League of Women Voters of Nevada Statement on the 2020 Primary Election

On March 24, 2020, Governor Sisolak placed Nevada on a Stay at Home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In response, Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske exercised due diligence and began working with our seventeen county election officers to plan for Nevada’s June 9, 2020, primary election. 

To protect Nevadans, our election officials did everything possible under the law to ensure our voting rights were protected, while also protecting the public’s health.

At the time the all mail-in voting plan was developed, no large buildings or public spaces normally utilized for vote centers in Clark County were open.  Furthermore, most of our poll worker volunteers were mostly retired individuals who are at high risk of contracting and dying from the coronavirus.  So, our election officials decided to limit in-person voting to protect the public’s health and instead decided to send mail-in ballots to every voter with a verified address on record, which included a postage-paid envelope.

Voters had ample opportunity to log into the online voter registration system to register to vote and to update their address and registration status. Additionally, in-person voter registration was available at the Election Department offices.

This new plan included a new full website with information that was regularly updated, social media videos and graphics, and television commercials.  The election officials also reached out to civic organizations to engage in on-going dialog. 

The League of Women Voters of Nevada was one of the first organizations, but certainly not the last, to host Deputy Secretary of State Wayne Thorley as a speaker, and Secretary Cegavske and Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria made themselves available for many interviews and presentations.

For a variety of different reasons, many voters decided to vote in-person on election day and there were long lines, but every person in line at 7 pm was able to vote.

Both parties have used this election’s processes for partisan purposes and have tried to score partisan points by trying to tear down our election officials.   I therefore strongly believe that it falls to the nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Nevada, and myself specifically, to go on record in full support of our Secretary of State and county election officials. 

We already have a problem with low voter turnout in Nevada, we do not need to sow seeds of doubt about our election processes.  That is irresponsible.  I have full faith in all our election officials and will defend them as strongly as I will defend our state.

Sondra Cosgrove

President League of Women Voters of Nevada