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Politics and Policy

Nevada election volunteers talk vigilance and civic responsibility

John Vettel stands in a greeting area outside of a polling location. His hat identifies him as a United States Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War.
Lucia Starbuck
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John Vettel is a Carson City resident, a Vietnam vet, and a first-time election volunteer.

On the morning of the Nevada midterm primary election, KUNR’s Shelby Herbert spoke with election workers to understand why they volunteered at polling locations in Washoe Valley and Carson City.

In rural Washoe Valley, poll worker Catherine Oakley was pleasantly surprised by the community’s investment in the midterm primary. It was her first time working an election.

"Personally, I think it’s great, just to be in a democracy and be able to voice your opinion," said Oakley. "Especially when we’re in a midterm primary, you tend to see less people, but it’s great to see people caring, especially with local races and stuff like that."

In nearby Carson City, John Vettel chose to be an election volunteer for the first time. He’s a local resident, a Vietnam vet, and says he got involved to ease his suspicions about election fraud.

"Well, basically, we’ve had a lot of complaints about illegal things going on and whatever," said Vettel. "So, I thought I’d be right where it’s going on and make sure I do everything I can to make sure it's not necessary."

KUNR spoke to him on the morning of the election, and he shared his thoughts on the process.

"I don’t think we have any problems. We’ve got good people running it and everybody’s trying to do the right thing. Anyway, that’s why I decided to volunteer — to get right on the inside and make sure I have my eyes open."

Throughout Nevada’s primary season, there has been immense focus on the “Big Lie” — former president Donald Trump’s false claim that there was a massive conspiracy to manipulate the results of the 2020 general election in President Joe Biden’s favor. Outgoing Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske has continuously defended the integrity of the state’s election results.

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