A total of 121,330 Nevadans voted early over the past two weeks and, statewide, the turnout was split evenly between the two major parties with the GOP drawing about 900 more to the polls. Each major party got just about 45.5 percent of the turnout with non-partisans making up the rest.
The Democratic total was 54,968 compared to 55,818 for the Republicans and 10,544 non-partisans casting ballots over the past two weeks.
Republicans, in fact, turned out more early voters in every county except Clark, which, overall, is heavily Democratic in registration. The GOP managed to get 30,165 voters to the polls there but Democrats easily bested that with 39,821 voting.
Total Clark turnout was 76,577.
In nearly all of the smaller counties, the turnout was heavily GOP, including Carson City where 1,569 Democrats and 2,683 Republicans voted.
Douglas County was even more skewed with 2,838 Republicans voting compared to just 684 Democrats. Churchill County painted a similar picture with 344 Democrats voting compared to 1,130 Republicans, along with Lyon County where 674 Democrats and 1,634 Republicans went to the polls.
Part of the reason those counties are so tilted in favor of the GOP is the contentious and emotionally charged battle between Tea Party Republicans and the more moderate members of that party. In a dozen legislative races, incumbents who voted for Gov. Brian Sandoval’s education tax package are being challenged in their primaries.
One of the most contentious of those races is for the Republican nomination in Assembly District 40 representing Carson City. In that contest, incumbent P.K. O’Neill faces three challengers.
Even in Washoe, which has a substantial Democratic registration, the GOP turned out more than 2,000 more voters than the Democrats — 12,707 to 10,044.
How those races finish will be known tonight after the actual primary election polls close and all the ballots are tallied.
The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. In Carson City, voting is held in the Community Center gymnasium and, for the first time this year, at the courthouse where the capital conducted early voting.