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Stories from the KUNR newsroom and regional partners related to the 2024 elections

Nevada election officials report no issues at the polls on primary election day

Burgess talks in front of several microphones. Her hand is raised and her thumb is pointing backwards to a room. There’s a sign that reads, “Ballot Opening.”
Lucia Starbuck
KUNR Public Radio
Washoe County interim registrar of voters Cari Ann Burgess at a press conference with reporters after the polls closed for the 2024 Nevada Presidential Preference Primary in Reno, Nev., on Feb. 6, 2024.

Polls for the 2024 Nevada Presidential Preference Primary closed at 8:12 p.m. on Tuesday night, according to the Nevada Secretary of State. As of 10 a.m. Feb. 7, more than 182,000 Nevadans have cast their ballots, and voters had a variety of issues top of mind.

The Associated Press (AP) declared President Joe Biden the winner of the Nevada Democratic Primary shortly after the polls closed, but he has more voters to convince in November.

Steve Nighthawk campaigned for him in 2020, but he’s no longer a fan. He said his biggest issue is human rights.

“I’m concerned with what’s going on in Palestine, Israel, and how our president is handling it. That’s what changed my voting today,” Nighthawk said.

Alexia Johnson, a member of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, brought her two young daughters with her to the poll.

“I’m a mom of daughters, and so that can lead to some important issues,” Johnson said. “We’re also part of a sovereign nation on the tribal lands, so it’s important to keep those protections in order, simply because that’s where we live.”

Johnson cast her ballot for Marianne Williamson because she mentioned tribal sovereignty protections on her website.

These voters, along with Janet Caywood, said it was important for them to cast their ballots. Caywood will be caucusing for former president Donald Trump during the Feb. 8 caucus. She voted for none of the above in the primary.

“I want it clear that I do not choose any of the people listed on today’s ballot,” Caywood said.

Caywood isn’t the only one. The AP also called the race for the Republican Primary fairly quickly – “None of these candidates,” beat former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

The primary is non-binding for Republicans. Delegates will be awarded from the caucus, where Trump’s name will appear.

The Washoe County interim registrar of voters, Cari Ann Burgess said the Nevada Secretary of State’s office asked her team to stay late and count as many ballots as possible on election day. She called the election successful and said her office has fielded many questions about the caucus.

“We just give them the phone number for the Republican Party. We’re a nonpartisan office, we don’t get into that,” Burgess said. “We do a very honest and fair election, and try to be as transparent as possible to make sure that everybody has the right information.”

A person carries a bin with words visible that read “Lake Paiute Tribe,” from inside a garage. And another person holds the door open.
Lucia Starbuck
KUNR Public Radio
The first batch of ballots dropped off at the Washoe County registrar of voters office in Reno, Nev., from the Summit Lake Paiute Tribe polling site on Feb. 6, 2024.

The first batch of ballots arrived at the registrar of voters office just before 8 p.m. via Tesla from the Summit Lake Paiute Tribe administrative office. It was the first time there’s been a polling site there. Morgan Liddick, the voting center manager, said election day was pretty slow.

“In dealing with where election sites are located, there is a little bit of a turbo lag, if you will, in people getting used to a new location,” Liddick said. “We’ve been, in the past, usually in schools, so this is a bit of a departure.”

Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar said polls opened on time and there were no issues to report across the state. He said while Washoe and Clark counties had sufficient election workers, rural counties needed more support, particularly Douglas County.

“Clark and Washoe were able to use some creative recruiting to be able to fill the spots that they had open,” Aguilar said. “I know some of the rural communities struggled a little bit. And we tried to help supplement some of that staff and that team to be able to make sure that there were enough poll workers in those counties. We now have four months to figure this out.”

The next primary election is in June with state and local races.

Lucia Starbuck is an award-winning journalist covering politics, focusing on democracy and solutions for KUNR Public Radio. Her goal is to provide helpful and informative coverage for everyday Nevadans.