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Election events, voting begins to heat up

By Steve Ranson Nevada News Group

Three weeks remain before voters head to the polls to cast their ballots for not only President of the United States but for also for a number of federal, state and county offices.

In between now and Nov. 3, events are beginning to increase in the Silver State including three in Churchill County today. Planning was still ongoing as of publication time and could be subject to change.

A separate luncheon requiring tickets begins the day at the Nevada Livestock Yard. Afterward at about 2 p.m., the second event open for the general public features Donald Trump Jr., along with Nevada Trump Campaign Chairman Adam Laxalt and U.S. Congressman Devin Nunes, who represents California’s 22nd congressional district. After the speakers, A Ranchers for Trump Live Cattle Auction and Rally will be conducted.

The Ranchers for Trump Live Cattle Auction and Rally comes on the heels of Candidates Night last week that included candidates running for school board and Churchill County Commission District 3. The Fallon Post, Lahontan Valley News and Lahontan Valley Broadcasting sponsored the two-hour Candidates Night at the historic Fallon Fraternal Hall & Community Center.

Fire Chief Jared Dooley spoke on County Question 1. The question asks voters to fund the purchase of major equipment items or repair existing equipment for the Fallon/Churchill Volunteer Fire Department. Dooley said residents will see no change in the tax if County Question 1 passes. The general election ballot also has five state questions.

For the commission seat, Kelli Kelly is the Democratic candidate and Gregory S. Koenig is the Republican candidate. The nonpartisan Churchill County School Board candidates are incumbents Phil Pinder, Tricia Strasdin and Kathryn Whitaker, and challengers Gregg Malkovich and Lee Tisdale.

Churchill County Clerk Linda Rothery said early voting begins Saturday in the commission chambers, 155 N. Taylor St., and will run through Oct. 30. She said social distancing and masks are  required.

Voting times on Saturday are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. On election day at the Fallon Convention Center, voting is from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Rothery said early pre-paid postage envelopes for mail-in ballots may be returned in the mail or dropped off at a secure box at the north end of the Churchill County Administrative Building. If returning by mail, she said ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received in her office on or before the seventh day after Nov. 3.

Rothery pointed out return envelopes must be signed for ballots to be counted. If voters do not receive a mail-in ballot or require a replacement ballot, she said they should contact the Churchill County Clerk’s office.

For further instructions, Rothery said voters should consult the Voter Information and Sample Ballot packet that was sent to registered voters.

The clerk’s office also received an inquiry from the Churchill County Republican Central Committee (CCRCC) on the number of rejected ballots. Rothery explained many of the rejected ballots occur because voters do not leave a forwarding address or have died.

The CCRCC suggested the rejected ballots should be held and not given to unauthorized people. Rothery, though, said her office needs to be aware of undeliverable ballots.

“Holding ballots that don’t belong to you is not helping my office clean up records,” she said in an email to the CCRCC. “If anyone receives ballots for people who no longer live at your address or people that are deceased, please return them to my office.  The only reason these people are still on our voter rolls is because we have not been notified they moved or passed away.”

Rothery said anyone who receives a mail-in ballot addressed to a person who no longer lives at an address or has died, the current occupant can either write on the envelope “not at this address” or “return to sender” and mail it back or drop it off at the clerk’s office.