LAS VEGAS — With four days left in a two-week early voting period, 7 percent of active voters in Nevada have cast their ballot in the primary election.
The numbers, which included ballots received up until midday Tuesday, are not expected to rise much even after Election Day on June 10. Secretary of State Ross Miller has predicted overall turnout will be near the record low 18 percent seen in the 2008 primary.
“We’re on pace to meet those miserable numbers,” he said Tuesday.
A report from Miller’s office showed 77,680 people had participated in either on-site early voting or through a mail-in absentee ballot. While the state has more registered Democrats than Republicans, voters registered with the GOP made a stronger showing.
Republicans comprised 51 percent of early voters, while Democrats made up 37 percent.
“Hot races tend to drive participation, and there aren’t a lot of very competitive statewide races this cycle,” Miller said. “With a low turnout, these elections are even more likely to be decided by a small margin.”
With Gov. Brian Sandoval expected to sail to re-election, perhaps the most interesting race is a Republican primary for lieutenant governor that pits Sandoval’s choice, Mark Hutchison, against state party-endorsed Sue Lowden. The winner is expected to face off with Lucy Flores, a rising star in the Democratic Party.
The lieutenant governor would take the governor’s seat if it becomes empty during the four-year term. Sandoval is considered a possible 2016 challenger to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
All four congressional seats are up for grabs in this year’s election. The most notable battle is in the geographically diverse 4th Congressional District, where two Republicans are facing off in the primary for a chance to challenge first-term Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford.
Also on the ballot are state Legislature seats, nonpartisan judgeships, higher education regent positions and county commission, mayor and city council seats.