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Turnout low for early voting in Nevada primary election

CARSON CITY – Less than 10 percent of Nevada’s million-plus active registered voters cast ballots in the two weeks of early voting that ended Friday, according to estimates and records from the secretary of state.

Only 8.1 percent, 86,187, of the state’s 1,058,808 active registered voters had cast votes or sent in absentee ballots through Thursday, records show. Tallies for Friday, the final day for early voting, will not be added by the secretary of state’s office before Monday.

But based on daily turnout over the past two weeks, about 8,000 more people were expected to vote on Friday, which would bring the early vote percentage to 8.9 percent. In Clark County, 7.3 percent, 50,580, of the total 691,575 active voters had voted through Thursday or sent in absentee ballots.

Nearly 11,000 more Republicans than Democrats voted early, though Democrats hold a 39,000 active registered voter advantage statewide.

Both Secretary of State Ross Miller and Clark County Registrar Larry Lomax have been predicting a low primary turnout, probably less than 20 percent, once votes cast Tuesday, election day, are added to the early vote totals.

Miller said Friday the total turnout will be 15 percent to 20 percent. But he expects about 60 percent of the votes in the primary election to be cast by early voters.

His office will be posting results on its nvsos.gov website, and the early vote tallies may be available by 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“Hot races drive the voting, and there aren’t many high-profile races,” Miller said. “I don’t expect a massive turnout Tuesday, either.”

Lomax projected the Clark County vote will be 18 percent. That would beat the historic low of 14.76 percent for the primary in 2008, “but that’s nothing to brag about,” he said.

Except for the Congressional District 4 Republican primary and a couple of state Senate races in Clark County, there has not been much interest in the primary election, Miller said.

Through Thursday, 9.9 percent, 42,983, of the state’s 433,096 Democrats and 13.7 percent, 53,953, of the state’s 394,304 Republicans had cast ballots or sent in absentee ballots.

Four percent of the state’s 231,400 nonpartisans or members of minor parties had voted. They could vote only for the handful of contested nonpartisan races on the primary ballot.

Of the 307,673 Democrats in Clark County, 9.7 percent, 29,884, had voted.

Of the 231,784 county Republicans, 12.8 percent, 29,659, had voted.

Just 3.5 percent of the 152,118 nonpartisans or minor-party members had voted.

Review-Journal reporter Laura Myers contributed to this story. Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at evogel@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3900.

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