Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008 | 7:51 p.m.
- James Ellingsworth, 75 of Henderson.
- Bill Harris of Boulder City
- Ralph Ulley, 73, resident of Sun City MacDonald Ranch in Henderson.
- Byron Charles Gwinn III of Henderson.
- Ruth Mussof, 56 of Henderson.
Like much of the Las Vegas area, Tuesday's primary election didn't seem to excite the voters in Henderson. But some who did participate said they had strong reasons.
At noon, the voter count at Paseo Verde Library in Henderson had jumped up 14 people from 21 at 10:30 a.m. to 35, according to the voting poll’s team leader, Kathleen Blakely. That’s an average of seven voters per hour and less than one every 10 minutes.
But the numbers tell only the quantity, not the quality. Despite what many analysts have predicted for Clark County as a “low” voter turnout this primary, those who did show up to the polls were anything but apathetic.
“As an American, it’s my civic obligation to take part in our form of government and the only way I can do it is by voting,” said Bob Mussoff, 61. “And I haven’t missed an election since I became eligible to vote, whether it was a primary, local, runoff, national, sate; it doesn’t matter.”
Mussoff and his wife, Ruth Mussoff, 56, have been residents of Henderson for three years and have kept abreast of the issues affecting southern Nevadans since their move from California.
For both Ruth and Bob Mussoff, the valley’s judicial system was a key issue for them in today’s primary.
“The integrity of the judicial system, as far as I can see, is a joke. And I think it’s a joke because people don’t take the time to vote,” Bob Mussoff said.
A Boulder City resident, Bill Harris, echoed the thoughts of the Mussoffs.
“I thought, for me, the important aspect of the primary was the choices for Supreme Court justices,” Harris said. “I believe that a trend in our country has been for justices to legislate from the bench when they are simply there to interpret the laws that are already on the books.”
For Harris, the Supreme Court is the last resort and final destination for the grievances of citizens across the nation and voting in the primary gave him a better chance at seeing a bench with justices with which he shared common beliefs.
Different from that of a general election, primary elections require people to come out in support of one single party and not just a candidate.
“You have to state your party, and that keeps people away. A lot of people don’t want to declare themselves,” said Tina Zoumboulis, 83.
For 21-year-old Chelsea Phillips, coming out in support for a party was her motivation to vote on Tuesday.
“I realized that the primaries could be just as important as the general election,” Phillips said. “I’m really worried about the Congressman Porter race. And I felt that if he had strong numbers in the primaries, then he could get more people together for the general election against Dina Titus.”