Election Day live updates: Republican voters irked Trump is not on primary ballot
Tuesday marks the final day voters can cast a ballot in person or send it back in the mail to weigh in on Nevada’s presidential preference primary. Nevada Independent reporters and photographers fanned out across the state to get a feel for voters’ moods and turnout on Election Day.
For updates on turnout data in the presidential primaries, click here.
7:12 p.m.: Washoe County voters weigh in on their election choices
The polling location at the North Valleys Library serves voters who live 20 miles outside of Reno, as well as others on the outskirts of the city. Election workers said that they had a steady stream of voters stopping in throughout Election Day.
Ramon Alaniz, 70, is a Hispanic Navy veteran who came to the voting site at 4:30 p.m. to cast a ballot for President Joe Biden. He said cable news dominates the election scene and the only way to speak out and counteract the “talking heads on TV” is through the ballot box.
Alaniz said that his dad fought in World War II and was one of the lucky few who returned from D-Day alive. He said he sees echoes of that time in the spread of conspiracy theories, such as those from the alt-right QAnon movement.
“The German people were complacent and allowed a very small minority, vocal and arrogant, and very militant group, to take over their country,” he said. “I don’t want to see the same thing happen to the United States.”
As for whether he agrees with Biden, Alaniz said he believes Biden has a long history of being a public servant.
“I don’t agree with everything [Biden] says, but I agree with about 75 percent of what he says,” Alaniz said. “That’s better than my wife. I think we agree about 65 percent of the time. So I wouldn’t say that I would want to marry Biden, but I’m happy with my wife and I’m happy with the structure and the institutions that we have.”
Shortly after Alaniz voted, Russ Bream, 57, a Republican who served in the Army until 2018, voted for “none of these candidates” on the ballot.
Bream said he’ll be voting in the caucus on Thursday and sees former President Donald Trump as the lesser of two evils.
“I’m very disappointed in the way our country is. I didn’t serve for what we have,” Beam said. “I feel that this is not the country I signed up to give my life for.”
Bream said that the concurrent state-run primary and party-run caucus processes are “confusing,” but it’s important to vote, even if you’re selecting no candidate on the ballot.
As for why he selected “none of these candidates?”
“I didn’t feel the candidates on the primary [ballot] were acceptable,” Beam said, noting that he didn’t agree with some of Nikki Haley’s proposals, such as verifying social media users, a stance she later retracted.
— Tabitha Mueller
4:38 p.m.: All quiet in Washoe County
On a frigid Tuesday in Northern Nevada, voters have been slowly trickling into Washoe County election sites, though there haven’t been significant wait times or long lines. As of 3 p.m., the county’s online turnout tracker shows 1,942 voters have cast an in-person Election Day ballot — 1,049 Democrats and 893 Republicans.
At UNR’s Joe Crowley Student Union as of 2 p.m., more journalists were present at a voting site than actual voters.
Election workers at UNR estimated that at that time, fewer than 60 people had stopped by the site to either drop off ballots or vote in person. Workers said voters were coming by in “spurts,” creating a flurry of activity that then died down.
The voting site at the Downtown Reno Library had more voters stop by, including 90-year-old Delores Harvey, who said cold and snowy weather prevented her from voting sooner.
Though national media has described the Nevada primary as inconsequential and irrelevant, Harvey said she wants to vote every chance she gets. A Democrat, Harvey said she has voted for Republicans in past elections but voted for President Joe Biden this year.
“It was an easy choice,” she said. “I think [Trump’s] time is over.”
Harvey didn’t want to discuss any details about her voting decision this year but said she “believes people should make their own choice about certain things.”
A Republican voter at the library declined to share any personal information but said they voted for Nikki Haley because of Haley’s experience as a governor and as an ambassador to the United Nations. The voter expressed concerns about the ages of other candidates.
— Tabitha Mueller
1:55 p.m.: Two Vegas voters back “None of these candidates” in Republican primary
At the Desert Breeze Community Center in Las Vegas, one of the more popular polling sites for Tuesday’s election, voters have been streaming in since early this morning, an election worker said.
Two of those voters said they had chosen the “none of these candidates” option in the Republican primary because they were supporting former President Donald Trump, who skipped the primary to participate in Thursday’s presidential caucus.
Ricardo Terrazas, 65, will be caucusing for Trump on Thursday but decided to still participate in Tuesday’s primary to “vote against the process.” He called the primary — which is new in Nevada and came after former Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a bill requiring one in 2021 — “a waste of time and money.”
Terrazas originally was planning to caucus for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who dropped his bid for the presidency last month.
“Nobody on there was worthy of my vote,” Terrazas said.
Peggy Kilian, 81, is a longtime Trump supporter who will be caucusing for the former president on Thursday.
It will be her first time participating in a caucus, and she said she had “no idea what the difference is” between a primary and caucus. The Nevada GOP set rules for the Feb. 8 caucus that bars candidates from running in both the caucus and primary. Trump decided to run in the Nevada Republican Party’s presidential caucus, which will determine who wins delegates, instead of participating in Nevada’s state-run Republican presidential primary.
“It’s ridiculous that his name is not on the ballot,” Kilian said.
Not everyone interviewed at Desert Breeze Community Center participated in the Republican primary.
David Greenman, 68, voted for President Joe Biden on the Democratic ballot.
A Democrat for roughly the past 25 years, Greenman said Biden has shown that he is a “capable president.” He did not have concerns about Biden’s age, describing the presidency as a CEO-type role and crediting the people that Biden has surrounded himself with.
“They’re all capable, and it’s not like a monarchy where he just waves a scepter like Donald Trump would like to have it,” Greenman said.
– Eric Neugeboren
12 p.m.: Vegas voter wonders: Why isn’t Trump on my ballot?
Intermittent showers did not stop voters from showing up at a polling location in the northwestern Las Vegas Valley, where low-lying clouds hid the mountains in the background.
Some voters held their mail ballot close to their body to protect it from the rain and hurried inside the white tent in the parking lot of Thunderbird Family Sports Complex to drop it off. Others parked as close as they could to the entrance to spend as little time in the brisk air as possible.
Voter Rudy Roybal, 43, appeared unbothered by the sprinkle but said he was disappointed to learn that former President Donald Trump was not on the ballot Tuesday. He said he did not vote and will reserve his vote for Thursday’s caucus put on by the Nevada GOP.
“I wanted to vote for Trump and I'm gonna go to the caucus because of it. I still want to vote. I'm definitely a believer in voting, but I wouldn’t vote for any of those people there,” Roybal said about the Republican ballot, which includes former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and several obscure candidates. “To me, it was pointless. I don't think it's right. Trump should be on both ballots.”
While he has not always been a Republican, Roybal said he has always held certain conservative values, including keeping federal spending under control, and is “more liberal when it comes to social issues.”
— Jannelle Calderón