LAS VEGAS — It was more than two hours after early voting was scheduled to end at a Mexican grocery store in Las Vegas and the last voters were still trickling out of the sliding glass doors, fresh from casting their ballots next to mounds of dried chiles, rows of piñatas and a horchata stand.
Isabel Garcia and her two young children stood firm for about two hours in a line that at one point snaked back and forth several times over in front of the supermarket in this heavily Hispanic neighborhood. Democratic operatives joked on Twitter that Donald Trump was finally getting his wall – a crush of Nevadans like Garcia who were determined to vote against him.
“It’s a lot more personal than other elections,” said Garcia, a 36-year-old old restaurant worker. “I have the power of my voice so I have to enforce my voice and come out and vote for the people who can’t do it.”
Heavy turnout in the neighborhood, and the 6 percentage point statewide turnout lead that Democrats logged in the two-week early voting period that ended Friday, comes amid a painstaking effort to translate Nevada’s sizeable Latino population into a political “firewall” that puts victory out of reach for Trump and other Republicans.
Hispanics account for about 28 percent of this swing state’s population but tend to vote less frequently than other groups. Their underwhelming participation is part of the reason Republicans seized widespread power in Nevada in the 2014 elections.