Love your county clerk, or your county’s election officials in Nevada whatever title they may hold. You can express your appreciation for their efforts over the next few days by doing some simple things.
#1. Vote. They are ready for you to do that. They’ve been planning and allocating resources to give you the best voting ‘experience’ they can manage on usually minimal resources.
#2. Ask questions or ask for help. If you experience any difficulties with your voting — like wondering why your vote isn’t registering the way you want because you are resting the palm or heel of your hand on the voting machine interface (yes, this happened) — ask for assistance before melting down into conspiracy theories or pounding on the voting machines, neither of which are productive activities that will solve your problem.
There are specific kinds of help available for Nevada voters who are disabled. Voters with disabilities can find information about voting in Clark County here. Information concerning Washoe County is available here.
#3. Do some homework. Verify your registration if you feel you need to in advance. You’ll find voting is easier if you’ve read the sample ballot. It will tell you your polling place. Check to be certain you’re going to the right one. Read through the ballot questions ahead of time. You’ll save your own time, and the time of those waiting in line behind you.
#4. Remember that if this is your first time voting and you registered by mail or did not provide identification when you registered, you’ll need ID. If you have questions about this as a first time voter click here for additional explanations from the Secretary of State’s Office. You can also find information from Clark County, and Washoe County election officials. LetMeVote (ACLU) has a pdf file of information on voting rights in Nevada which may also be helpful.
#5. Be Patient. There may be some long lines. Bring some water or reading material with you if you expect a wait. Cue up politely, County Clerks and Election Officials are not expected to be former primary school teachers who have special ‘voices’ for those who do not line up properly.
There may be others at the polls, but observers are required to follow the provisions of NRS 293.2738
NRS 293.274 Members of general public allowed to observe conduct of voting at polling place; photographing or otherwise recording conduct of voting by members of general public prohibited.
1. The county clerk shall allow members of the general public to observe the conduct of voting at a polling place.
2. A member of the general public shall not photograph the conduct of voting at a polling place or record the conduct of voting on audiotape or any other means of sound or video reproduction.
3. For the purposes of this section, a member of the general public does not include any person who:
(a) Gathers information for communication to the public;
(b) Is employed or engaged by or has contracted with a newspaper, periodical, press association, or radio or television station; and
(c) Is acting solely within his or her professional capacity.
There are special provisions for challenges:
NRS 293.303 Challenges.
1. A person applying to vote may be challenged:
(a) Orally by any registered voter of the precinct upon the ground that he or she is not the person entitled to vote as claimed or has voted before at the same election. A registered voter who initiates a challenge pursuant to this paragraph must submit an affirmation that is signed under penalty of perjury and in the form prescribed by the Secretary of State stating that the challenge is based on the personal knowledge of the registered voter.
#6. If you know of a person in your family or neighborhood who may need assistance at the polls volunteer to help. NRS 293.296 describes who and how disabled voters can be assisted.
1. Any registered voter who by reason of a physical disability or an inability to read or write English is unable to mark a ballot or use any voting device without assistance is entitled to assistance from a consenting person of his or her own choice, except:
(a) The voter’s employer or an agent of the voter’s employer; or
(b) An officer or agent of the voter’s labor organization.
2. A person providing assistance pursuant to this section to a voter in casting a vote shall not disclose any information with respect to the casting of that ballot.
3. The right to assistance in casting a ballot may not be denied or impaired when the need for assistance is apparent or is known to the election board or any member thereof, but the election board may require a registered voter to sign a statement that he or she requires assistance in casting a vote by reason of a physical disability or an inability to read or write English when the need for assistance is not apparent or no member of the election board has knowledge thereof. The statement must be executed under penalty of perjury.
4. In addition to complying with the requirements of this section, the county clerk and election board officer shall, upon the request of a registered voter with a physical disability, make reasonable accommodations to allow the voter to vote at his or her polling place.
In short an employer or an employer’s representative or a voter’s union official or voter’s representative cannot assist, but anyone else can. It’s always a nice thing when someone accompanies a disabled voter or one who otherwise needs assistance so that the election officials don’t have to find someone, or divert someone from assisting another person.
#7. Say “Thanks” on your way out. Smile.