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Washoe County Mail-In Ballots Will Start Arriving Next Week

A man in a mask waves to someone off camera. There’s a sign in front of him that says, “Adopt a Polling Place.”
Trevor Bexon
Poll worker at the single in-person polling location in Washoe County on Primary Election Day on Tuesday, June 9. There were 20 early voting sites for the 2020 Primary.

Mail-in ballots will be sent to registered voters in Washoe County starting Monday, Oct. 5. KUNR's Lucia Starbuck has the latest updates from the Washoe County Registrar of Voters Office as this process gets underway.

Early voting in-person will take place from Oct. 17 to Oct. 30 and remain open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For Election Day, instead of having up to 90 locations, only 29 are available in Washoe County due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Voters also have the option of mailing their ballot or delivering it to a drop-off location. All ballots must be postmarked no later than Nov. 3.

Washoe County Registrar of Voters Deanna Spikula is defending the integrity of absentee ballots despite President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated claims that they lead to fraud.

“Everyone has their opinion,” Spikula said. “The only thing I can say, and what I want to reassure our citizens in Washoe County, is we have been doing absentee and mail-in ballots for quite some time. It’s [a] very efficient and secure way to vote.”

The president has also called on his supporters to be “poll watchers.” Spikula says her office supports poll observers and is working with the two major parties to organize these volunteers.

“We’re making sure that we're working with them to ensure that if an observer from each party wants to participate, that they will be allowed to,” Spikula said, “We may not be able to have as many people in the polling location depending on the location and the space we have.”

Spikula said her office appreciates poll observers because they are oftentimes helpful in notifying officials about concerns. And residents have stepped up. Washoe County requires about 800 poll workers, but 1,700 people have expressed interest.

What won’t be tolerated is voter intimidation or any obstruction of people casting their ballots.

Nevada's Attorney General Aaron Ford tweeted earlier in the week that voter intimidation is illegal and he will prosecute offenders. If it gets to that level, Spikula said local law enforcement will be called if needed.

Lucia Starbuck is a corps member with Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Lucia Starbuck is an award-winning political journalist and the host of KUNR’s monthly show Purple Politics Nevada. She is passionate about reporting during election season, attending community events, and talking to people about the issues that matter most to them.
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