With early voting underway, it is especially important for voters to know when, where, and how they can vote. A new ballot drop box was installed by the county’s Buildings and Grounds Department, on May 19, right outside the West 5th Street entrance to the courthouse, to provide another resource for voters, according to Humboldt County Clerk, Tami Rae Spero.
“We want to make sure that everyone has a secure way to cast a ballot,” said Humboldt County’s Deputy Recorder, Jessica Koepke, whose primary duties include facilitating elections. Regular voting for the Primary Election will take place Tuesday, June 14, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Humboldt County Courthouse, in the County Commissioner’s regular meeting room 201.
The drop box is located along the ramp to the Sheriff’s Department entrance, both in plain sight of the public and in appropriate range of video cameras. Spero assured that it is under 24-hour surveillance by both the cameras, officers and personnel, and will only allow a single ballot to be put into it at a time.
“We want to make sure that there is no tampering with it. We want the public to feel comfortable using the site and to know that we’re monitoring it both through our security and law enforcement,” said Spero.
Spero added that this is a great resource for those with schedules that conflict with regular voting times or those who want to save time by dropping their ballot off. Early voting began May 28 and continues until June 10 for those who want to avoid the last-minute rush.
“We have a large mining community and they were definitely in our thoughts as well,” said Koepke, in regards to those that may find their schedules conflicting with regular voting times. All ballots, either submitted in person or submitted to the drop box, must be done so by 7 p.m. on June 14 for the Primary Election.
The box is checked at least once a day by two or more individuals to ensure that information can be verified and kept secure, according to Spero. The regulations for elections are thoroughly outlined by Nevada Revised Statute Chapter 293 and all regulations for drop box ballots are governed in accordance with the outlined regulations, which the Clerk’s office strictly follows for election protocol.
The primary turnout is in-person voting and the county still expects that to be the case, according to Spero, but having this resource provides even more access and ease for people to cast their votes.
“There are still going to be people who are much more comfortable coming in and handing their ballot in or voting in-person,” explained Spero, but “it’s there for ease for the voter, that’s the primary purpose.”
In years past, the county has used mobile drop boxes that were monitored inside the courthouse lobby, but the new box will remain in its position for voters to access every voting season.
In order to have a say in local government, voters should plan to vote in the Primary Election on Tuesday, June 14 (where several local races will be decided), and in the General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 8.