Washoe County Registrar of Voters Deanna Spikula on Monday said that her office has so far received some 42,000 mail-in ballots and that an additional 13,000 people have voted in person since early voting at polling locations opened on Oct. 17.
She advised voters that if they have not received their ballots yet and intend to vote by mail, they should reach out to her office immediately. Anyone who registered after Oct. 15 will not receive a mail-in ballot automatically. These people can call the registrar’s office to have one sent to them or show up in person at any one of 15 early voting polling places.
Voters with mail-in ballots can return those in the mail or drop them off at the registrar’s office, any of the 15 polling locations or any of an additional 15 ballot drop-off locations, which are also staffed.
Spikula said people with questions about voting can dial 311 to get answers to general questions or call her office at 775-328-3670.
As news of early voting poll watchers spreads from other states, some have wondered if Washoe County might see ostensible poll watchers intimidating voters. There have been poll watchers—at least two at each location—Spikula said. But these people have not been disruptive thus far. She said there is an “action plan” that was put into place in cooperation with the sheriff’s office and the Reno and Sparks police departments. Poll workers have been trained on how to handle poll watchers if they break the rules, the primary one of which is: They should be seen, not heard.
Asked about petitioners that have allegedly been seen at multiple polling locations walking the lines of people waiting, Spikula said this is not allowed. She said poll workers know to prohibit this behavior and noted that she believes the police have been called once on petitioners not obeying the rules.
The registrar’s office will begin tabulating the ballots it has received sometime early next week, Spikula said. Right now, workers are focusing on signature verification. Spikula said she doesn’t believe the volume of ballots received so far is great enough to need to begin scanning them now.