Why mail-in voting is not needed in Nevada
I have been a resident of Nevada since 1989 and voted in all elections during that period. The announcement by Nevada's governor, Steve Sisolak, that mail-in balloting is needed to protect the population from COVID-19 should be viewed with great skepticism. In fact, Sisolak knows better.
Since 2000, Nevada has utilized a system of early voting where residents can vote up to 14 days early. In short, because elections are spread out over a period of two weeks, social distancing is easy to maintain. I have never once seen long lines of people waiting to vote since this system has been in effect. Mandatory mask-wearing in Nevada offers an extra layer of protection at the polls.
How effective is early voting? The website for Clark County, which contains about 70% of Nevada's population, states the following:
Since 2000, more people in Clark County have voted before Election Day than on Election Day, primarily as a result of Clark County's Early Voting Program (mail/absentee ballots also account for a small percentage). The many nearby neighborhood early voting sites provide eligible voters an opportunity to cast their ballot at a time and place convenient for them before Election Day. Sites include shopping malls, supermarkets, libraries, and community centers.
In short, early voting in Nevada has effectively eliminated any potential danger posed by COVID-19. It is true that early voting has many critics. They argue that information that may have influenced a voter could come too late in an election cycle for people who have already voted prior to election day. However, the benefits for early voting, especially in 2020, clearly outweigh these concerns. Mail-in voting has the potential for massive fraud and vote tally delays that could extend well beyond January 20, 2021, effectively making House speaker Nancy Pelosi the next president if no one is able to take office by that time. This is something even critics of early voting should want to avoid.
Governor Steve Sisolak allowed the casinos to reopen in June, provided mask-wearing and social distancing are maintained. Because of early voting, these policies will be much more effective at the voting polls than the casinos.