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Nevada Sees Last-Minute Effort for Latino Voters

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Immigrant advocates in Las Vegas are walking Latino neighbors to get Hispanics who haven’t voted yet to the polls.

The group Immigrant Voters Win PAC sent a mariachi group to an eastern Las Vegas home on Tuesday to make sure 20-year-old Jacqueline Lima voted.

Mariachi Vegas Interacional serenaded Lima and her 4-year-old sister, Karla, as they walked to Halle Hewetson Elementary School to vote in the mostly Latino neighborhood.

Lima said she was honored to get a serenade as she went to vote for the first time.

Raul Sosa, a bass guitarist with the mariachi group, also voted for the first time this year.

Both said they voted for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and feared Republican Donald Trump’s immigration proposals.

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Las Vegas voter Ricardo Lara says he’s anxious to cast a ballot for Clinton because he said Trump doesn’t like Mexicans like him. Lara is originally from Mexico but has lived in the U.S. for 14 years and works for a contractor at a nearby Air Force Base.

The 42-year-old man had trouble finding parking Friday at the crowded Cardenas market early voting site. It was shut down before he was able to cast a ballot, so he planned to vote Tuesday.

His wife Laura waited for him outside the Mexican grocery store but couldn’t get her citizenship in time to vote.

“It’s not fear,” he said in Spanish about the prospect of Trump becoming president, “but I don’t like it. Not for myself, but for the people who don’t have papers.”

Meanwhile, officials say morning voting is generally running smoothly at Nevada polling sites.

Secretary of State Spokeswoman Gail Anderson said the office hadn’t gotten reports of major problems around the state as of mid-morning Tuesday.

The Review-Journal reports the line at the Rainbow Library in Las Vegas slowed to a crawl early because there weren’t enough electronic cards available to run all the voting machines there, but the site was back up to full strength by 9 a.m.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m. Nevada voters are playing a big role this year as they decide where the swing state will fall in the presidential election.

They’ll also choose a replacement for Sen. Harry Reid in a race that could decide which party controls the U.S. Senate.

Just over half of Nevada’s 1.5 million active registered voters have already cast ballots through early or absentee voting. Democrats have a six-point lead over Republicans in early turnout, but Republicans think they can overcome that deficit on Election Day, when they traditionally outperform Democrats.

Democrats hope anti-Trump sentiment will motivate voters who will also help them clinch two competitive U.S. House seats in Nevada.

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