Election Day polls in Washoe County open at 7 a.m. sharp on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3. People who are in line by 7 p.m. can cast their votes, and unofficial results will not be released by the Washoe County Registrar’s office until after the last polling in place in Nevada closes.
Thus far, 71% of Washoe County voters have already cast ballots, so the Washoe County Registrar of Voters is not expecting long lines at polling or ballot drop off locations.
“With over 71% voters already casting their ballots, I’m hoping tomorrow will just be really a great, smooth day,” said Washoe County Registrar of Voters Deanna Spikula. “I’m hoping that everybody who’s eligible will be able to get out and cast that ballot. And I’m hoping they’re able to do so in the manner they choose to do.”
However, despite high turnout numbers, the registrar’s office will need to continue to count some provisional ballots—and final results from both local and national races will not be available until after the canvass of votes on Nov. 16.
“For the most part, I wouldn’t expect, even our local races—I wouldn’t feel comfortable that Election Night results were going to be…the official final results,” Spikula said. “Even small races, close races—they could change. It really is going to be until the last provisional ballot is cast, I think, until it can be certified as being an official result.”
Asked after potential voter fraud in Washoe County, Spikula said there has been little indication of it. She said, thus far, her office has seen a total of about 15 cases—and that many of these are likely the result of mistakes.
“It’s hard to determine whether it’s a fraud attempt, but we have had some people that have returned a ballot and appeared in person to vote,” Spikula said. “Of course, we collect all of that information. We will turn it over to the district attorney’s office and the secretary of state’s office. A lot of those cases are, typically, mistakes people made. They either forgot that they had sent a ballot in, or they didn’t think those ballots would get to us in time.”
Jeri Chadwell came to Reno from rural Nevada in 2004 to study anthropology at the University of Nevada, Reno. In 2012, she returned to the university for a master’s degree in journalism. She is the former associate and news editor of the Reno News & Review and is a recipient of first-place Nevada Press Association awards for investigative and business reporting. Jeri is passionate about Nevada’s history, politics and communities.