Early voting begins Saturday; no after-hours balloting for Dayton

Early voting begins Saturday, but for one Lyon County community, voters have to be in the neighborhood between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to vote early.

In Dayton, however, there will be no early voting opportunities on Saturday or after regular business hours during the week. Dayton residents can vote in Yerington, Fernley and Smith Valley on Saturday and after hours.

Lyon County Clerk Treasurer Nikki Bryan said she doesn't have the resources to have after-hours voting everywhere.

"I always used to go out to Silver Springs, Fernley, Dayton, and Smith Valley for one night," she said. "That got to be too cumbersome."

The hours for Dayton, at the Lyon County office in Occidental Square, are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., the same as the last election cycle, Bryan said.

She said she based her early-voting decisions on staff availability.

"I don't have a lot in my overtime budget, and in order to have after-hours voting I'd have to have overtime," she said, adding that there are only two people in the Dayton office.

Bryan said she didn't have to have early voting outside Yerington at all, but did so because she thinks all the communities should have the opportunity.

She also said Fernley's hours were set by Fernley city staff, as they will be manning the polls.

"I'm doing the best I can," she said. "There are some people that don't agree. If we were open until 6, someone will want us to be open until 7."

One person who doesn't agree is Lyon County Commission District I candidate Donna Kristaponis, who said Bryan can easily solve the problem by having the office open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. during early voting, at least part of the time.

"It's just wrong," Kristaponis said. "It's an issue of fairness."

Kristaponis said Dayton is a bedroom community with people who commute to work in Carson City and Reno, and many won't be able to get back home by 5 p.m., and can't take advantage of early voting.

Bryan said people with time constraints can obtain absentee ballots until Aug. 5, or can wait for the primary election on Aug. 12, when polls will be open 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

In Carson City, early voting will be held until 6 p.m. some days and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Clerk's Office, 885 East Musser St.

Chief Deputy Clerk Sue Merriwether said additional locations are not necessary because Carson City is not a large, spread-out locale.

"I don't think anyone ever questioned it," she said.

In Storey County, the Virginia City courthouse is the only place for early voting because of a shortage of staff and resources, though Clerk-Treasurer Vanessa Dixon said there will be early voting in the Lockwood area in the north section of the county.

"We looked at it, but didn't have the resources for the primary," she said. "But we are planning on it for the general election."

- Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at kwoodmansee@nevadaappeal.com or call 881-7351.

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