Political organizations, especially Democratic-leaning unions, but also Republican organizations, that spent months urging people to vote in Nevada’s key Senate race are now turning their focus toward “curing” flawed mail-in ballots in the still-uncalled contest.
“Curing” is a process where voters correct problems with their mail ballot, ensuring that it gets counted. This can mean validating that a ballot is truly from them, by adding a missing signature, or by addressing signature-match issues. The deadline for voters to “cure” their ballots in Nevada is Nov. 14, according to state law.
With the razor-thin margin in the contest between Democratic incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, the relatively small universe of ballots that need to be “cured” could make a difference. Laxalt currently leads Cortez Masto by about 9,000 votes, according to the latest tally.
The Clark County Registrar announced earlier on Friday that 9,659 ballots were eligible to be cured in the pivotal county, which includes Las Vegas. Officials from Washoe County, which is home to Reno, said they have 1,440 ballots that need to be cured.
The Culinary Union Local 226, which represent roughly 60,000 workers in populous Clark and Washoe County and is central in Democratic efforts in the state, tells CNN they have the “largest cure team in the state," with union spokesperson Bethany Khan saying the group has "200 canvassers doing phone bank, door knocking, and employee dining room cures."
Other Democratic groups are also engaged in the curing effort. Somos Votantes, a political organization founded in 2019 that targeted boosting Latino turnout in Nevada, is reaching out to voters in both Spanish and English and offering to provide transportation to voters who need it.
Republicans are also engaged in the effort. Republican National Committee spokeswoman Hallie Balch said in a statement that the group had “a duty to inform voters that their ballot needs curing in order to be counted.”
According to Clark County’s Election website, curing happens “if a question arises about your signature on the outside of your mail ballot return envelope or if you did not put your signature on the outside of that envelope, the Election Department will notify you using the contact information in your voter registration.”