Carson City voters set turnout record
Carson City residents flocked to the polls in record numbers this year due to vigorous presidential campaigning, a turnout overshadowing any other election in the city’s recorded history.
“It’s the highest turnout we’ve ever had by about 4,000 votes,” said Carson City clerk/recorder Alan Glover on Tuesday after signing the final certification of the 2004 election.
His office was strangely quiet and sparsely populated Tuesday, the calm after the election storm.
The city’s total voter turnout was 23,183 with all early, absentee, provisional and no-fixed-address votes tallied.
That’s 3,528 more votes than the last presidential election in 2000.
“You’ll always have more people voting during presidential elections,” Glover said. “A lot of people only vote every four years for president.”
He said 87.9 percent of registered voters cast their ballots this year, crushing the 2000 general election’s 86.5 percent.
“That’s really a huge increase,” Glover said.
He attributes the voting surge to unrelenting campaigning by both presidential candidates.
“The constant phone calls, the media coverage,” Glover said, “and both candidates spent a lot of money on their campaigns.”
The Center for Responsive Politics reports Bush spent $306.3 million and Kerry spent $241.7 million on their respective campaigns, the most expensive presidential election campaign in history, according to a recent article in the L.A. Times.
Glover said the close, contentious 2000 presidential election drove the Kerry campaign to get the vote out early this year.
“The Democratic party had a strategy to get people out for early voting and it worked,” Glover said. “They wanted to make sure people voted and got their ballots in the box in plenty of time, but the Republicans really showed up on election day.”
Early voting set another record, with 10,987 people casting their votes during the 12 early voting days preceding election day, compared to 7,209 Carson City residents who voted early in the 2000 general election.
“Early voting tends to grow every year,” Glover said. “But we’re way up on early voting.”
Glover’s certification of the 2004 general election voting results was official at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
“We’re relieved,” Glover said.
Contact reporter Robyn Moormeister at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1217.