How to Make Sure Your Vote Counts in Las Vegas This November
What you need to know, including key deadlines, registration details, and how to vote by mail.
Nevada is best described as a purple state with an extra splash of blue. Its electoral votes have gone to the Democratic nominee in six of the past eight presidential elections and currently, the governor, both senators, and three out of four congressional representatives are Democrats. However, the state remains competitive with key races up for grabs this 2022 midterm election cycle. With midterm elections historically garnering lower voter turnout compared to presidential elections, it’s even more important that you set aside some time to educate yourself on the issues and vote.
The big cities (Las Vegas and Henderson in the south, Reno in the north) lean blue, but all that rural space throughout the rest of America's seventh-largest state accounts for a lot of red. Vegas is covered entirely by Clark County, and influenced by a variety of factors, including a strong union presence at casinos, a growing Latinx population, and an ongoing evolution as a place where people actually want to live as well as vacation.
Nevada is one of the few states where abortion rights are guranteed in the state constitution. As in other parts of the country, crime and inflation continue to be major issues, but locally, Nevadans in and around Vegas are also concerned about the possibility of nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain (on hold for now) and dwindling water levels at Lake Mead (a dramatically growing crisis).
In an interesting twist, Nevada offers the unusual option of "none of the above" for key races on the ballot. So be ready to vote for your favorite candidates—or none at all—when Election Day rolls around Tuesday, November 8. You can vote early too, so make your voice heard and brush up on need-to-know information before casting your ballot in Las Vegas.
What are the key races and propositions on the ballot?
Nevada’s governor race is between incumbent Democrat Steve Sisolak, who guided the state through the entirety of the coronavirus pandemic, and Republican Joe Lombardo, the Clark County Sheriff in charge during the Route 91 Harvest attack that became the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Voters' thoughts on how each handled their respective crisis could be crucial in determining who wins.
Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto is a former Nevada Attorney General who became the first Latina in the U.S. Senate, taking the seat once held by Harry Reid. She's up for reelection for the first time, facing off against Adam Laxalt (the son of a former U.S. Senator and grandson of a former Nevada Governor and U.S. Senator), the former Nevada Attorney General and a Republican with close ties to former President Trump.
Dina Titus, a former UNLV Political Science professor and nominee for governor, has represented Nevada as a Democrat in two Congressional districts. She's currently defending her 1st District seat (held since 2013) against Republican Mark Robertson, a former business owner and Army Colonel with 30 years of military experience. The district covers the Strip and central Las Vegas, but was redrawn to shift southwest next year to include Henderson and Boulder City.
Democrat Susie Lee is defending the 3rd District seat against Republican April Becker. Lee was previously involved with local education organizations before being elected to Congress and has a financial connection to Full House Resorts, run by her ex-husband. Becker is an attorney who lost a race for State Senate in 2020. The district is shifting from south to southwest next year, covering Summerlin and other fast-growing areas.
Democrat Steven Horsford founded a job-training company and became the first African-American to represent Nevada in Congress, holding the 4th District seat twice, most recently taking office in 2019. He faces Republican challenger Sam Peters, owner of a local insurance company and a former Major in the Air Force. The district is an interesting one, stretching from North Las Vegas to multiple counties through the middle of Nevada and even touching on areas near Reno.
Which questions are on the ballot to amend the Nevada Constitution?
There are three statewide ballot questions that appear on the 2022 general election ballot:
Question 1: If approved, the Nevada Constitution would add language guaranteeing equal rights regardless of "race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, ancestry, or national origin." It's basically Nevada's own version of the federal Equal Rights Amendment that passed Congress in the '70s, but was never fully ratified by the states.
Question 2: The proposal would guarantee $12/per hour as the minimum wage. Nevada is already heading in this direction, thanks to a previous law that gradually increased the minimum wage to $12/hour by 2024. However, it would eliminate the option for employers to knock a dollar off the minimum wage by providing health insurance.
