Know Your Voting Rights – Every Vote Counts
This information is designed to help you protect your right to vote. The ACLU doesn't endorse or oppose any candidate or party, but we believe that no civil right is more important in our democracy than the right to vote.
Printable voting rights information is available for you to download, print and take to the polls on Election Day.
Table of Contents
- Important Dates
- Quick Tips for Voters
- Detailed Voting Rights Information
- Voter Eligibility
- Registering to Vote
- Voting Early
- Voting on Election Day
- Voter ID
- Problems at the Polls
- Additional Resources
|Election Day||Tuesday, November 6, 2012|
|Early Voting||Saturday, October 20, 2012 until
Friday, November 2, 2012
|Mail-in Voter Registration||Postmarked by: Saturday, October 6, 2012|
|In-Person Voter Registration||Tuesday, October 16, 2012|
|Absentee Ballot Request||Tuesday, October 30, 2012|
|Absentee Ballot Return||Received by: Tuesday, November 6, 2012|
Quick Tips for Voters
- Check your voter registration status at least 30 days before the election.
- Locate your polling place and note the hours of operation.
- Vote before Election Day, through early voting or absentee voting.
- If you plan to vote at the polls, vote early in the day to avoid the last-minute rush.
- Bring identification even if it is not required.
- Read all instructions carefully.
- Ask for help if you need it.
- Take your time.
- If you experience problems at the polls or would like information, assistance or guidance in understanding your voting rights, please call the Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE / 888-VE-Y-VOTA
Can I vote in Nevada?
You can vote in the November 6 election if you register to vote before the registration deadlines and meet the following qualifications:
- You are 18 years of age or older;
- You are a U.S. Citizen;
- You will have been a resident of Nevada for 30 days before the election;
- You haven’t been convicted of certain felonies (PDF) unless your civil rights have been restored; AND
- You haven’t been declared by a court to be mentally incompetent, unless you’ve had your legal capacity restored.
What if I’m a student?
You can register to vote at your school address or your home address, whichever you consider your primary legal residence. Detailed information about voting as a college student is available here (PDF).
What if I’ve been convicted of a crime?
Detailed information about voting with a criminal conviction is available here (PDF)
What if I’m homeless?
You don’t need a home to register, but you must identify a place of residence, which can be a street corner, a park, a shelter, or any other place where you reside. If the place you are staying does not have a street address or you don’t stay in only one place, you can still register. You must identify the place where you usually stay, which could be a street corner, park, or shelter. You should also provide an address, which may be of a local shelter, advocacy organization, outreach center, or anywhere else willing to accept mail on your behalf.
If you are a first time voter, you will need to present proof of identity and residency at the time you register or vote. If you are homeless or do not have a traditional street address, you may sign a sworn affidavit under penalty of perjury to prove your identity and residence.
What if I have moved since the last election?
You should update your registration every time you move.
If you moved before Tuesday, October 16, and did not re-register before the registration deadline, you will not be able to vote in the November 6 election unless you moved within the same county or voting precinct. If you moved within the same county or precinct, you have the right to vote in your old precinct. You may be asked to provide an oral or written affirmation of your new address.
If you moved on or after October 16, you can vote in your old precinct.
What if my house has been foreclosed upon?
You still have the right to vote. If you are still living in your foreclosed home and you are registered at that address, you may vote in your assigned precinct. If you have moved within the same county and have not re-registered, you can return to your old precinct and vote there.
What if I’m in the Armed Forces or overseas?
If you are registered to vote, you can vote by special absentee ballot. The Federal Voting Assistance Program has detailed information about Nevada residents voting overseas.
Your absentee ballot request must be received by mail, email or fax by the county clerk no later than 5 p.m. on October 30. You can register to vote and request an absentee ballot on the same form.
Your completed absentee ballot should be mailed, emailed, or faxed to your local election official. To be counted, your ballot must be received by 7 p.m. on November 6.If you are an overseas citizen your absentee ballot may not be counted if it is submitted from any location within the continental United States.
Registering to Vote
How do I register?
You can register to vote:
- In-person at your local county clerk’s office;
- By mailing a voter registration form to your local county clerk or the Nevada Secretary of State Elections Division; or
- When you apply for services at the Department of Motor Vehicles and state agencies that provide public assistance (such as Medicaid, WIC, and food stamps) or services to people with disabilities.
