Nearly 57 percent of voters cast votes early in Carson City

Just shy of 57 percent of Carson City’s registered voters cast ballots either by early voting in person or through an absentee ballot.

Altogether, 17,970 Carson voters have now voted out of the total 31,615 registered.

Two weeks of early voting closed at 6 p.m. Friday.

Now the clerk’s office is preparing for election day Tuesday.

While more Republicans voted than Democrats in the capital — 8,099 to 6,232 — a higher percentage of registered Democrats turned out than Republicans — 63.8 percent to 58.2 percent.

The wildcard in all elections, however, is the 5,576 voters who registered as nonpartisan. Those voters tend to lean Democrat on election day, bringing the two major parties closer when the counting is done.

In Carson City, the turnout in a presidential election year typically approaches 90 percent. In 2012, for example, turnout was 89.8 percent.

According to Clerk/Recorder Sue Merriwether, a significant number of early voters this year were those on the inactive list because they didn’t vote in 2014. They’re still allowed to vote after reconfirming their address and other registration information.

On Tuesday, general election day, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Election day voting will be held at the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St., and at the Courthouse.

Refer to your sample ballot for your voting location.

long push to drive Latino vote

It was more than two hours after early voting was scheduled to end at a Mexican grocery store in Las Vegas and the last voters were still trickling out of the sliding glass doors, fresh from casting their ballots next to mounds of dried chiles, rows of piñatas and a horchata stand.

Isabel Garcia and her two young children stood firm for about two hours in a line that at one point snaked back and forth several times over in front of the supermarket in this heavily Hispanic neighborhood. Democratic operatives joked on Twitter that Donald Trump was finally getting his wall — a crush of Nevadans like Garcia who were determined to vote against him.

“It’s a lot more personal than other elections,” said Garcia, a 36-year-old old restaurant worker. “I have the power of my voice so I have to enforce my voice and come out and vote for the people who can’t do it.”

Heavy turnout in the neighborhood, and the 6 percentage point statewide turnout lead that Democrats logged in the two-week early voting period that ended Friday, comes amid a painstaking effort to translate Nevada’s sizeable Latino population into a political “firewall” that puts victory out of reach for Trump and other Republicans.

Hispanics account for about 28 percent of this swing state’s population but tend to vote less frequently than other groups. Their underwhelming participation is part of the reason Republicans seized widespread power in Nevada in the 2014 elections.

Republicans have tried to make inroads through organizations like the Libre Initiative, which promotes conservative concepts like school choice to Hispanic voters, and through a deluge of Spanish-language ads that portray Clinton and down-ticket Democrats as corrupt. A Latino Decisions poll from late September and early October shows that the party has won over a fraction of Nevada’s Hispanic voter base, including about 17 percent who plan to vote for Trump.

“I can’t wait for him to build the wall,” said Blanca Murphy, a 33-year-old immigrant from El Salvador who lives in Las Vegas and resonates with the Republican nominee. “He’s not sending me back. He’s not going to send my mom back ... he’s going to look for the ones who are destroying this country.”

But mostly, Trump’s talk of a wall and a deportation force appears to have provoked a sleeping giant in Nevada’s estimated 198,000 Latino voters. One of them is 18-year-old Noemi Guigui, whose father is in danger of deportation and who describes the prospect of a Trump presidency as “honestly, really scary.”

Fresh out of high school, she works full-time with the advocacy group Mi Familia Vota, persuading people to vote and speak for those, like her father, who can’t.

“They say that their registration doesn’t count, their vote doesn’t count,” she said. “But I tell them yes it does. You don’t know how many people who aren’t able to vote wish they had the chance to vote. I tell them, ‘You’re going to be the voice for 5 million people.’”


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