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Election Day notebook: Even the Strip bows to election coverage

Election Day Voting 2012

Steve Marcus

Clara Alvinito votes on Election Day at the Cambridge Recreation Center, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.

Updated Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 | 8:30 p.m.

Election Day Voting in Las Vegas 2012

Stanley Hollman, a bartender at the Mandalay Bay, votes on election day at the Fremont Middle School gym Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Without a ride but determined to vote, Hollman set off to the polls on his skateboard. A co-worker in a car spotted him on the way and gave him a ride for part of the journey, he said. STEVE MARCUS Launch slideshow »

Most visitors come to Las Vegas to escape reality, but there was no escape Tuesday night as a live feed of election results was being broadcast on the Miracle Mile Shops’ large LED screen above the Strip.

There was light foot traffic on the Strip — typical for a Tuesday night — as the big screen flashed results from CNN. Whenever new results were posted, people would stop on the bridge between the Cosmopolitan and Walgreens to glance at the screen. Even a bagpipe player halted his song and street performers dressed as “Sesame Street” characters Bert and Ernie and Elmo craned their necks to see the big board.

A few people sat on a wall watching the results being posted. About 100 people stood on the corner opposite the Bellagio watching a second screen. Others strolled past obliviously with beer cans in their hands.

Inside casinos on Las Vegas Boulevard, people gazed up from slot machines to see voter tallies on television screens overhead. From the PBR Rock Bar to the Sporting House at New York-New York, about half of the television sets usually showing athletic events were tuned to the night's political coverage.

Ron Sylvester

Long, busy day at Clark County polls

Dozens of Clark County election employees are filing into the election warehouse, where cassettes from thousands of voting machines will be delivered and their votes tallied. The first of those cassettes were brought in around 7:45 p.m.

Click to enlarge photo

The first group of ballot cartridges arrived at 7:45 p.m. at the Clark County election warehouse to applause from election workers.

Polls closed at 7 p.m., but anyone in line at 7 p.m. was eligible to vote as long as they remained in line. Those lines lasted in Washoe and Clark counties until well after the official final voting hour.

Shortly after 7:30 p.m., Secretary of State Ross Miller tweeted that polls in Clark and Washoe counties were continuing to "process" voters. Twenty minutes later, he tweeted that 2/3 of the locations in Clark County were closed. Not until 8:25 p.m. did Miller announce that "All polls are closed ... results soon."

The secretary of state had reiterated earlier in the day that no election results would be posted until all of the state's polls closed.

Numbers show 133,161 people had cast ballots as of 3 p.m. today at polling places across Clark County, bringing the grand total of voters today and during the early voting period to more than two-thirds of registered voters.

As of midafternoon, two polling places have tallied more than 1,000 voters today: Spirit Mountain Activity Center in Laughlin, with 1,095, and Sun City Anthem Community Center, with 1,017.

County elections officials said there are 852,413 registered voters eligible to participate in the 2012 general election. Of that number, 390,672 are registered Democrats and 262,822 are Republicans. The majority of voters, however, stayed away from the polls today; 436,568 — 52 percent — voters participated in early balloting, which ended Friday.

Polling places, as usual, were busy during the early morning hours in Clark County, said Larry Lomax, Clark County Election Department chief. But by the lunch hour, most polls were busy but not swamped.

From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., when the polls closed, the county’s 264 polling places got busy again — typical on Election Day.

Though no major issues were reported Tuesday, there were some minor bugs brought to the attention of election officials, including one at Sahara West Library.

A voter called Republican poll watchers at Election Central — the county government election office on Trade Drive — saying that when she printed out her ballot, there were no names. Instead the receipt came out as dots, numbers, letters and dollar signs.

A poll worker was called. When a receipt for the vote was printed, the same “gobbledygook” came out, the woman said.

The poll worker told her, however, that her vote was registered. The woman said the same machine was not turned off.

Lomax said he was going to head to the library to check the problem.

Joe Schoenmann

Voters in Carson City say economy top issue

CARSON CITY — Voters interviewed at the Carson City Fairgrounds almost universally agreed that the economy was the top issue.

Workers tabulate exit polls in Carson City outside the fairgrounds. on Tueday, Nov. 6, 2012.

Workers tabulate exit polls in Carson City outside the fairgrounds. on Tueday, Nov. 6, 2012.

The traditionally Republican state capital went for Obama in 2008, as part of the wave that gave him a massive win that year.

The city has been battered by the economy, but voters at polling places differed on whether Obama or Romney would be better to handle it.

On Tuesday morning, turnout was steady and heavy, but there were no lines at the fairgrounds.

Marilyn Hoffman, 61, a retired state worker, said Congress needed to work together more.

She said the economy is getting better. “I think it’s going to keep improving,” she said. “Republicans will take it back to the Bush era.”

With her 9-month-old son, Landon, in her arms, Marissa Giron, 27, a stay-at-home mom, voted in Carson City for Mitt Romney and Sen. Dean Heller.

She too was influenced by the economy. “In four years, things haven’t changed much,” she said. “If anything, they’ve gotten worse here in Carson City.”

Gary Kolb, 63, a Democrat, voted for Obama and Berkley. He said he was turned off by Romney’s record.

“I’m not sure he has a firm grip on our reality, our plight — the middle class,” he said. “I think Obama has tried, and we should give him another chance.”

David McGrath Schwartz

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