Volunteers Canvass Neighborhoods As Election Day Nears - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Volunteers Canvass Neighborhoods As Election Day Nears

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Caroline Smith and Rollie Katz both feel very strongly about the country's direction. But they have very different opinions of what that direction should be.  Smith is a Republican, supporting Donald Trump. Katz is a Democrat who favors Hillary Clinton.

Both spent the final three days before the election, pounding the pavement, knocking on doors, hoping to gain support for their candidates, encouraging residents to head to the polls, and reminding them where their polling locations are. About 1,000 of the volunteers are from other states like California, Oregon, Idaho and Oklahoma that are already solid blue or red. They have come to Nevada to campaign for their nominees, a state that could swing either way.

"They're taking their own time, their money and staying in hotels," Smith said. "That's how much they believe. They want to see us here, Nevada win, and I think we are going to win."

Katz is one of the out-of-state volunteers. The Oakland, California resident has spent the last three weekends, campaigning in Reno.

"We want to make sure we have some kind of effect on the election and this is the way to do it, and we don't want to just sit at home and watch from a distance," Katz said.

This is the final push before American citizens will elect the next president.  Monday has been hit-or-miss for the volunteers because most residents are not at home.  Still, they have met a lot of different people with very different political ideals over the past three days.

"I really think it is democracy when we go talk to voters, rather than just bombarding with commercials and really get to talk to folks," Katz said.

"We had people come out and meet us," Smith said. "We walked away from the door because we didn't think they'd answer, (residents came out) in tears, crying that we didn't know what we're going to do if Mr. Trump doesn't get elected."

Republicans have 1,792 more registered voters in Washoe County than Democrats. Statewide, Democrats lead Republicans by 118,792 registered voters.  The slim margins mean the Silver State and Washoe County could swing in either direction. That is one reason why former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis is in Reno.

"Nevada is going to play an incredibly crucial role in this election," Davis said. "This is where we stop Donald Trump and it's where we elect Hillary Clinton."

Jon Staab is the Deputy State Director for the Nevada Republican Party. He also sees the importance of getting as many voters to the polls as possible.

"Washoe County is incredibly important," Staab said. "It's one of Mr. Trump's top five targeted counties in the country. It is basically a laboratory of where we're going to be at, nationally."

While early voting ended with higher numbers than expected, more than half of Nevada's registered voters still have a chance to cast a ballot on election day.

"We got caught off-guard, a little bit in the beginning, and then we pushed hard and made up on lost ground, and we're going to push through all the way to Election Day," Staab said. "We've been building up our momentum."

"We can't win with only the early vote," Davis said. "So, we've got to make sure that every vote that has not shown up yet is one that we turn out, tomorrow."

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