CARSON CITY (KTNV) — The Nevada Legislature passed a bill that would send mail-in ballots to all active voters for the November 2020 election, and now it heads to the governor's desk for a signature.
The Senate and Assembly both approved Assembly Bill 4 (AB4) during the 32nd special legislative session on Sunday, voting across party lines, with Democrats voting in favor and Republicans disapproving.
Lawmakers tried to address concerns over voting safety during the pandemic with this bill.
The measure is intended to help avoid large gatherings, which health experts say can accelerate the spread of the coronavirus.
However, polling places will still be open. In fact, AB4 requires that counties open additional polling places.
In Clark County, for example, there will be 35 polling places for early voting and 100 for Election Day.
AB4 also allocates $3 million in state funds for the November election from the CARES Act.
Around the state, the bill has been met with some controversy. Republican opponents worry that the legislation would open the state up to more voter fraud.
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“Those are things that now just open up for corruption and the majority of needs they want in-person voting, this is not for people, this is by the people,” said Michael J. McDonald, chairman of the Nevada Republican Party.
On the other side of the aisle, Democrats see this as an expansion of voting options.
“Voting is a right," said Speaker of the Nevada Assembly Jason Frierson. "I think that we have an obligation as lawmakers to make sure that that right is protected."
"If you choose to early vote," he explained, "you can early vote. If you want to vote in person, then vote in person."
"No one is taking that right,” Frierson added.
Mail-in ballots will be sent 20 days before the election to those who live in Nevada. For those living out of state, it will be 40 days before the election.
Gov. Steve Sisolak is expected to sign AB4 into law. If he does, Nevada will join several other states that plan to automatically send voters ballots in the mail.