You can get voter registration forms from your local county clerk, most libraries, post offices, colleges and high schools, or at the Secretary of State’s website. You may also be able to register at many other state and federal offices and agencies.
What is the deadline to register to vote?
If you register by mail, your application must be postmarked by Saturday, October 6. If you register in-person, the deadline is Tuesday, October 16.
What if I miss the registration deadline?
If you miss the October 16 in-person registration deadline, you will not be able to vote in the 2012 election, but you can register to vote in future elections.
How do I know if I am registered to vote?
Can I vote before Election Day?
Yes. Any registered voter can vote before Election Day by casting an absentee ballot or by casting a ballot in-person at an early voting center.
How do I vote early in-person?
Early voting takes place between Saturday, October 20, and Friday, November 2. The complete early voting schedule is available on the Secretary of State’s website. You can also check your local newspaper or call your county clerk for specific hours and locations.
How do I get an absentee ballot?
You have to submit an application that must be received by your county clerk no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 30. You can get an application from your county clerk.
What is the deadline for returning my absentee ballot?
To be counted, your absentee ballot must be received by your local election official at their designated offices by 7 p.m. on November 6. You cannot drop off your ballot at a polling place.
What if I decide to vote at the polls instead of by absentee ballot?
You can surrender your absentee ballot at the polls and vote a regular ballot. If you do not bring your absentee ballot, you have to show ID and sign a statement saying that you have not voted yet in this election.
Voting on Election Day
When is Election Day?
Tuesday, November 6, 2012.
When are the polls open?
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You have the right to vote if you’re in line or inside your polling place when the polls close.
Can I get time off from work to vote?
Maybe. If your work schedule would make it practically impossible for you to vote in-person while the polls are open, your employer is required to give you time off to vote, without penalty or deduction in your wages. You should ask your employer for time off before Election Day. Your employer has the right to specify which hours you get to take.
Where do I vote?
On Election Day, you must vote at your assigned polling place. Your assigned polling place will be in your sample ballot and on the voter registration card that you should receive by mail after you register. You can also look up your polling place online.
If you do not have your card, did not receive a sample ballot, or do not have Internet access, call your county clerk to find your polling place and ask for a replacement card or sample ballot.
What if my polling place is not accessible?
Call your county clerk right away and ask for accommodation or reassignment to an accessible polling place. All polling places are required to be ADA compliant. You may bring one or more people to assist you. You have the right to receive assistance from anyone as long as the person is not your employer, an agent of your employer, or an officer or agent of your labor union.
Can I get a ballot in my native language?
Some counties in Nevada are required to provide language assistance in Spanish, Shoshone, Paiute, or other Native American languages. Contact your county clerk before Election Day to find out what is available in your area. In places where language assistance is required, poll workers should offer this assistance; if they do not, tell a poll worker that you want assistance. You are entitled to a translation of all ballots and other election materials.
Even if language assistance is not available where you vote, you have the right to bring an interpreter with you to the polls or to get language assistance from anyone you choose, including a poll worker, as long as the person is not your employer, an agent of your employer, or an officer or agent of your labor union.
What if I need help in the voting booth?
If you need help because of a physical disability or because you have difficulty reading or writing in English, tell a poll worker when you get to your polling place.
You have the right to have any consenting person you choose assist you in the voting booth, including a poll worker, as long as the person is not your employer, an agent of your employer, or an officer or agent of your labor union.
If you need instructions on how to use the voting equipment, ask a poll worker for help. Poll workers are required to help you at any time you ask—even after you have entered the voting booth.
Do I have to show my ID?
Probably not. Most voters will not need to show ID at all. You only need to show ID if:
- This is your first time voting in a federal election in Nevada;
- You registered to vote by mail; AND
- You did not provide any ID either when you registered or after receiving a letter from your county clerk indicating that there are problems with your registration.
What are the accepted forms of ID?
Accepted forms of ID include: current and valid Nevada Driver's License, Nevada ID card, utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or other document issued by a government entity with your name and residential address.
What if I do not have any ID?
You can cast a provisional ballot, but that ballot will not be counted unless you bring ID to your county clerk by 5 p.m. on Friday, November 9.
