Eighteen-year-old college student Amira Ezzarhri made her way through the line at the Galleria at Sunset mall on Saturday morning, carrying her mail-in ballot with her. She was excited to vote for the first time for candidates who focused on the issues she cares about.
“I feel pretty confident and excited as well,” Ezzarhri said, who pre-registered to vote when she was 16.
Ezzarhri joined thousands of Nevada voters in the first day of early voting around the state.
At the Galleria mall in Henderson, a line wrapped around most of the voting center by 10 a.m., and by 11 a.m. a line extended close to the door of the mall. Poll observers watched as streams of people flowed through the center, getting checked in at electronic machines before heading to the voting booths. People stopped by the voting center to drop off their completed mail-in ballots at the drop box before heading back out the door.
Ezzarhri said she is passionate about gun control in light of recent school shootings and also about climate change.
“I’m very passionate about climate change. I definitely believe there should be more education about that. It’s something that will affect us, that is affecting us now and will continue to affect us in the future,” Ezzarhri said.
Ezzarhri said she is particularly excited to vote for Dina Titus, because she is working to reduce climate change within the state.
Roberta Oslansky, a Henderson resident of 27 years, votes at the Galleria mall every election. It took her 10 minutes to vote at 10 a.m. Saturday, but in previous years she had to wait two hours to vote at the mall.
Oslansky said she does not trust mail-in ballots and prefers voting in person, bringing her already-filled-out sample ballot. The price of gas and food, as well as immigration and crime, are issues important to her.
Henderson resident Fortunato Deocampo also voted at the mall on Saturday, taking about 10 to 15 minutes to go through the process.
“I like to keep my Social Security and Medicare. Some party wants to get rid of that. I want to save our democracy,” Deocampo said.
Both Democrat and Republican campaigns are holding Get Out the Vote events, encouraging their supporters to vote for them. Political organizations such as PLAN Action are kicking off the events with a block party celebration that will includes mariachi music, food trucks and a neighborhood canvasses.
Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Adam Laxalt, is making several stops throughout rural Southern Nevada on his GOTV tour, and Democratic Incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is attending a block party with the Culinary Union.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Contact Jessica Hill at [email protected] Follow @jess_hillyeah on Twitter.