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How to Register to Vote in Reno and Washoe County

You Have to Register or You Can't Vote

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2010 General Mid-Term Elections in Washoe County, Nevada

2010 General Mid-Term Elections in Washoe County, Nevada.

Photo © Stan White

You must be registered in order to vote in Reno and Washoe County, Nevada. Here are the ways you can do it.

Online Voter Registration in Washoe County and Nevada

Online voter registration is available to all Nevada residents. Of course, you can still register to vote the old-fashioned way if you so choose. With either method, you will need to observe certain registration deadlines. Refer to other sections in this article for details.

Online voter registration is handled through the Nevada Secretary of State. To begin the process, go to the Register to Vote page and follow the steps. Be sure to read the fine print to make sure you are eligible to register online - there are a few exceptions. To proceed, you'll need either a Nevada DMV issued photo ID card or driver's license.

What You Need to Register to Vote in Washoe County

You need to provide the following to successfully register to vote...

  • Full Name.
  • Washoe County residence address (a physical address, not a P.O. box or mailing address).
  • Mailing address (if different from residence address).
  • Date of birth.
  • Political party affiliation.
  • Driver's license number or state issued ID card number (see exceptions below).
  • Signature.

Federal Law requires that every applicant provide his or her driver's license number or state issued ID card number. Applicants who do not have a driver's license or ID card number will be required to provide the last four digits of their Social Security number. If the applicant has none of these numbers, a unique number will be assigned to that person. Applicants must sign an affidavit stating, under penalty of law, that he or she does not possess either a driver's license, state ID card, or Social Security number.

Where to Get a Voter Registration Application

The official voter registration application is available from several sources. The online version, with instructions, is posted on the Nevada Secretary of State website. The site allows you to fill out and print the voter registration application form, but it does not submit it electronically. You must mail a copy to the Washoe County Registrar of Voters office at the address below or deliver it in person. You can also get the application at this office. Other places to obtain a form include post offices, libraries, senior citizen centers, public agencies and union halls.

Registrar of Voters Office, 1001 E. Ninth St., RM A135, Reno, NV 89512

Who is Eligible to Vote?

Here are the criteria for Washoe County voters, as spelled out by the Washoe County Registrar of Voters office. In addition to properly completing the voter registration application, a prospective voter must...

  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Be at least 18 years old by the next election day.
  • Have resided continuously in Washoe County at least 30 days.
  • Claim no other place as his/her legal residence.
  • Not currently be serving or under probation for a felony conviction and has completed the process to have his/her voting rights re-established if convicted of a felony in the past.
  • Not have been determined by a court of law to be mentally incompetent.

Voter Registration Deadlines

Election day is always on a Tuesday, except for early voting (which this section does not cover). If registering by mail, your application must be postmarked no later than the 31st day (Saturday) prior to election day. If registering in person at an office of the DMV, your application must be received by Saturday, the 31st day prior to election day. At the Registrar of Voters office, you can register to vote between the 21st and 31st day prior to election day, but only if you appear in person at 1001 E 9th St., Bldg A., Reno 89512, during regular business hours.

Primary Election - Primary election day is June 10, 2014. You can register to vote in the 2014 primary election by any available method up to May 11. From May 11 through May 20, you can only register to vote online or by appearing in person at Washoe County Registrar of Voters office. June 3 is the last day to request an absent voter ballot. Early primary election voting is May 24 through June 6, 2014.

General Election - General election day is November 4, 2014. You can register to vote in the 2014 general election by any available method up to October 5. From October 5 through October 14, you can only register to vote online or by appearing in person at Washoe County Registrar of Voters office. October 28 is the last day to request an absent voter ballot. Early general election voting is October 18 through October 31, 2014.

How to Determine if You are Registered

If you have any concerns about whether or not you are registered to vote, check the Washoe County Voter Registration Status website. By simply entering your last name and birth date, you can make sure you are actually registered and that your information is correct. This is vital should your right to vote be challenged.

The Nevada Secretary of State website also has a voter registration search feature. Enter the requested information on the web form to find out if you are currently a registered Nevada voter.

More Information for Washoe County and Nevada Voters

So far, voters in Nevada do not need to present a photo ID or other form of identification when appearing to cast their ballot at an official polling place. The registrar's record of your name, address, and signature must match the information you give poll workers at the time you go to vote. Poll workers have a list of registered voters' names and yours will be marked as having voted when you request a ballot. Nevada voters have specific rights by law, as specified in the Nevada Voters' Bill of Rights. Get additional Nevada voter information from the Washoe County Registrar of Voters and the voter information section of the Nevada Secretary of State Election Center.

City Council Elections in Reno

Five Reno City Council members serve under a system of five wards. A sixth at-large council member and the mayor are elected by all voters in the city. For more information about Reno City Council wards and elections, refer to my article about Reno City Council Ward Boundaries.

Source: Washoe County Registrar of Voters, Nevada Secretary of State.

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