What does AB 321 mean for me?
Nevada’s Legislature and governor recently passed and signed into law AB 321, which helps protect our freedom to vote. Below are a few commonly-asked questions about what these new rules will mean for voters. Always refer to official sources, such as your local clerk’s office and the secretary of state’s office, for rules specific to your community.
BALLOTS AUTOMATICALLY MAILED
Local election officials will automatically mail active, registered Nevada voters a ballot with prepaid return postage for every election. You will receive your ballot in the mail at least 14 days before Election Day. This happened in the 2020 general election because of the pandemic, and will continue permanently because of AB 321.
You’ll still be able to vote in-person at any polling location within your home county. Voting locations can include a grocery store, malls, churches, or government buildings.
MORE BALLOT DROP BOXES
AB 321 adds ballot drop boxes throughout the state, so you’ll have convenient access to them near where you live.
REQUEST POLLING PLACES
Nevada Tribes, colonies, and bands will have more time to request a polling place. Here’s how Tribes, colonies, and bands can apply.
You will be able to help a loved one or a friend with their ballot if they ask for assistance. You can also have someone securely deliver your ballot, or securely deliver someone else’s ballot to a mailbox, an official drop off location, or a polling location.
VOTING IS SAFE AND SECURE
County clerks will review each voter’s signature on their ballot manually or electronically, and must follow requirements for an electronic device to verify the signature of the voter.
What if I prefer to vote in person — can I do that?
YES! Just because you get your ballot in the mail, does not mean you have to use it. If you decide to vote in person, you must turn in your mail ballot to your local polling place before you vote in person. If you don’t have it when you show up at the polls, you will be asked to sign an affidavit declaring that you have not voted. You can also contact your county clerk’s office to opt out of receiving a vote-by-mail ballot. AB 321 actually protects in-person voting options like early and Election Day voting by ensuring access to voting locations.
If you decide not to vote at all, you will not be punished and your ballot comes with protections so that no one can vote in your name. See more on this in the identity verification section below.
How do I vote-by-mail?
A few weeks before the primary and the general election, your local county clerk’s office will automatically mail you your ballot. Once you receive it, follow the included instructions for completing and sealing the ballot.
If you send in your ballot by mail, you do not need to include a postage stamp on the return envelope. The return envelope includes prepaid postage.
You can also deposit your ballot at a ballot drop box or at a voting site. No matter how you choose to cast your mailed ballot, you must make sure your ballot is sent by Election Day. Deadlines vary by election; check here for more details.
How does my elections office verify my identity if I vote by mail?
First, ballots are only mailed to active, registered voters. Check your registration or register to vote here. When you register to vote, you must provide a valid ID.
Second, when you vote with a mailed ballot, you must sign it. Once your ballot is returned, election officials then verify your signature with the official signature they have on file for you. This can include the signature you used for one of the following: at the time you registered to vote, a Nevada Driver’s License, a Nevada Identification Card, a military identification, or an identification provided by a government entity. If they cannot verify your signature, then they will contact you to verify it.
Lastly, once your identity has been verified, your vote is recorded in an official database, so that you cannot vote more than once.
Can I vote by mail if I am a first-time voter?
Yes; any eligible Nevada voter can vote by mail. However, if this is your first time voting in federal or state elections, you may have to submit a copy of current valid identification to your local county election’s department. If you registered to vote at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), you are not required to show proof of identity.
Don’t worry, when you get your mailed ballot, you will be notified if you have to comply with this requirement and you will also be given instructions on how to submit it. You can find a list of valid identification documents here.