Registrar: Voter turnout second lowest in Clark County history

Tuesday’s primary election had the second-lowest voter turnout in Clark County history, with a final count of 15.79 percent.

Only 45,807 county residents or 5.9 percent voted Tuesday, Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said Wednesday. The total percentage of county voters stood at 15.79 percent, when added with the 9.9 percent turnout from early voting and absentee ballots.

Tuesday’s totals only surpassed the county’s 2008 all-time low turnout record of 14.76 percent by about 8,000 votes.

“Unfortunately there wasn’t more interest in the ballot,” Gloria said.

The third-lowest Clark County turnout was during the 2012 primary, when 16.19 percent of county voters cast their ballots. In the 2000 primary, voter turnout was 18.47 percent, now the fourth-lowest county total.

Statewide turnout totals reached 19.25 percent, the third-lowest turnout in Nevada history.

“Essentially, hot races drive voter participation, and there weren’t very many competitive races in this cycle,” Secretary of State Ross Miller said. “I predicted that Nevada might see a historic low turnout in this primary, and I’ve never been more disappointed to be right.”

Though the statewide totals reflected Clark County’s low turnout, Storey County reported 55.58 percent voter participation Tuesday, the highest in the state. Pershing County also reported turnout of 54.83 percent and Lander County reported a turnout of 44.03 percent.

Nevada’s all-time low turnout record also happened during the 2008 primary, when 17.97 percent of state voters participated. The second-lowest state turnout was during the 2012 primary, when 18.87 percent of Nevada voters cast their ballot.

In 2012, the year of the last presidential election, there were roughly 650,000 registered voters in Clark County compared to 775,859 this year.

Democrats hold the edge in Nevada voting registration, UNLV associate professor of political science David Fott said.

Because there was not a competitive Democratic primary race for lieutenant governor, he said a lot of voter interest was eliminated, which explains why Tuesday’s turnout was so low.

He added that judicial races hardly ever generate interest because it’s difficult, even for people who follow politics, to make informed choices on candidates.

“The highest profile race (was) for sheriff,” Fott said, where there were more candidates.

Contact Rachel Crosby at or 702-387-5290. Find her on Twitter: @rachelacrosby.

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