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Voting by mail: Questions and concerns

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Photo: Pixabay(WLUC)
Published: May. 26, 2020 at 6:07 PM PDT
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We know what to expect when we vote. A polling place manned by veteran workers, perhaps the same familiar faces we saw last time around.

It's hard to do this and observe proper social distancing and there's concern about the voting public and those poll workers, many of them in an at-risk category.

"Back in March, many of our poll workers were telling us they were concerned about working this election," says Wayne Thorley, the Deputy Secretary of State for Elections.

So, the decision was made to put the emphasis on voting by mail for this primary.

There's nothing new about the process. We've been doing it for more than a hundred years. It's how Nevadans living elsewhere, those serving in the military have been voting. Those in some rural precincts have always done it and those who for whatever reason just prefer it that way have long had the option.

But usually only about 10 percent of us vote this way. So it will be new for the rest of us. New things cause confusion and, let's face it, there's been no lack of misinformation.

Individual viewers have told us they have doubts. What to do if they didn't receive a ballot? (They can ask for another, but only one will be counted. That's what those bar codes are for.)

How secure is the vote? What about the suggestion that it may allow for fraud?

There are, in fact, the same sort of safeguards present at the traditional polling place. You can't just pick up a discarded ballot off the ground and send it in. It can only be received in its envelope, signed by you.

And, yes, there are checks within the state and beyond to catch anyone who tries to vote in more than one location. Though very rare, it happens. People are caught and prosecuted.

If you still want to, you can still vote in person. Early voting runs through June 4th and there will be one polling place in each county open on election day June 9th.

But the hope is you'll chose to put it in the mail. To count, it should be postmarked no later than election day and received within the week following.

It will be a new experience for many of us, but there's hope it will have at least one positive impact. Typically turnout for Nevada primaries is low, around 20 percent. From early returns, Thorley thinks it may be closer to 30 percent due to the outreach efforts and the ease of voting by mail.

If you still have questions, you'll find answers on a

the Secretary of State has set up.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020

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