballots online using BallotTrax. Sign up at www.carson.org/elections. Voters can also call the Clerk’s office at 775-887-2087 to find out if their ballot has been received.
The Clerk’s office can begin scanning ballots 15 days prior to the election, but those ballots are not tallied until election day.
“Nothing is Internet connected,” said Rowlatt. “The unofficial results are downloaded from the tabulation computer onto a memory stick which is taken to a different computer and uploaded to the Secretary of State’s secured site. The election tally computer has no Internet connectivity and neither does any of the voting equipment.”
All in-person voting will take place at the Community Center gymnasium, starting at the southeast entrance and moving into the Ponderosa Room for check in.
“Voters appearing to vote in-person should expect long lines and wait times as all voters must initially go through the information table,” said Rowlatt.
In-person voters are not required to have their mail ballot in hand to surrender, but will be required to sign an affirmation that they have not and will not vote their mail ballot and staff will reject the previously-issued mail ballot.
Voters who did not receive a mail ballot must check-in to confirm that their voter registration is current. Same-day registrations will also be handled at the information table, said Rowlatt.
Masks are encouraged but not required and all staff will be wearing masks or face shields.
“Additionally, voting machines will be sanitized between each use and six-feet of social distancing will be enforced,” she said.
The city is providing free service on its Jump Around Carson buses during early and election day voting. The buses are routinely cleaned and sanitized, said Lucia Maloney, transportation manager.
“All service on all routes will be free, regardless of voting or not,” said Maloney. “For riders that qualify, our door-to-door paratransit service, JAC Assist, will also be free.”