Las Vegas Sun

July 30, 2015

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Ask Mr. Sun:

Can I write in candidates with electronic voting machines?

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Dear Mr. Sun,

I want to write in your name for U.S. senator, governor, assemblyman and dogcatcher. But can I do that with those newfangled electronic voting machines?

•••

I’m Mr. Sun, and I approved this message:

You can’t vote for me via a write-in campaign. Nevada’s electronic voting machines are technologically capable of accommodating write-in votes, according to Clark County Registrar Larry Lomax. But write-in voting is prohibited in Nevada.

NRS 293.270 sayeth: “Voting must be only upon candidates whose names appear upon the ballot prepared by the election officers, and no person may write in the name of an additional candidate for any office.”

That was added to the Nevada Revised Statutes in 1960. But the ban on write-in voting goes back further. According to “Political History of Nevada,” in 1891 write-in candidates were prohibited. Off point, but interesting: Ballots in that era contained a watermark that was changed for each election, private voting booths were made available and voters had just 5 minutes to mark ballots.

Questions for Mr. Sun should be sent to page8@lasvegassun.com.

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