Strong turnout in early voting |

Strong turnout in early voting

by Scott Neuffer

Although voters are split on a host of political issues, they seem to agree that this election itself is of monumental importance.

“I’m 83 years old, and if I die, I want to get my vote in there,” Gardnerville resident Velma Heater said Monday afternoon.

Heater was one of dozens of early voters filling the polling stations inside the old courthouse in Minden.

“It’s been busy since we opened at 8 this morning,” said Douglas County Elections Clerk Supervisor Concha Lord. “There’s been a constant stream.”

Lord said 645 people voted Saturday, the first day of early voting, just at the Minden courthouse alone. County-wide, approximately 998 voters cast ballots on Saturday.

“The numbers are close to where we were in the 2008 general election,” Lord said.

Heater, who until two years ago lived in Yerington, said her concerns this election season were simple.

“I want people to have work,” she said, “and to get this horrible debt we have off of our backs, so we don’t leave it for our children and grandchildren.”

Locally, Heater said her top priority was getting property taxes down. When asked why the midterm election was important, she didn’t mince words:

“I want to get a certain party out of there,” she said.

Leslie Hokenson of Minden was drawn to the ballot box for different reasons.

“I was driving by and thought I should just do it now,” she said.

Of utmost importance to Hokenson was the race for U.S. Senator.

“My opinion, even though I know everybody is dead set against the Democrats over everything right now, is that they need more time,” she said. “The Republicans were in there a long time, and it’s going to take about as long to change what they’ve done.”

On the local front, Hokenson considered several issues of importance to her.

“The airport is an important issue,” she said. “Development, doing better with our schools, and the water situation in the county.”

Early voting continues through 3 p.m. Oct. 29, which is the Nevada Day holiday. Polls are open in the Minden courthouse today through Saturday and Oct. 25-29. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

The polls will be open at Tahoe Transportation Center on Saturday and Oct. 27, and at the Topaz Ranch Estates fire station on Saturday.

Polling places will also be open 3-6 p.m. at the Sunridge Fire Station on Tuesdays, at the Gardnerville Ranchos Fire Station on Wednesdays and at the Johnson Lane Fire Station on Thursdays leading up to the Nov. 2 general election.