Problems at the Polls
What if I am not on the voter list?
Ask a poll worker to check the list again and to confirm you are at the right polling place. Show your registration card or sample ballot if you have it, or offer to spell your name.
If you are at the right polling place but your name is not on the voter list, ask for a provisional ballot. You have the right to cast a provisional ballot even if your name is not on the voter list, as long as you swear that you believe you are registered to vote.
What if I go to the wrong polling place?
If you still cannot figure out where you are registered, ask for a provisional ballot. You have the right to cast a provisional ballot even if you are not at the right polling place, but provisional ballots only cover federal offices.
What if someone challenges my right to vote?
If someone claims that you aren’t who you say you are or that you don’t live at your address on the voter list, ask for an affidavit to sign in order to swear to your identity or your place of residence. For challenges to your identity, you should show your photo ID or bring someone over 18 who has photo ID and will sign an affidavit swearing that they know who you are. For challenges to your place of residence, show an ID other than your voter registration card that has your residence on it. You have the right to cast a regular ballot if you provide this evidence.
However, even if you refuse to sign an affidavit or election officials determined that you don’t live at the address that the registrar has on file for you, you must be allowed to vote at the special polling place that your county clerk is required to set up for challenged voters.
What if someone tries to intimidate or harass me?
Tell a poll worker. If a poll worker is the problem, tell a poll watcher, call your county clerk or the Election Protection Hotline, 866-OUR-VOTE / 888-VE-Y-VOTA.
What if I make a mistake on my ballot or the voting machine malfunctions?
Tell a poll worker before you cast your vote. If your voting machine malfunctions, you have a right to correct any errors and should request a different machine.
How do I make a complaint?
First, ask for the chairman of the election board at your polling place; they can handle most routine complaints that arise on Election Day. Candidates, political parties, and nonprofit groups may also have poll watchers at your polling place who might be able to assist you. If any of those people ask you who you voted for, or if they cannot resolve your complaint, call your county clerk or the Nevada Secretary of State.
You can also call the Election Protection Hotline, 866-OUR-VOTE / 888-VE-Y-VOTA.
- National Nonpartisan Election Protection Hotline: (866) OUR-VOTE or www.866ourvote.org
- Spanish Nonpartisan Election Protection Hotline: (888) VE-Y-VOTA or www.veyvota.yaeshora.info
- ACLU's National Voting Rights Project: (877) 523-2792 or www.aclu.org/letmevote
- ACLU of Nevada: file a complaint online or contact one of our offices
- Nevada Secretary of State: (775) 684-5705 or www.nvsos.gov
- U.S. Department of Justice: (800) 253-3931
County Clerk Contact Information
- Carson City: (775) 887-2087 or www.carson.org
- Churchill County: (775) 423-6028 or www.churchillcounty.org
- Clark County: (702) 455-8683 or www.clarkcountynv.gov/vote
- Douglas County: (775) 782-9023 or cltr.co.douglas.nv.us
- Elko County: (775) 753-4600 or www.elkocountynv.net
- Esmeralda County: (775)485-6367 or www.accessesmeralda.com
- Eureka County: (775) 237-5262 or co.eureka.nv.us
- Humboldt County: (775) 623-6343 or www.hcnv.us
- Lander County: (775) 635-5738 or www.landercountynv.org
- Lincoln County: (775) 962-5390 or www.lincolncountynv.org
- Lyon County: (775) 463-6501 or www.lyon-county.org
- Mineral County: (775) 945-2446 or www.mineralcountynv.us
- Nye County: (775) 482-8127 or www.nyecounty.net
- Pershing County: (775)273-2208 or www.pershingcounty.net
- Storey County: (775) 847-0969 or www.storeycounty.org
- Washoe County: (775) 328-3670 or www.co.washoe.nv.us/voters
- White Pine County: (775) 293-6509 or www.whitepinecounty.net
Printable Voting Rights Information
- 2012 Know Your Voting Rights: Nevada (PDF)
- 2012 Voting Rights Information for Nevada on 4x6 Postcard (PDF)
- Conoce tus Derechos Como Votante (PDF)
- Voting with a Criminal Conviction in Nevada (PDF)
- Voting as a College Student (PDF)