Trump’s Election Fear-Mongering Backfires in Nevada
Ethan Miller / Getty
LAS VEGAS - Last weekend of the early voting here was mostly sunny with orderly lines and social distancing from most of the residents, but Clark County's electoral roll, Joseph Gloria, saw problems on the horizon.
Gloria, whose office is remembered for ensuring an orderly vote and accurate count in the craziest presidential election year, describes the same scene as part of a “perfect storm,” where election observers break the rules and some voters refuse to wear a mask in the middle in a deadly coronavirus pandemic.
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Gloria's usual election anxiety is now compounded by several lawsuits filed by Team Trump that appear to be aimed at disrupting a poll that the Registrar's team has worked on fine-tuning for months.
"I feel as comfortable as possible because I have excellent staff," said Gloria. He also has three decades of voting experience and has been a registrar since 2013. After putting together a complete mail-in voting system in less than 90 days: “We learned a few things in primary and feel good in this cycle, but unfortunately also have people at national level who encourage people to do things disrupting the polling station and making it a challenge for us to process votes. "
He doesn't mention names, but President Donald Trump's irrational rhetoric of email voting, promoting right-wing extremist activity, and downplaying the wearing of masks is clearly not lost on Gloria. Attempts to suppress voters come in many forms. He noted the increasing presence of overly aggressive election monitors who have crossed the line between observing the process and disrupting the process.
Rather than having the anti-maskers removed and to avoid the Republican Party avoiding another lawsuit at a time when the Republican Party is seeking litigation in its voter suppression, Gloria had the Unruly separated from the vast majority who was willing to obey the rules.
"We have them pretty much every place and at one point or another," says Gloria. "We don't want these people disenfranchised, so we allow them to come in and vote, but they have to vote on a socially distant machine."
The disruption of the voting process by observers of partisan polls is an even bigger problem. "They don't follow the observer rules," says Gloria. "It was a bigger challenge this year than ever before."
Is it an organized effort?
"I would definitely say it," said Gloria.
Although the Nevada presidential election spawned two lawsuits filed on behalf of the president, Team Trump has not had much appeal in court to date. The first case of election fraud was so factual that it was quickly dismissed. A second was filed on Friday and was addressed directly to the Gloria registry office.
Just hours after the Trump campaign and the Nevada Republican Party claimed that Clark County's mail-in vote had to be halted due to insufficient "observation", Carson City Judge James Carson declined, a provisional Decree to issue. The lawsuit named Gloria and Republican Foreign Secretary Barbara Cegavske as defendants.
Among the plaintiffs is "Voluntary Election Observer" Fred Kraus, who, according to The Nevada Independent, is a former Vice President and General Counsel at the Venetian, a casino resort owned by billionaire GOP donor Sheldon Adelson. Wilson has scheduled an evidence hearing on Wednesday morning, October 28th.
The electoral process is not perfect, but a mistake is not fraudulent. The voter registration lists are updated regularly, but the distribution of ballot papers is not without its problems. After an early personal vote in a well-organized location in a parking lot of a shopping center in the Green Valley suburb, Rita Carrillo explains that her home received a postal vote for her father, who has passed away four years ago. Receiving the voting slip was a mistake; Casting would have been a fraud. Like the vast majority of people, she just followed the rules.
"We were concerned about the potential for fraud," said Carrillo, but she found her own experience "very short, better than last year. Everyone practiced social distancing. I think everyone was scrupulous about cleanliness."
More than any fear of fraud or virus, Carrillo and constituent Dalton Sackrell agreed that they just "wanted to make sure we got the right person in office".
That feeling echoed several miles away at another early voting location, located in a mall parking lot about a mile from the Strip. There Vincent Booker and his mother Tina Carter personally cast ballots to make sure nothing was misplaced or delayed. Any concerns about extremist group harassment or exposure to COVID-19 were far outweighed by the severity of the elections.
"I just don't like Trump," said Booker, claiming the president lacks empathy in times of crisis. “I definitely didn't want my voice to be lost. I just think we have to change something. "
Carter brought a different perspective to the voting booth. "There is an urgency," she said. “My thing is the pandemic. I think it could have been handled much better. I'm a contact tracer so my exposure and positive results, and I feel like the president has let us down as Americans, and I need to see a change. "
There wasn't a crowd at the East Las Vegas Senior Center, which is in a heavily Latin American neighborhood. Aside from all other concerns, the seniors wanted to avoid large gatherings. Through the interpretation of his daughter Norma Lopez, Fidel Lopez says in Spanish: “It is better to be there early. I was worried about the crowd for health reasons. "
Health concerns aside, the opinions of many of those who voted early suggest that the presidential defamation of the U.S. Postal Service and postal voting failed and only inspired people to march early for the election.
At a recreation center in north Las Vegas, the mother of four, Marie Hansen, waited 45 minutes to vote and spent the time masking herself and talking to her neighbors at social distance. The talk of the Trump administration disrupting and even dismantling the postal service was the encouragement it needed. She voted in the area code by post, but said: "I just had the feeling that I wanted to vote for this election personally."
Southern Nevada has a growing population in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region, and the community continues to blend in with one of the most ethnically diverse metropolitan areas in the west.
Although Nevada's active labor movement, led by the 60,000 members of UNITE-HERE / Culinary Local 226, has teamed up with a well-organized Democratic Party campaign machine to give the state an increasing shade of blue, the Trump campaign has demonstrated an energetic core game, which she believes keeps the state in play.
Trump and Biden each recently visited the state, and their camps continue to send top-level officials to bolster their participation models. Vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris has planned election stops in Reno and Las Vegas on Tuesday.
In the parking lot of Henderson's Galleria Mall, the Aquino family made voting a family affair. Mother Jennifer Aquino recorded the shared feeling: "I definitely didn't want my ballot paper to be lost in the mail, and I wanted to make sure it got there on time."
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