RENO, Nev. (KOLO) If you were one of those waiting in line at a polling place in Cold Springs long after the 7 o'clock closing time Tuesday night, or sitting at home waiting to see those first returns, you might be thinking Election Day 2018 was fraught with problems.
But in Voter Registrar Deanna Spikula's view, it was, in fact, a notable success.
"It was such an amazing turnout overall for a elections for 2018. We had over 70 percent turnout. For a mid-term election that is huge."
That turnout--perhaps a local record for a mid-term election, at least in recent memory--was, in fact, a big reason for the lines and the delayed count.
"We looked back at the last mid-term and said 'Okay, this is what we think people will turn out in this percentage," says Spikula. "We were surprised. We actually had way higher turnout than anticipated."
The turnout and the delays were all the more unexpected as efforts to make it easier to vote appeared to be working very well.
A full 39 percent of Washoe County voters took advantage of early voting this time. That's nearly twice as many as those who waited to election day.
And when that day arrived, those of us left had a new option. We were no longer tied to a specific voting location. We could vote anywhere it was convenient.
Still, in some places, there were lines and waits.
"At 7PM when the polls closed, we still had people in line here, and in other jurisdictions," says Spikula. "So, of course, if anybody's in line at 7PM, they're going to be allowed to vote. So, of course, we had to wait for all of those to be cast before we could actually start counting all of our results."
That, she added, is Nevada law.
Spikula says her office will be studying the problems, but it may just be a matter of more locations, more machines, something she's confident will be there if needed.
"I fully anticipate moving forward if we need more locations, more machines, our county commission, our county manager will fully support us in that. We will definitely get all the equipment, people whatever resources we need. I believe they will support quickly."