Commissioners approve resolution opposing mail-in ballots

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Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

Citing the potential for fraud and issues with ballots that were mailed during the primary election, the Lyon County Commission on July 2 unanimously approved a resolution opposing the exclusive use of mail-in ballots in the 2020 general election, and future elections.

The resolution was proposed by commissioners Ken Gray and Vida Keller.

Keller said mail-in ballots are ripe for fraud.

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“People can still ask for an absentee ballot,” she said. “If we can go to Walmart, I feel we can wear a mask and stand in line to vote.”

Gray said his issue wasn’t so much that fraud occurred, it was with the potential for fraud and with errors in mailing, particularly with ballots being mailed to people who have moved or died. Gray cited his brother as an example, saying his brother’s signature was flagged for not matching the one on file, but he was not notified in time to get the problem corrected.

County manager Jeff Page said the resolution carries no authority, because the ultimate decision is not made by counties’ Board of Commissioners, but by the Secretary of State. However, he said the sentiment opposing mail-in only elections has support throughout the state. He said several other counties have expressed in supporting similar resolutions, and were waiting to see the wording of the resolution proposed by Lyon County. Page said he would send a copy to the Nevada Association of Counties for distribution to other counties.

Lyon County clerk/treasurer Nikki Bryan said she also didn’t like the mail-in election, but she said the Secretary of State’s decision to do a mail-in primary election was in collaboration with and supported by all 17 of the state’s county election registrars.

“It was the only decision that could have been made at the time,” she said. “If the governor shuts everything down, it could happen again.”

As far as ballots being sent to wrong addresses, she said it’s the responsibility of voters to correct that. She said anyone who moves can update their address on the Secretary of State’s website, when they go to the DMV, or they can send in a new voter registration form.

She said if people move, and don’t register at their new address, they don’t automatically get removed from voter registration lists.

“We have to have it in writing, we can’t just change it,” Bryan said. “They can stay on the rolls forever.”

RESOLUTION OPPOSING THE USE OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS, EXCEPT IN THE CASE OFABSENTEE BALLOTS

WHEREAS, the State of Nevada has an elected Secretary of State and County Clerks, whose duties include the administration and overseeing of elections;

WHEREAS, the State of Nevada will be holding a General Election in November, 2020; WHEREAS, Mail-in Ballots were used exclusively in the Primary Election in June, 2020;

WHEREAS, the practice of using Mail-In Ballots to all registered voters causes concern for dishonesty and voter fraud in mail-in elections;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Lyon County Board of Commissioners opposes the exclusive use of Mail-In Ballots in the General Election in November, 2020 and future elections and urges the Secretary of State and County Clerks to use in-person voting except in the case of absentee ballots. Adopted this second day of July 2020, by the Lyon County Board of Commissioners.

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