The 2021 Legislature made dozens of changes in how Nevada conducts elections this coming year, the impacts of which Nevada’s election officials are still sorting out.
Mark Wlaschin, elections deputy in the Secretary of State’s office, said a total of 10 pieces of legislation were approved and signed by Gov. Steve Sisolak. One key rule that remains from the last election cycle is that every active registered voter will receive a mail-in ballot in both the primary and general election unless he or she opts out.
The “opt out” or mail ballot preference form he said is on the secretary’s website at www.sosnv.gov or at https://www.churchillcounty.org/448/Register-to-Vote. That form must be submitted at least 60 days before the primary, which would be by April 15, and by Sept. 9 for the general election. Voters can also ask to permanently opt out of receiving a mail-in ballot.
Voters can also register to vote anytime including on election day. In addition, voters who register late will vote a provisional ballot instead of a full ballot.
During the last election, the first-time mail-in ballots were sent to every active voter, some people reported receiving more than one ballot or ballots for former residents of their address. Wlaschin said when a second ballot is sent to a residence, the barcode on the first ballot is automatically canceled.
Some people received ballots intended for prior residents of the address. Most people tore them up, but Wlaschin said that just perpetuates the problem. He requested that anyone getting ballots at their residence that aren’t for them print “Return to Sender. Not at this address” on the envelope. That way the ballot will get back to the clerk and the issue will get fixed.
Wlaschin said the most important thing they can tell voters right now is to check their registration to ensure the address is correct.
For those who have already visited the Department of Motor Vehicles, he said voters should also check their party registration. Originally, the new DMV voter registration would automatically seek to register customers to vote but if they didn’t specify a political party, it would put them in the nonpartisan list. Churchill County is making the effort to ensure voters stay registered with the party of their choice so that doesn’t happen.
Wlaschin said the state also found a “work around” to make sure that doesn’t happen. But he said some people have already gone through the DMV process and may have been converted to nonpartisan without their knowledge. He urged voters to check their registration and make sure the address and party affiliation are correct. Check your registration at https://www.nvsos.gov/votersearch/.
The General Election date next year is Nov. 8. The primary date again changed as it has for several cycles. The primary will be held June 14. Early voting for the primary runs from May 28 and ends June 10. The polls will be closed Memorial Day. Early voting for the General Election runs Oct. 22 through Nov. 4 and the polls will be open Nevada Day.
People who receive a mail-in ballot but later decide they want to vote in person can simply bring the mail-in ballot with them to the polling place and turn it in. Those who don’t will have to sign an affidavit promising not to vote twice. Voting more than once is a felony.
The polling place in Churchill County is the Fallon Convention Center.
Voters who are going to be out of town must advise the clerk’s office know because mail-in ballots cannot be forwarded. Wlaschin said opting out of receiving a mail ballot actually saves the counties money. Ballots cost $1.46 apiece in the last election but he said that price has doubled or more this cycle.
One change sought by college students didn’t make it through the Legislature this year. Student IDs are still good for identification purposes but not for voter registration. Supporters sought the change to allow the large percentage of Nevada’s university students from neighboring states to vote.
Offices that will be up for election in 2022 in Churchill County include the following:
US Representative in Congress, District 2
Secretary of State
State Senate, District 16
State Assembly, District 38
Supreme Court Justice, Seat A
Supreme Court Justice, Seat E
Court of Appeals Judge, Department 1
Court of Appeals Judge, Department 2
Court of Appeals Judge, Department 3
Fallon, Churchill County
School Trustees, four seats
Churchill County Assessor
Churchill County Clerk-Treasurer
Churchill County District Attorney
Churchill County Sheriff
Churchill County Recorder
Churchill County Commissioner (District 2)
Churchill County Public Administrator
Fallon City Council, Wards 1 and 3
Mosquito, Vector and Noxious Weed Abatement Board
Filing dates for all offices will take place March 7-18.
Check your voter registration here: https://www.nvsos.gov/votersearch/
Register to vote here: www.RegisterToVoteNV.gov
Mail Ballot Preference form (opt-out): https://www.churchillcounty.org/448/Register-to-Vote
Also available at www.sosnv.gov.