During this year's presidential election, Nevadans had three ways to cast their vote. They could mail in their ballot, drop it off or vote in person.
Nevada election officials from both Washoe and Clark counties have both expressed how incredibly hard and different this year's election was. It was a critical election taking place during a year of historic civil unrest and a health crisis.
At the polls Tuesday, voters were met with COVID-19 protocols like social distancing, mandatory mask wearing and a temperature check at the door.
The pandemic didn’t stop passionate and determined voters from showing up and casting their ballots, like Alexis Guerrero. She knew exactly who she would be voting for as she participated in her first election.
“I’m excited to vote for who I am voting for, but a little nervous that it may not go the way I want it to. Four more years, four more years makes me worried,” Guerrero said. “I feel like Joe Biden has a higher maturity level than Trump does, and the way [Biden] handles the LGBTQ, Black Lives Matter and even [the Coronavirus] is much better than the way Trump is handling it.”
Of course, there are others who disagree with Guerrero. Justin Bryan has been living in Reno for 20 years, and he expressed that his concern for this election is the aftermath.
“That we don’t have a civil war after,” Bryan said. “If Biden wins, that’s what's happening.”
Bryan said he would physically participate if a civil war broke out.
“Absolutely, I will die if I have to,” Bryan said.
Bryan is sure President Donald Trump will be reelected. He says it’s the president’s character he supports.
“I like that nobody controls him. He’s an American just like we are,” Bryan said.
Other voters weren’t necessarily rooting for one candidate more than the other. Nicole Ward decided to vote in person because she says the count would be more accurate. She went to the polls with her daughter.
“Honestly, I just want the country to get along and finally start agreeing on things,” Ward said. “Finally getting this COVID thing under wraps so we can get our country going again would be helpful. I'm an at-home mom right now [because of] COVID. I was working at the hospital, but with childcare, shutdowns and all of that, it's easier for me to stay home. It's crazy. I’m hoping that it ends well, no matter who wins. I hope that the country doesn’t burst into flames.”
Matt Zamaran, who recently took on his civic responsibility to vote, said he’s looking for a leader who will help create a better future for his children.
“Consistency and just a better world,” Zamaran explained. “Since I’ve had kids, making sure that they have a better world to grow up and live in. Safety, equality, opportunity ... I think that if you have a moral compass that aligns with that, and you find a candidate that coincides with what you think, then stick to that.”
While Zamaran waited in line during early voting, he said he would probably vote to reelect Trump. Debby Dahlstrum, on the other hand, voted for the former vice president.
“As it happens, I voted for Biden. The current administration is beyond belief as a travesty. It’s just pathetic. There is no leadership, there hasn't been, and certainly in view of the COVID, certainly in view of the violence that has been around our country. I believe in dialogue; I think that's hugely important, and I think Americans really believe in that as well. They just need leadership that will encourage them toward dialogue and moving forward together.”
As of Tuesday night, Washoe County reported a total voter turnout of 77 percent. Some additional ballots have yet to be counted as they will continue to trickle in over the coming days.
For Northern Nevada updates, as well as short articles based on conversations KUNR reporters have had with community members and local stakeholders, visit KUNR's 2020 election blog.
KUNR's Lucia Starbuck contributed to this report.