As the final week of early voting winds down, we caught up with Storey County Clerk Vanessa Stephens to ask her about how the most divisive election in recent memory is progressing.
ST: Early voting has been on for about a week. How many people have voted?
VS: As of 6:00 PM yesterday we had 467 early voters.
ST: And would you consider that light, heavy or normal?
VS: I’d call it normal. It has been steady.
ST: I’ve been in contact with folks unable to be here to vote and are doing so via absentee or mail in ballot. How many people are voting by mail?
VS: -We have received 107 absentee ballot request, 69 of those ballots have been returned to date. April 5, 2017 was the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot. If anyone who requested a ballot has not received a ballot as requested they need to contact my office immediately.
ST: We have learned that as a cost savings measure, no Deputies will be present as in past. Other counties in the state no longer have deputies as part of the process, so this is not to unusual. What does this mean to the security and integrity of the process as the ballots are en route to your office from the outlaying precincts?
VS: All the equipment/ballots will be returned to the Courthouse by myself and members of my staff. Deputies have helped out in prior elections but have not been the sole means of transporting equipment. All results cartridges are secured in the machines under seal. Those seals will not be removed until delivered to the Courthouse for tally.
ST: Finally, you mentioned that the public was welcome to observe the process. Does that include the processing and counting of the ballots after 7:00 pm?
VS: Yes, the public is welcome to observe the complete process. The equipment will delivered to the District Courtroom after 7:00pm where we will go through our verification process (confirming seal numbers and pulling cartridges from the machines) and begin the tally process. Additionally absentee and mailing precinct ballots will be processed at this time. We typically wrap up shortly before 9:00pm.
Special thanks to Vanessa Stephens for taking time to talk to thestoreyteller.online.