Carson City voter turnout so-so | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson City voter turnout so-so

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer
Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Becky Lowe, 44, ponders her selections during Tuesday's primary election at the Carson Mall polling station.
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During the early afternoon in Carson Mall, poll workers greeted residents from about a dozen election precincts in the south end of the city to vote in Tuesday’s primary election.

“Everything really went well today,” said Alan Glover, clerk-recorder and head of elections. “I was real pleased.”

By the end of the day, turnout was 40 percent with 9,949 voters. Glover’s initial projections were a few points lower, closer to 35 percent or 36 percent.

The high early voting numbers indicated that polling might be high. A surge of early voters Thursday and Friday brought the total to 4,571, nearly 46 percent of the final total. The total number of early voters in the 2004 primary election – with high-profile state and federal races – only reached 3,775.

“It wasn’t bad for a primary,” he said.

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All of the city’s 120 machines were put up this time because “we wanted to try them to see if they were all working for the general election,” Glover said.

There were only four provisional ballots cast.

A mother and son came to the poll at Carson Mall together. Kyle Berger, who recently turned 18, registered to vote in his government class as a senior at Carson High School this spring. This was his first voting experience.

“There’s been a lot of talk lately about voting and how important it is,” Berger said.

He said he used word of mouth, talked to friends of the family and, of course, his mother to help him determine how he should vote for the first time.

Mom Kelly Clark thought she should accompany Kyle to the polls for his initial voting experience. She always votes in November, but decided it was important to vote during this primary not only because of her son.

There are a lot of crucial “national issues and concerns” at stake, she said.

Clark also wanted to cast a vote for Dina Titus, the state Senate minority leader seeking the Democratic slot in the governor’s race, “because she’s in a tough race and I want to support her.”

Michael Rose, 44, said he has voted since he was 18. This election contained no burning issues that drew him to the polls, but he did do some campaigning for Sheila Ward, a Republican running for state Assembly District 40 who used to serve as a Carson City School District Trustee.

Concerns of Rose’s are property taxes and education.

Rose also used to work at the polls on election days. He said the days – lasting up to 14 hours – were long and hard but rewarding in ways other than civic.

“You see people you haven’t seen in two or four years,” he said.

Things weren’t as smooth in Washoe County, where about 100 poll workers failed to arrive at assigned locations to begin preparing for polls to open at 7 a.m. Some polling sites were left without all of the needed personnel or voting materials and couldn’t allow for voting. There were delays of about an hour until people could vote at 10 polling locations there, according to Associated Press reports.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.