The 2018 election cycle is living up to predictions it will draw a significant increase in voter turnout compared to two years ago.
Through week one of primary early voting, a total of 62,069 voters went to the polls statewide. That is 10,630 more than two years ago. Of that increase, 6,352 were Democrats while just 2,020 additional Republicans have turned out.
Usually in the primary cycle, Republicans turn out in higher percentages than Democrats.
The other interesting number statewide is the 6,812 “other” party voters who have voted early. That is 2,258 more than two years ago despite the fact they only get to vote in nonpartisan races during the primary.
Surprisingly, Carson City was one of the exceptions. In the capital, 1,553 have voted early compared to 2,327 two years ago, a decrease of 774. While all Carson offices are nonpartisan and available to all primary voters, there are no primary contests in local Carson City races this cycle. So far, 67 more Republicans than Democrats have voted but just 152 “other” voters have turned out.
The other places where turnout is down are in heavily Republican rural Elko, Humboldt and Pershing counties.
The vast majority of the increase in turnout was in heavily Democratic Clark County where 40,943 voters have gone to the polls compared to 32,150 two years ago. That accounts for 8,793 of the increase. Democrats turned out in greater numbers — 21,910 to 14,719 Republicans, a 7,191 margin. Compare that to 2016 when Democratic turnout in Clark was just 4,085 higher than the GOP after week one.
Washoe County also saw a significant increase but turnout was evenly split in Reno-Sparks. Through Friday, 1,241 more voted in Washoe than in 2016. Of the 11,247 voters in week one, 104 more Republicans than Democrats went to the polls.
As of the May 24 close of registration for the primary, the Secretary of State’s office reported 1,683,077 total voters registered in Nevada, 1,442,786 of them listed as active. That is 147,164 more than were registered two years ago.
But the rest who are listed as inactive can still vote by affirming they are still residents and living within the appropriate district.
Of that total registered, 649,720 are Democrats and 552,395 Republicans, a partisan advantage of 97,325. There are 369,647 registered voters who list themselves as nonpartisan and, in most election cycles, they decide the winners in the November General Election.
Early voting continues through this next week followed by the Primary Election itself June 12.