Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008 | 12:25 p.m.
Walter Lescaro arrived at the voting polls at Mountain Shadows Community Center inside Sun City Summerlin at 5:30 a.m. today.
But Lescaro wasn’t there to vote.
“It actually takes a lot to set up,” said Lescaro, the first time Clark County Election Department volunteer.
For Lescaro, participating in the political process meant more than just voting.
“For some reason, this time around, there’s so much going on that I wanted to help,” Lescaro said of volunteering at the polls today.
Voting opened up at 7 a.m. and the early voters trickling in mirrored the sparse voter turnout predictions of 15 percent of registered Clark County voters.
Even in a senior citizen based community like Sun City Summerlin where early birds are the norm, for the first two hours, the nine volunteers inside Mountain Shadows Community Center outnumbered the actual voters at any given time.
George Tarby, a Sun City Summerlin resident and one of the first voters at Mountain Shadows was already out golfing this morning before he came to vote.
“I was golfing this morning and I figured as a good American, I should come out and vote,” said Tarby, “As a vet, I fought for the right to vote.”
Tarby was comfortable with whom he voted for, but admitted it would have been more helpful to see the candidates interact in some type of public forum.
“I’d like to see them in more of a debate,” said Tarby.
Another Sun City Summerlin resident, Juanaita Shue, a registered Republican who came out to vote early in the morning before her 9:15 a.m. doctor’s appointment didn’t let her lack of knowledge about the candidates stop her from coming out.
“I came to vote because I always vote,” said Shue, “I don’t always vote Republican, but I’m a registered Republican.”
The activity right outside the community center was perhaps more politically charged than inside.
On either corner of the entrance to Mountain Shadows Community Center and not closer than the required distance of 100 feet from the voting polls were two campaigners, one of whom was the actual candidate.
Shirley Hill, also a Sun City Summerlin resident, was campaigning for Cynthia Giuliani, a candidate for Family Court Judge, Department K.
“She’s been my friend for years, and her credentials are great: law school in New York,” said Hill, “And she passed the bar her very first time.”
But Hill was even more concerned about getting people out to vote and exercise a right, that for women was only 14 years old when she was born in 1934. Her grandmother was a suffragette who worked during World War I, and would wear her civil service uniform to hold up her sign at rallies that were instrumental in helping to establish women’s right to vote as a serious issue.
She said her spot on the corner of the voting poll was also symbolic.
“This is the United States of America, I’m allowed to stand out here. In a lot of countries, they’ll stand out here to keep you from voting,” said Hill.
On the opposite corner, Republican candidate for County Commission District C, Bill Krane, 75 was informing voters about the danger of a two mile long gas pipe that runs underneath Sun City.
“They want to raise the pressure in that gas pipe by 133 pounds per square inch,” said Krane, “It was only tested to 1500, it’s using 1200 now and they want to raise it 1333, which is 40 percent of the remaining distance.”
Krane, who is running for the County Commission seat in District C, vacated by Chip Maxfield, concluded that the danger of increasing the pressure in the gas pipe lay in the fact that it was supposed to be tested at three times the usage but was not.
The 75-year-old is retired from the health business and has never run for political office until now.
“I’m probably the oldest neophyte you’ve ever met,” said Krane.
By 9 a.m., volunteers still out numbered voters. But Lescaro was hopeful that even if the turnout was as low as predicted, that it was no indication of November’s general election.
“It’s going to be a madhouse then,” said Lescaro.