A total of 487 Carson voters cast ballots Saturday as early voting opened.
Most observers expected a jump in turnout this year because of the controversy in both the Assembly District 40 and Mayoral races. The Republican AD40 race has been particularly contentious with the local party central committee disavowing and openly opposing incumbent P.K. O’Neill. He has three primary opponents.
But if day one is any indicator, it’s not happening. Turnout was just two votes more than the number of ballots cast on the first day of early voting in 2014.
But who turned out was definitely different. More Democrats turned out this year but fewer Republicans.
In 2014, just 116 Democrats early voted the first day. This year, 169 cast ballots. In 2014, 294 Republicans voted on day one compared to 251 this year. The non-partisan turnout was flat — 75 two years ago and 67 this year.
Early voting results are a key predictor in Carson City since two-thirds of those who vote do so early. In June 2014, early voting was 4,873 out of the 8,901 total ballots cast. When the 878 absentees are added in, that means just 3,150 went to the polls election day.
Early voting resumed Tuesday following the Memorial Day holiday. The polls are open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. during the week and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. They are closed Sundays.
Early voting runs through June 10. The primary election will be June 14 when polls will be open 7 a.m.-7 p.m.