Politics

What Early Voting in Nevada Tells Us About the Election.

November 5th 2016

By:
Willie Burnley Jr.

As early voting ends in several states, the eyes of the nation turn to the long lines voters have endured and the votes that they casted. In Nevada, the line inside of Cardenas Market in Clark County became emblematic of the lengths that voters would go to cast their vote.

People reportedly stood for hours, some waiting past the polling sites' closing times.

Voting sites in the state closed anywhere from 7pm to 9pm on Friday, depending on the location. However, people who were in the line prior to 9pm were allowed to stay long enough to reach the ballot box.

In total, more than 57,000 people voted on the last day of early voting, breaking the previous 2012 record of 48,000 for single-day early voting in the county. At the same time, more than 600,000 Nevadans had voted during the early voting period, according to Nevada’s Secretary of State’s office.

 

However, because of glitches in registration or mistakes on the part of voters, some people were turned away from the polls and offered provisional ballots. These ballots would only allow them to vote for federal candidates and didn’t allow them a voice on Nevada ballot questions such as whether to legalize marijuana. If their registration cannot be proved in the state, their vote won’t count at all.

Tens of millions of people have already voted in this election and the results have been generally positive for Democrats.

In Nevada, early voting indicates that Hillary Clinton is at least matching, if not outpacing, the lead that allowed President Obama to win the state in 2012. One powerful reason for that are Latino voters, even Republican ones, who are sending a strong message in this election.

Latinos in Nevada account for over a quarter of the swing state’s population and have been surging against the candidate that previously called Mexican immigrants rapists, criminals, and drug dealers. Although the state only counts for six votes electorally, the strong early voting presence and turnout from Latinos are trends that extend across the country.

Latino turnout is up 100 percent in Florida and 60 percent in the battleground state of North Carolina, Gabriel Sanchez of Latino Decisions told Talking Points Memo. These trends have kept states like Florida competitive, which is bad news for the Republican Party. Without Florida, the Republican nominee has virtually no path to victory.

Early voting has long been seen as an effective tool for Democrats to win elections, given that Republicans do better when voter turnout is low. This is one reason that Republican governors have been reducing the number of early voting sites, especially in Black and Latino communities, and creating longer lines.

Still, the record turnout in states like Texas which also has a considerable Latino population, are signs that voters are willing to stick it out in order to definitively end what has been seen as one of the most vitriolic campaigns in history.