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Early voters line up to cast their election ballots
Reno Gazette-Journal. October 19, 2008. BY DAVID JACOBS

"I am totally excited," said Destin Richter, 44, of Sparks. "I think voting day should be a day that is a holiday so everyone can vote." Richter participated in early voting at the Scolari's Food & Drug Co. store on Disc Drive in Sparks.

Throughout Washoe County, as of 5 p.m. Saturday, 6,125 people had voted early.

No problems were reported, although there were long lines early in the day at Washoe County's main library in downtown Reno.

"We did have people all of the way out of the door, down around corner when we first opened this morning," Washoe County Voter Registrar Dan Burk said.

About 1 p.m., extra voting machines were ped off.

"By then, we had cut down the line substantially," Burk said.

At least 300 people voted at the downtown library Saturday.

Waits of 45 minutes to an hour were reported in parts of the county early Saturday.

"Then the lines quickly went down so that by noon, people were down to roughly 15 minutes from back to front at almost every location," Burk said.

"When we first opened this morning, everybody was a little bit nervous and trying to get things connected so there was a little bit of a delay in some locations, but to be honest, it was a very good opening," he said. "Lines worked down pretty quickly."

The South Valleys Library was the busiest in the county by Saturday evening with 511 early voters.

On Disc Drive, 447 people had voted at the Scolari's store by 5 p.m. Saturday.

By late morning, the line had stretched around the deli toward the bakery area as voters filed in with candidate information in hand.

Richter said this was the first time he had participated in early voting.

"I hate the fact that people have to work on a voting day, so this whole early election thing is fantastic," he said.

Lois Hurst, 70, of Sparks said she has a doctor's appointment early on Nov. 4.

"This works out great for me to be able to come and vote early," she said Saturday when she joined the other early voters.

"Sometimes when you go (on Election Day), the lines are out the door, practically," she said. "They do a very good job here."

While they were standing in line to vote, voters were treated to food.

"As long as they're in line all day, we'll feed them," said Christine Kuhno, assistant deli manager for the Disc Drive Scolari's. The voters were given meat and cheese samples. "We let them try new products," she said.

Early voting in Nevada runs through Oct. 31.

Hurst, the Sparks voter, said the early voting comes with another advantage. "When I get those (campaign) calls, now I can say 'I already voted.'"

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