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Nevada primary shifts to mail-in, national Democratic Convention pushed back

By Don Dike Anukam

Feature Image: Ty O’Neil

Nevada’s primary election, scheduled for June 9, will be a mail-in primary only this year due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske made the announcement March 24, adding that there would be just one physical vote-in-person location in each county as well. The decision was based on protecting the health of voters, but also that of poll workers, who Cegavske noted were largely part of a higher-risk population for COVID-19.

Wayne Thorley, Deputy Secretary of State for Elections, said in a statement:

“All active registered voters in Nevada will be mailed an absentee ballot for the primary election.  No action or steps, such as submitting an absentee ballot request application, will be required by individual voters in order to receive a ballot in the mail.  Voters will be able to mark their ballot at home and then return it by mail using a postage-prepaid envelope or by dropping it off in person at a designated county location.  This announcement applies only to the June 9, 2020 primary election.”

The pandemic has forced campaign and election officials to drastically alter their plans to comply with social distancing and shelter-in-place orders while ensuring voters the opportunity to cast their ballots. The Democratic National Convention Committee last week postponed its election year convention, moving it from July to the week of August 17 due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

“During this critical time, when the scope and scale of the pandemic and its impact remain unknown, we will continue to monitor the situation and follow the advice of health care professionals and emergency responders,” said Joe Solmonese, CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee. “I have always believed that American innovation and ingenuity shine brightest during our darkest days, and for that reason, I’m confident our convention planning team and our partners will find a way to deliver a convention in Milwaukee this summer that places our Democratic nominee on the path to victory in November.”

The party uses the convention to officially select their presidential candidate for the general election in November. Since the Nevada Democratic caucus in late February the Democratic race has winnowed to two last major contenders: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who took about 46 percent of Nevada’s votes and 24 delegates, and Former Vice President Joe Biden, who garnered about 20 percent of the support and 9 delegates. Since Nevada’s race Biden has taken a commanding lead securing 1,217 delegates, followed by Sanders with 914 delegates. A candidate must earn 1,991 delegates to earn the party’s nomination.

At this time no announcements or statements have been made in regards to moving or altering plans for the general election scheduled for Tuesday, November 3.

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