Voters kept voting machines busy today. In the middle of what used to be the Sheplers store in Shoppers Square, Teje Clark had been waiting for this day for weeks, even though she wasn’t ready for early voting. As she told us, "I was still watching, reading, thinking, reading, asking friends to make my decision who to vote for."
For Emma Baltezar, today was a personal milestone. She voted for the very first time today. Other elections didn't grab her interest like this one. Her vote for Hillary Clinton today was like a commitment, "I just never really paid much attention to it, but now that I have 2 kids...I realize it's a big change."
And so it went. Turnout at this polling place was strong today. The high numbers were not a surprise for poll workers like Karen Witherow, who already had a true sense of the mood this election day. She told us, "It’s busy because of everything that’s gone on with the TV and the back and forth between the candidates. They (the campaigns) really tried hard to get the voters out."
This was far from a typical presidential election. After all the ads, by today most voters we spoke with were quite certain who they were going to pull the lever for...although many were not enthusiastic about that choice. At the polls inside Reno High today, Harold Cutter didn't really have a favorite for president, but really wanted to vote against someone. As he put it, "We don't have the choices we want...we have the choices we deserve." For that reason, he voted more against somebody than for somebody: "Exactly, exactly. The lesser of 2 evils."
The candidates and issues this year certainly kept up the interest and brought the voters in, but we also detected a bit of...weariness. Ellen Lawson-Gilgovan told us she was “Very exhausted, very tired...and tired of all the ugliness and contentiousness, and the ads. I'll be very happy to even get back to regular commercials!"
Whatever the reason why everyone here came out to vote, voting supervisor Michael Sullens was impressed, "It's very impressive. I've worked a number of elections over the years, and this is the busiest we've been for the longest duration."