ALBUQUERQUE — Biden and Trump voters lined up here on the first day of early voting, distrustful that their votes would count otherwise.
“Right now, I just don’t trust anybody,” said Nancy Cross, a retired 61-year-old hairdresser, who had never voted before but was casting her ballot for Trump. “So there are going to be questions when I go in there, and I want to make sure my vote is counted.”
“I just wanna make sure my vote gets counted,” echoed Susan, who declined to give her last name and profession. “I have some concerns about the absentee or mail-in ballot process and potential challenges on both sides.”
Previously, Susan had voted for both Democrats and Republicans in elections, but she was now voting for every Democrat on the ticket. “I just think our president is a national and global disgrace,” she said.
The first, and for now only, early-voting site opened at a small downtown commercial plaza here this morning. Other voting locations will open statewide on Oct. 17.
At opening time, a line stretched around the plaza, under an adobe walkway adjoining the plaza, and then down the street behind it. Yellow lines were drawn on the ground, noting proper social distancing. Everyone wore a mask. After about two and a half hours, Gabriel Montoya, the presiding judge of the site, said 180 people had voted.
“Seems like we’ve had more than the last year,” he said, referring to the 2016 presidential election.
Sheri McMahan, 45, a personal trainer and massage therapist, said she’d changed her affiliation because of Trump.
“Now a Democrat,” she said. “Was always independent up until now.”
“Donald Trump,” she said.
McMahan was confident in her state’s election system but said she still chose to come vote in person because “I don’t want to contribute to someone being able to say it was [rigged].”
“I think Trump says everything he can to put things in people’s heads so that they’ll believe it,” she said. “You say it enough times, it makes it true — that’s what his MO is. It’s his way of ‘heads I win, tails you lose.’ ”