weather icon Clear

Polls quiet as Election Day turnout lags

It’s been a mostly quiet Election Day across Clark County.

Some 81,685 registered voters had cast ballots by 3 p.m., a figure that trails even the lackluster midafternoon voter tallies seen in past midterm elections.

The county is now on pace for its poorest general Election Day showing in two decades, one that would see only 14 percent of registered voters turn up at the polls.

Voter interest in midterm elections typically lags behind presidential elections, though county elections chief Joe Gloria couldn’t point to any one reason why Election Day voters seemed especially disinterested in this year’s ballot.

“I can’t argue at this point that it will probably be a low-turnout year,” Gloria said Tuesday afternoon. “There are a lot of important issues on the ballot, but I can’t get into the minds of voters to explain that.”

Those who have trickled in to the Las Vegas Valley’s 275 polling places have found things mostly in order, according to county poll workers.

Apart from a few hiccups with improperly calibrated voting machines at Valley High School, elections rover Al McDaniels said he’d had a quiet morning.

McDaniels, one of several workers hired to “put out fires” at county polling places on Election Day, said in past years he would have already run into a disruptive electioneer or had to patch up a vote-disrupting equipment malfunction.

Not this time around.

“My phone is usually blowing up by now,” McDaniels said. “The machines were set up better this year. … I’ve seen less issues than we had in 2012 and less issues than we had in 2013.”

Longtime poll worker Gail Lassiter echoed those sentiments Tuesday, crediting Gloria for equipment and administrative changes that have helped streamline the Election Day setup process.

Lassiter said that the appearance of two disqualified Democratic candidates on ballots in Assembly districts 10 and 34 has created no more confusion than she and other poll workers expected heading into Nov. 4.

Rowdy Republican pamphleteers advertising Assembly hopeful Jesse “Jake” Holder’s recent disqualification had been stationed outside Lassiter’s polling place, on Oakey Avenue near Valley View Boulevard, long before the polls opened at 7 a.m.

She doubts they’ve done much to sway voters.

“The guys out front have been a royal pain in the butt, but they’re within their rights to do it,” Lassiter said. “People come here and they want to vote. They don’t want to be bothered.”

Patti Mullens agreed.

She and her husband, both registered Democrats, hadn’t heard about disputes over Holder’s residency qualifications nor his recent disqualification, but they didn’t need more than a minute to decide he’d still get their vote.

“We’re sticking with our party,” Mullens said. “If there’s even a chance he’ll get (the seat), why not?”

Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick has not ruled out the possibility of appointing Holder or fellow disqualified Democrat Meghan Smith should either win their races.

Polls around the valley close at 7 p.m.

Contact James DeHaven at jdehaven@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3839. Find him on Twitter: @JamesDeHaven.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Will sea rise doom historic US coastal towns?

Historic cities and towns along the Southeastern U.S. coast have survived wars, hurricanes, disease outbreaks and other calamities, but now that sea levels are creeping up with no sign of stopping, they face a more existential crisis.

Sailor who killed 2, himself at Pearl Harbor ID’d; motive unknown

It wasn’t known if the sailor and the three male civilians had any type of relationship, or what the motive was for the shooting, said Rear Adm. Robert Chadwick.

Airbnb introduces rules to crack down on parties, nuisances

Airbnb is taking more steps to crack down on parties and nuisance guests in the wake of a Halloween shooting at an Airbnb rental in a San Francisco suburb.

Mass strike hits trains, Eiffel Tower as France shuts down

The Eiffel Tower shut down, France’s vaunted high-speed trains stood still and several thousand people protested in Paris as unions launched open-ended, nationwide strikes Thursday over the government’s plan to overhaul the retirement system.

Pelosi OKs drafting of impeachment articles against Trump

”Our democracy is what is at stake,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “The president leaves us no choice but to act.”

NY to LA in 27 hours, 25 minutes for record ‘Cannonball Run’

The illicit cross-country speed trip from New York to Los Angeles, known as thje “Cannonball Run” has a new record time — 27 hours and 25 minutes, beating the previous record of 28 hours and 50 minutes.