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Politics and Policy

Early voting in Nevada ends, still time to vote on election day and via mail-in ballots

A red, white and blue “Vote Here” vertical banner in front of a tree and bushes. In the background is a blue and gray building with large windows reflecting a cloudy sky.
Lucia Starbuck
/
KUNR Public Radio
A “Vote Here” sign stands in front of the Career College of Northern Nevada in Sparks on May 28, 2022 — the first day of early voting for the 2022 Nevada primary election.

Early voting for Nevada’s 2022 primary election came to a close on Friday, June 10. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck spoke to voters about why they chose to cast a ballot in person in advance and breaks down some common questions about election day and mailing in a ballot.

On the first day of early voting, I asked voters, “What brought you out on day one?” Here’s what they told me:

“To get the voting done,” said Robin Media voting in Sparks.

“No lines. It’s really nice,” said Jim Ainsworth of Sun Valley.

“We want to get our vote in and counted,” said Shannon Waldrop at the Washoe County Registrar of Voters office.

Washoe County voters I spoke to had a wide range of issues that brought them to the polls. Two voters at the Career College of Northern Nevada in Sparks had very different motivations for voting. Republican Lonnie Thomas said the top things on his mind are the economy, including inflation, and securing the southern U.S. border. He’s also interested in gun reform following the recent mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas that killed 19 children and two teachers.

Lonnie Thomas has his hands on his hips and smiles for a photo. He’s outside, wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses. His maroon shirt reads, “Never Never Ever Quit. Black Belt is earned.”
Lucia Starbuck
/
KUNR Public Radio
Lonnie Thomas stands outside the Career College of Northern Nevada before casting his ballot for the 2022 Nevada primary election in Sparks, Nev., on May 28, 2022 — the first day for early voting.

“I’m strongly behind universal background checks,” Thomas said. “Strongly behind red flags for those individuals who appear to be dangerous and probably should not have a weapon in their hands. I’m not a gun owner; however, I also respect the people who do want to own a gun.”

Thomas also mentioned it was tough to choose one Republican candidate for governor in that crowded race, which includes 15 GOP contenders.

At this same site, registered Democrat Tony Chinnici was particularly worried about candidates who promote the “Big Lie,” a baseless claim that the presidential election in 2020 was stolen from former President Donald Trump.

“I’m worried about a fascist hijack,” Chinnici said. “I think that the first botched attempt was made during 2020. And, many of the people who were involved in that attempt to hijack the 2020 election are now working at the local level all across the country to influence, manipulate, or even steal the results of elections in the favor of a party that’s no longer the Republican Party.”

If you didn’t cast a ballot during early voting, you can still do so in person on election day on Tuesday, June 14. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can also still mail in your ballot; however, it needs to be postmarked by election day. You can check the status of your mail-in ballot at washoecounty.gov.

Washoe County Government Affairs Manager Jamie Rodriguez said community members have asked questions about the possibility of double voting. She explained the measures in place to make sure people can’t vote twice.

“Once we receive your mail-in ballot, it is checked into the system and we give you vote credit for that election,” Rodriguez said. “Which means, if you then tried to go vote in person, you will be told at the vote centers that you have already voted.”

As of Thursday, June 9, there haven’t been any reports of intimidation at the polls in Washoe County for this primary election. Rodriguez urged voters to report instances to the poll manager at the location right away.

“What frequently happens with elections is that we’re told after the election is over that people did have this occurrence, that they felt intimidated or harassed,” she said. “It’s really important that if people do feel that something is happening that shouldn’t, or that they are being intimidated, it’s important that they call our office immediately so that we can address it.”

Washoe County will not post any preliminary results until every in-person voter in line in Nevada has cast a ballot on election day. Similar to the 2020 election, those results will change in the following days as mail-in ballots are received.

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