Previously inactive voters driving early vote in Carson City
November 3, 2016
As of the close of business Tuesday, early voting turnout was running ahead of both prior presidential election cycles, poised to set a new record in the capital.
Carson City Clerk Recorder Sue Merriwether said a significant number of those going to the polls were voters listed as inactive voters. She said that list is primarily voters who didn't vote two years ago and, therefore, were moved from active to inactive status.
She said that doesn't mean they can't vote this time, just that they have to reconfirm their address and other information. She said a good number of voters have done so.
In view of what happened in the 2014 General Election when the GOP ran the table on statewide races because of a low Democratic turnout, those returning inactive voters are likely to be predominantly Democrats and non-partisans.
Further evidence of that came when Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday asked a crowd of some 200 Democrats in Carson City how many had already voted. Nearly every hand went up.
With three days left before the close of early voting, turnout was 11,397 of Carson City's 31,605 total registered voters — 27,302 actives and 4,303 inactives. That's nearly 900 above both previous presidential cycle turnout totals. Early voting turnout with three days remaining was 10,440 in 2008 and 10,531 in 2012.
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As of the end of Tuesday, 5,446 Republicans and 4,001 Democrats had voted in the capital. Since registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats in Carson City 12,443 to 8,326, a higher percentage of Democrats have gone to the polls than Republicans — 48 percent to 43.7 percent. But in raw turnout, 1,445 more Republicans had voted than Democrats.
As of about noon Wednesday, only 295 more people had voted. But the final two days are normally busy, Merriwether said. Considering what occurred in the 2008 and 2012 presidential election cycles, about 3,000 voters can be expected to turn out those final two days.
The next largest group of voters to turn out this time are those who list no party affiliation. A total of 1,579 nonpartisans had cast ballots as of Tuesday and those voters are generally regarded as favoring Democrats by a small margin.