Question 3: This is a big one. Nevadans will decide if the state should adopt a ranked-choice voting system for major state races. The way it works now, Republicans vote for Republicans and Democrats vote for Democrats when choosing candidates in the primaries. Under ranked-choice voting, primaries will be open to all voters (including those unaffiliated with a party), who can then rank all candidates by preference. The top five would move on to the general election under an elimination system that combines votes until at least one candidate reaches 50%. If you're confused about how it works, the Nevada Independent put together a short, but excellent, easy-to-follow video explaining how ranked-choice voting would work in Nevada.
How do I register to vote?
Register online: Going online is by far the easiest way to register to vote in Nevada. You’ll need a Nevada-issued driver's license or identification card number. Otherwise, you'll need to register in person or by mail.
Register in person: You can register to vote in person at the Clark County Election Department, any city clerk's office, or any DMV location. You can also check with any Nevada State Welfare Agency or WIC office. Same-day registration at a polling place requires a Nevada driver's license or ID.
Register by mail: Print out the registration form from the Secretary of State's website. If you don't have a printer, you can make an online request to have a form mailed to you. Forms can also be picked up at libraries, post offices, political party offices, or the Clark County Registrar's Office (965 Trade Drive, Suite A, North Las Vegas, NV 89030). Fill out the form and mail it to the Clark County Registrar PO Box 3909 Las Vegas, NV 89127.
If you’re currently unhoused, unsheltered, or otherwise unable to provide a fixed address, contact the Clark County Election Department for options on how to register. The office is available by email or calling 702-455-8683.
What's the deadline to register to vote?
October 11 is the deadline for standard in-person registration (or to make changes to an existing registration) ahead of the election. However, extended standard registration continues on the Secretary of State's website from October 12-25. If you still need more time, voters have the option of in-person, same-day registration during early voting October 22-November 4. Online same-day registration is available online October 26-November 8 with access to provisional ballots.
Can I vote early?
Yes. Registered voters can vote early beginning Saturday, October 22, through Friday, November 4 at early voting sites and ballot drop-off locations.
Can I vote by mail?
Yes. Unless they opted out, all active registered voters will be sent a ballot by mail a few weeks ahead of the election. Mail ballots must be ready for distribution to in-state voters no later than October 19 (or 20 days before Election Day). If you do not receive a mail ballot packet by October 24, call 702-455-VOTE (8683).
Voters are encouraged to mail ballots as soon as possible, but they’ll be counted as long as they're postmarked by November 8 and received by 5 pm on November 12. Each ballot includes a postage-paid return envelope that must be used. You can also submit a mailed ballot at a drop-off box (at early voting sites and government offices) between Monday, October 24 and Tuesday, November 8.
How do I find my polling place?
Voters don't have a specific assigned polling place anymore. They can vote at any Election Day Vote Center in Clark County. Early voting sites vary by day and time, so take a good look at the list and map online.
What if I am a military or overseas voter? How do I vote absentee?
The mail ballot system has generally taken the place of most traditional absentee voting. However, military members and their families, as well as those living overseas can request an absentee ballot with information available on the Clark County website and the Nevada page of the Federal Voting Assistance Program. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received within seven days after Election Day. The Nevada EASE (Effective Absentee System for Elections) system provides guidance on how to submit an absentee ballot online or via fax.
What are my accessibility options?
The EASE System also provides assistance to Nevada residents with disabilities, guiding voters on how to register, request, mark, and return ballots from the comfort of home. This video explains how it works. In addition, all polling locations in Nevada are certified compliant under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
How can I volunteer to be a poll worker?
Apply online, via a print-out main-in form, or by calling 702-455-2815. Volunteers are paid $250-270 for Election Day and an hourly rate for early voting. Advance training is required. Clark County has an especially strong need for volunteers who speak Spanish, Filipino/Tagalog, and Mandarin.
Where can I learn more?
If you need more information on voting this midterm election cycle, anything else you could possibly want to know is listed on the Clark County election website or the Nevada Secretary of State website.