Candidates respond to early voters

A hundred more Carson City voters went to the polls on the first day of early voting Saturday than did two years ago, a trend that has caught the notice of this year's candidates.

Several politicians at the Saturday afternoon candidates' forum at Copper Pointe Plaza said their campaigns take the early voters into account.

"Elections don't happen the way they used to," mayoral hopeful Tom Tatro said. "This could be the first election that's decided by the people who vote early.

"We hope we got everything out here early enough."

Incumbent mayor Ray Masayko said he had timed his mailing to reach voters just before they received their sample ballots. In his first campaign four years ago, Masayko said, some of his mailers did not reach voters until after early voting had begun.

Neil Weaver, a third mayoral candidate, said he has been campaigning aggressively during the primary because he needs to introduce himself to the general public. He said he has used a lot of television advertising and signage so far.

After the primary trims the number of mayoral hopefuls from four to two, Weaver said, the campaign will be more issue-oriented.

Verne Horton, candidate for Ward 4 Supervisor, said early voting meant the whole campaign process has been moved up, with his stands needing to be in front of the voters two weeks earlier than if the first votes were cast on election day Sept. 6.

Richard Staub, who organized the forum and is another rival for the Ward 4 seat, said he was aware a substantial number of people do vote early.

"So everything I've got was geared toward Aug. 19," Staub said. "We'll be hitting it hard from now to Sept. 6 and then on until November."

Supreme Court justice candidate Day Williams said he had learned during a campaign visit to Las Vegas that half of Clark County voters cast their ballots early in the 1998 election.

"I'm inviting people to look at my Web site," Williams said. "It's available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to show people why I'm best for the job."

Nancy Becker, the incumbent Supreme Court justice, said her campaign this year is designed as it was two years ago to inform the early voters.

"I've been on radio all over the state, gone to candidate forums when invited and have my information on my Web site," Becker said.

Dave Cook, the incumbent for the Carson City school trustee position, faces two challengers.

"So I'm trying to get the word out to let voters know what this year's issues are," Cook said. "I'm trying to let people know there's clear differences on the issues of standards testing and remediating students."

Assembly candidate Jeanne Simons said her campaign is including phone calls to registered Republicans urging them to be sure to vote.

Bonnie Parnell, the incumbent being challenged by Simons, said early voting means that each campaign now has two big pushes, right before election day and right before early voting starts.

Glen Reames was among those casting ballots Saturday at the Carson City Courthouse. He said he had also voted early last election and felt he had enough information about the candidates to make his decisions.

Alan Glover, Carson City's clerk and registrar of voters, said Saturday's 370 early voters compared with 270 on the first day in 1998.

Early voting was first permitted in Nevada in 1994, Glover said, but this is the first time it has been conducted in the new courthouse. He said that allowed him to use the computer system to generate signature sheets for voters on the spot, which later will be bound to create the roster poll book, the official record of voters' participation in the election.

It also saves a lot of time and effort for the election staff and political party officials, Glover said. The party workers request the names of each day's voters and the lists had to be compiled by hand in previous elections. This year, Glover's staff will be able to generate printouts each day.

The political party workers use the lists as they call registered voters to encourage them to vote, Glover said.


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