Douglas clerk expects low primary turnout |

Douglas clerk expects low primary turnout

Kurt Hildebrand

MINDEN, Nev. – Less than half of Douglas County’s nearly 32,000 voters are expected to participate in this year’s primary election.

Clerk-Treasurer Ted Thran said he’s expecting 40 percent turnout in the election.

Early voting begins on May 26, but Thran said he’s already received around 1,700 requests for absentee ballots.

Thran said the lower turnout will help the clerk’s office prepare for what’s expected to be a big response for the presidential election in November.

“It means we can get all the bugs worked out for the general election,” he said.

Thran said the clerk’s office has enough voting machines and people to staff polling places throughout the county.

In addition to the county courthouse in Minden, a schedule of satellite polling places will be open during early voting around the county, ranging from Topaz Ranch Estates to Johnson Lane to Lake Tahoe.

During early voting, residents can cast a vote at any open polling place, but on election day, they must go to their precinct polling location to cast a ballot.

The only local primary on Republicans’ ballot in the June 12 primary is for Douglas County Board of Commissioners. Incumbent Mike Olson is facing a challenge from Saratoga resident Barry Penzel and Indian Hills General Improvement District trustee Diane Humble. The top two vote-getters will be on the general election ballot in November.

The odds aren’t quite so good in the Republican primary for Assembly District 39. Incumbent Kelly Kite is facing a challenge from Gardnerville resident Jim Wheeler and Dayton Resident Gary Schmidt. Only one of them will survive to the general election.

Republicans will also get to choose their candidate to run for U.S. Senate. Sen. Dean Heller was appointed to the seat formerly held by John Ensign, and is seeking election to the seat.

Republicans outnumber Democrats in Douglas County 16,437 to 8,720, according to the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office.

Democrats will see the federal races for U.S. Senator and representative in Congress.

All voters in Carson Valley, including those registered nonpartisan and in minor parties, will see races for State School Board and University Board of Regents on their ballots.

Nevada’s closed primary system requires that voters be registered in a particular party to vote on those races.

Starting today, the only way to register to vote or change registration in time for the June 12 primary is to show up at the clerk’s office in person.

Voter registration to participate in the primary election officially closes on May 22.

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