In the home stretch: Early voting ends Friday, general election Tuesday at convention center
Time is ticking away for residents who want to vote early at the Churchill County Administration Complex.
Erin Montalvo of the Churchill County Clerk’s office said in-person early voting ends Friday at 6 p.m. Early voting hours for the final three days are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and she said social distancing and wearing a face covering are required.
“Anybody who’s in line at 6 p.m. gets to vote,” Montalvo said.
On the first day of voting on Oct. 17, a long line formed at 8:30 a.m., 90 minutes before doors opened, Montalvo said, however, long lines were expected on the first day. During the first week of early voting, Montalvo said 3,436 residents cast ballots, and another 2,841 had their mail-in ballots accepted. Montalvo said the unofficial number of voters indicates 2020 will have the highest total for early voting. The record for the general election was set in 2016 when 7,032 residents voted early.
As of Saturday, Montalvo broke down the numbers for accepted mail-in ballots: 975 Democrats, 1,172 Republicans and 694 Other. Republicans lead in-person voting with 2,410, and Other had 600. The Democrats finished the week with 426 early voters.
Churchill County records show 15,651 active voters, and about 40 percent have voted.
The general election on Tuesday is at the Fallon Convention Center from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Montalvo said because of the guidelines implemented due to the coronavirus pandemic, lines at the convention center must form outside. She said markers indicating social distancing will be placed along the lines.
“We’ll admit a number of voters at a time,” she said. “We’ll have six check-in tables in the lobby, and couples and families will be admitted at the same time.”
Montalvo said voting machines on the convention floor will require more spacing.
Additionally, Montalvo said mail-in ballots must be returned no later than Tuesday. A collection box is located at the north end of the county building and another in front of the main entrance on North Taylor Street. She added mail-in ballots must be postmarked no later than Tuesday, but she encourages voters to submit their mail-in ballots prior to Tuesday.
After polls close, Montalvo said the only results that will be released are for local offices and ballot questions. She said it will take more time to release district, state and federal results.
In Churchill County, voters will elect a new county commissioner to replace Carl Erquiaga, who is termed out. Democrat Kelli Kelly and Republican Greg Koenig are vying for the District 3 seat. The school board race features nonpartisan candidates Gregg Malkovich, Phil Pinder, Tricia Strasdin, Lee Tisdale and Kathryn Whitaker. Residents are being asked to consider County Question 1 that asks voters to fund the purchase of major equipment items or repair existing equipment for the Fallon/Churchill Volunteer Fire Department.