Results Arrive and Voters Are Anxious in Nevada
All over social media, there has been talk of possible unrest tonight and in the near future as election results trickle in. Will there be riots in the streets, peaceful protests, or only outcry on social media? Voters and poll workers in northern Nevada share their thoughts with reporters Sophia Day, Alina Croft and Madeleine Chinery.
Lexi Baum, a 20-year-old first time voter and student at the University of Nevada,Reno, outside Reno High School after casting her ballot on Election Day Nov. 3rd.
Uneasy Feelings for What Happens Later
Lexi Baum, a 20-year-old first time voter outside Reno High School, had some anxious feelings about what to expect when definitive results start coming in.
“I am worried about once we get a result but I don’t think that’s going to be tonight,” said Baum. “I would rather the counting be legit than not be. So I don’t mind if they take their time counting votes.”
Heidi Nickel, a woman in her mid-60s and also a voter at Reno High School, shared the apprehension.
“I am worried about [citizen response tonight], with what’s been going on,” said Nickel. “I don’t feel like Reno is going to be bad. I really don’t expect the results to be out tonight just because of all the mail-in voting.”
21-year-old Emma Jerz, another student at the University of Nevada, Reno, who cast her ballot at McQueen High School, was expecting some sort of social aftermath, but wasn’t sure of the intensity.
“People have been reacting in various ways for like the last eight years since Obama, so it’s not that I’m concerned about reactions tonight, I’m concerned about how strong the reactions will be. I think it would be kind of silly to not anticipate anything,” said Jerz.
Voting at the Reno Events Center went quickly, with many booths inside. All in All, A Smooth Day of Voting
Zoe Raines, 18, a first time voter and yet another University of Nevada, Reno student casting her ballot on Election Day, said it was a time to be cautious.
“Yes I am very worried about protests because I feel like whoever wins, no matter what, people will be upset and riot,” said Raines. “I’m not quite sure that the outcome will be but either way it is very scary…”
Will Doe, a first time poll manager at McQueen High School, had some different things to say about tonight’s results and the general voter attitude throughout early voting and today.
“Voters have stayed pretty positive in regard to tonight’s reaction,” said Doe. “The poll location has been running smoothly and not running into any issues and the numbers are pretty decent and pretty consistent.”
An estimated two-thirds of registered voters in Reno early voted, “so that’s why it’s been slower [at the polls today],” said Doe. “We’ve only got one-third left of registered voters voting, normally this scene is packed.”
There was some confusion with some voters who weren’t sure if their mail-in ballots had been processed yet, while a poll worker at Reno High said there was a technical issue with the voting machines in the morning which made the average wait time there up to 45 minutes, but after the issue was fixed, the wait time was brought down to 15 minutes.
As voting came to a close, many voters expressed some level of anxiety as to what would happen when results come in.
Businesses and Law Enforcement on Standby
Shop owners said they were taking extra precautions as night fell, with some boarding up, and people tuned in to TVs, radios and social media to find out who was winning both nationally and locally.
Some lines were longer, like at the Sparks Library, where throughout most of the day a waiting time app indicated over one hour in line for would be voters.
Local law enforcement agencies had messages ensuring safety for voting, but did not update their feeds as of this reporting with any extra nighttime precautions.
Reporting by Sophia Day, Alina Croft and Madeleine Chinery for the Reynolds Sandbox