What you need to know about Nevada’s vote-by-mail primary election

absentee ballot
Nevada's 2020 general election will he held by mail. Active registered voters should automatically receive their ballots in their mailboxes by mid-October.
absentee ballot
Nevada’s 2020 primary election will he held by mail. Registered voters will automatically receive their ballots in their mailboxes.

Most Nevadans aren’t used to the election-by-mail process. Only one in 10 ballots during the last election cycle were cast via absentee ballots. But in response to concerns about vote centers being hotspots for the transmission of COVID-19, Nevada has moved to an all-mail system for the upcoming June 9 primary election.

Here’s what you need to know:

You (probably) don’t have to do anything to get a ballot: The Secretary of State has declared it an all-mail primary, meaning people do not have to do anything to receive an absentee ballot. If you are a registered voter in Clark County, a ballot will be sent to the address on file. If you live in another county, you need to be an active registered voter to receive a ballot. (Voters are labeled inactive if the voter registration card sent at the beginning of even-numbered calendar years is returned to the county election office by the Postal Service as being undeliverable.)

You should receive your ballot in your mailbox by May 16. Election officials say all registered voters should receive their ballots by May 16. Large counties will stagger out sending their ballots, so don’t be alarmed if someone you know has received theirs while you haven’t. If you haven’t received your ballot by May 16, then you should check your voter information. It may be incorrect.

Make sure your voter registration is up to day by May 21. You have until May 21 to update your voter information online (or register to vote) and still receive a mail-in ballot. You can update your voter information at mailitinnevada.com/voter-registration/ or registertovotenv.gov/

You’ll have to vote in-person if you miss the May 21 deadline. If you miss the May 21 deadline for updating your voter information online, you can still update your voter information online until June 4. However, you will not have a ballot mailed to you, so you will have to pick up your ballot in person. Physical options will be limited but there will be at least one in each county (and three in Clark County).

You can get a replacement ballot, if needed. If you need a replacement mail-in ballot because your dog ate the first one you received or because you accidentally threw it out with the junk mail, you have until June 2 to request a new one. You have to make that request directly with your county voting office.

Clark County I Voted Sticker
Clark County’s mail ballots include their award-winning “I Voted” sticker.

Submitting your ballot is easy. Primary election day is Tuesday, June 9, so your completed ballot must be postmarked by that date. However, voters are encouraged to complete it early. Each ballot comes with a prepaid return envelope, so you can just fill out your ballot, sign the envelope and return it in your outbox. You can also drop it off at a designated physical location, if you prefer. In Clark County, there will also be several deputized ballot collectors, but the details on them aren’t known yet.

If you make a mistake, you can probably correct it. If the county has a problem processing your ballot, someone will reach out to you to try and correct the issue. Common errors include forgetting to sign the ballot, or signing with a signature that doesn’t match what’s on file with the county election office. You should receive a letter notifying you of the error and how to fix it. The election office may also reach out via email or phone, if you have provided that information to your county.

You should vote! Voter turnout during primaries is dismal.

More information is available at MailItInNevada.com. Information specific to Clark County is available at ClarkCountyNV.gov/vote. Information specific to Washoe County is available at washoecounty.us/voters/

April Corbin Girnus
April Corbin Girnus is an award-winning journalist with a decade of media experience. She has been a beat writer at Las Vegas Sun, a staff writer at LEO Weekly, web editor of Las Vegas Weekly and a blogger documenting North American bike share systems’ efforts to increase ridership in underserved communities. An occasional adjunct journalism professor, April steadfastly rejects the notion that journalism is a worthless major. Amid the Great Recession, she earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. She later earned an M.A. in media studies and a graduate certificate in media management from The New School for Public Engagement. April currently serves on the board of the Society of Professional Journalists Las Vegas pro chapter. A stickler about municipal boundary lines, April enjoys teaching people about unincorporated Clark County. She grew up in Sunrise Manor and currently resides in Paradise with her husband, two children and three mutts.