Hundreds of Nye County voters took to polling places in Pahrump and Tonopah on Saturday.
Nye County Clerk Sandra “Sam” Merlino said the first day of early voting was “busy but smooth.”
“There was a pretty big line this morning when we opened at 10 a.m., and then the line grew,” Merlino said in Pahrump. “But you know what, the voters today have been wonderful. We have had no complaints.”
Merlino said 1,023 people voted in Pahrump and 68 people voted in Tonopah on Saturday. Polls in the county were closed on Sunday. On Monday, 99 people cast ballots Tonopah and 997 cast ballots in Pahrump.
Before the Ian Deutch Justice Complex opened at 10 a.m. on Saturday, people were lined up to the sidewalk. During the early hours of voting, the line stretched across the complex, the only place in Pahrump where residents could cast their vote during early voting.
“We weren’t open until 10 a.m., what we did is we started to bring people in and they literally snaked all the way around clear back in the Justice Court before we opened polls this morning,” Merlino said.
Approximately 300 people cast ballots during the first two hours of early voting in Pahrump on Saturday, Merlino said. Early voting in Nevada will last until Nov. 4.
“The first Saturday is always the busiest, I predict it will go down a little bit,” she said. “Usually, (during) a presidential election we will run anywhere from 500 to 800 (people) a day.”
Jon Foland, a part-time Pahrump resident who also lives in Washington, was on his way to the Nye County Clerk’s Office shortly after 11 a.m.
The U.S. Army veteran said he was going to cast his vote for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.
“I firmly believe in his stance on a lot of policies about changing this country in a better way,” he said. “I do not endorse Hillary in any way whatsoever and I don’t believe Trump knows what he is doing.
“It’s just turned into an entertainment show, with the way that this election process has run. It’s very disappointing to see that we’ve come to this.”
He also said that he was against Question 1 which would require background check for private gun sales and transfers but supported Question 2 which would legalize recreational marijuana.
“It’s outrageous that people can even think that this is going to accomplish anything other than restricting current gun owners already,” he said about Question 1.
“It’s a civil liberty that we should be entitled to,” he said about legalizing marijuana. “If someone can go out and drink and drive and kill somebody but someone can’t sit at home and enjoy a joint and something that could help them, … there’s not reason for that not to be at least regulated in some way that can be allowed and acknowldged.”
Dave and Judy Overturf said they voted for Republican candidate Donald Trump.
“I think he is going to make Ameria great again. He is going to make everything right,” Judy Overturf said.
The Overturfs said they supported the idea of building a wall and investing in the military.
“He is going to take care of us little people, I think,” Judy Overturf said.
Arlene Hansett, another Trump supporter, said he is going to make changes.
“Well, some are going to be good, some are going to be bad, any president will do that, but at least he is going to try and he keeps saying he is going to make America great, so all we can do is hope. He is a businessman and he has done good,” she said.
Some of the voters said they had to wait over an hour in line. Susan Terrell who came to vote in the early morning said her waiting time was one hour and 15 minutes.
Terrell, who voted for Clinton, said the Democratic nominee would be a good president because she “has led all her life helping other people.”
“She has the experience and the knowledge, background. I think she is a very smart woman.”
“I think he is a TV personality and that’s about all,” she said about Trump. “I don’t think he is a good businessman, I think he is a terrible example for the children of this country.”
Paul and Geneva Peck said they were also going to vote for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
“She definitely has all the experience. She is probably one of the most experienced candidates that has ever run for president,” Paul Peck said.
The Pecks, independent voters, said they vote for “the most qualified candidate” in presidential elections.
“You have to have a candidate that is qualified to be the president of the United States,” Paul Peck said. “It’s the most important job in the world.”
Ian Deutch Justice Complex, located at 1520 East Basin Avenue in Pahrump
Wednesday, Oct. 26 through Friday, Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 29, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 31 through Friday, Nov. 4, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Nye County Clerk’s Office in Tonopah, located at 101 Radar Road
Wednesday, Oct. 26 through Friday, Oct. 28, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 31 through Friday, Nov. 4, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
General Election is on Nov. 8.
Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at email@example.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77