Nevada sees strong turnout in early voting | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Nevada sees strong turnout in early voting

Geoff Dornan
gdornan@nevadaappeal.com
A long line waits to vote on Friday.
Geoff Dornan/Nevada Appeal

More than a third of Nevada’s active registered voters have already cast ballots in the General Election — and that’s without the final day of early voting added to the total.

Statewide, 554,898 had cast ballots in person, as absentees or in mailing precincts out of 1,560,928 active voters. That’s a record 35.5 percent turnout.

And Friday, the last day of early voting, was reportedly heavy all across the state. In Carson City, 12,101 had voted as of about noon Friday. Elections Deputy Aubrey Rowlatt said with more than 20 people in line at any one time all morning, she expected that total to surpass 13,000 in person by day’s end plus more than 2,000 absentee ballots.

“It’s been really busy,” she said. “We’ve had close to 1,000 people nearly every day.”

Rowlatt said at that rate, the capital is on track to double the early voting turnout in 2014, the last midterm elections.

The biggest races on the ballot are for U.S. Senator where Republican Dean Heller is facing a stiff challenge from Rep. Jacky Rosen, and the race to succeed Brian Sandoval as governor between Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt and Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak. Both are regarded as too close to call.

There are also six ballot questions. Two of them deal with electric power — energy choice and expanding renewables — one to automatically register voters at DMV, one expanding victim rights and questions exempting medical equipment and feminine hygiene products from sales taxes.

All other constitutional offices are on the ballot as are all Assembly seats and, because of resignations and retirements, more than half of the state Senate.

Final numbers weren’t available at press time since it was expected to take the Secretary of State’s Office until nearly midnight to post statewide early voting totals.

As expected, Democrats held the lead in turnout as of the close of voting Thursday with nearly 42 percent of the total turnout compared to 37 percent for Republicans — about a 20,000-vote margin. Then there’s the “Other” category. While there are more than 50,000 Independent American Party members in that group, the vast majority are non-partisan voters who don’t list a party affiliation. Just under 100,000 of them had voted — 20 percent of the total — and longtime observers say those non-partisan voters more often lean to the left than the right.

In Carson City, those numbers were reversed with 47.7 percent of ballots being cast by Republicans and 33.5 percent by Democrats. But that’s pretty much in line with party registration in the capital where the GOP has a substantial edge. There are a bit more than 31,000 voters in Carson.

The Democratic margin was most pronounced in Clark County, which has a heavy D-registration edge. Through Thursday, 150,748 Democrats had voted in person compared to 113,961 Republicans.

In Washoe County, Nevada’s other major urban center, the margin was narrower but still favored Democrats at 37,994 to 35,200.

The question of who wins will be answered Tuesday — General Election day. Polls statewide open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

In Carson City, there are two places to vote — the Carson City Community Center and the Clerk/Recorder’s office on the ground floor of the Carson City Courthouse.