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Stories from the KUNR newsroom and regional partners related to the 2022 elections

Long lines on Election Day in Reno despite harsh weather

A sign reads "vote here" in all caps on a sidewalk. Snow falling around the sign.
Nick Stewart
KUNR Public Radio
A “Vote Here” sign welcomes voters outside the Downtown Reno Library during heavy snow around 10 a.m. on Nov. 8, 2022.

Election Day voting kicked off at 7 a.m., and the number of voters in lines steadily increased in a short period of time, particularly at two polling locations in Washoe County.

Voter turnout was initially slower and quieter when polls opened, but that changed quickly. Despite heavy snow impacting the Reno area, the number of voters at the UNR Joe Crowley Student Union grew from tens to hundreds in under five hours.

“I know I should have voted earlier, and people told me it was a lot easier to vote earlier, but I feel like this year we just got a lot more mail, and text messages, and emails, and calls, and it was just overwhelming," said UNR student Serene Townsell. "I still wanted to vote, but I was just not trying to look at all the voting stuff.”

Some students showed up early in the morning hoping to beat the crowds before heading out for their daily activities.

“I live on campus so I was like ‘I’ll hit the voting stations before I go to the gym,’ so it wasn’t that big of a deal to come to campus to vote, and it was just really convenient,” said UNR student Madalyn Larson, who was in line to vote before 8 a.m.

Many of the students have the same concerns as others do nationwide for this election.

“This year it was all about abortion rights and reproductive rights, and I would say that’s what mainly led me to vote,” said UNR student Skyler Sheahan.

Voter turnout was impressive at other locations too. At Reno’s downtown library, the line was out the door by 11 a.m., and many people were trying to cram inside as the snow fell outside. Reno resident John Paul Crum didn’t let the weather dampen his experience.

“It’s a busy day with the weather and everything, but it’s an exciting day,” Crum said. “Hopefully people get a voice to kind of speak what they wanna change.”

It’s not likely tight races will be called on election night because Nevada counts mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day and received by Saturday.

Nick Stewart is a former student reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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