Las Vegas Sun

May 22, 2018

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County moving away from assigned voting sites for 2018 election

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Mikayla Whitmore

Votes take to the polls on election day at the John C. Fremont Middle School polling station in Las Vegas, Nev. on Nov. 8, 2016.

Universal polling sites will ensure voters don't show up at the wrong place to cast a ballot this year, according to Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria.

Early voting centers have been in use in the county since 1995, and for the first time this year universal polling places will also be available in the primary and general elections.

Gloria told Clark County commissioners on Tuesday that sites were chosen based on proximity, accessibility for those with disabilities, and several other considerations. There were 279 polling places for primary and general election voters in 2016, and ballots were required to be cast at a resident’s assigned location. The 172 voting centers planned for this year is fewer than in the 2016 election, but they will all be universal.

“Now they have 172 choices, not just one,” Gloria said.

These sites will be used alongside new voting machines, Gloria said, which will have bigger screens and switch more easily into modes that help those with disabilities. Disabled voters and those 65 and older can also sign up for permanent early voting for the first time this year.

Electronic poll books will help workers verify voters by matching their signatures or other documents with the voter’s name and address.

Certain voting materials are being made available in Mandarin, which Gloria said the county is pursing despite not being legally obligated to do so. He said members of the community helped translate voter guides and some other documents, but that the manpower required to produce the documents in Mandarin is prohibitive.

Residents can register to vote for the June 12 primary in person through May 22 and online until May 24. Early voting begins May 26.

The county will publish schedules for sites on Feb. 9.