Early vote swamps area clerks | NevadaAppeal.com

Early vote swamps area clerks

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

With voters lining up to cast ballots early, western Nevada clerks are predicting huge turnouts by the time this election is over.

One of those counties, Douglas, could record 95 percent of registered voters by the end and Carson may hit 90 percent.

“We’ve set records,” said Douglas Clerk Ted Thran.

By the close of the polls Thursday, he said, the total was 2,024 ” up from the same point in 2004 when the final turnout hit 92 percent there.

“I’m predicting 95 percent for the whole thing,” he said.

But that turnout is unlikely to benefit Barack Obama very much since there are more than 17,000 Republicans in Douglas to 9,700 Democrats. There are 32,458 voters registered in Douglas.

In Carson City, Clerk/Recorder Alan Glover said turnout will beat the 88 percent the capital got in 2004.

On the first day of early voting a week ago, the line at the Carson City Courthouse stretched down the hall, outside and wrapped halfway around the building.

At the close of the polls Thursday, Glover said 6,016 Carson residents had voted.

“If we continue the way we did this week, we will have 55 percent early voting ” and that’s of registered voters, not likely voters,” he said. “We could go over 90 percent.”

Total Carson City registration is 28,533, according to the secretary of state’s Web site.

Erin Montalvo in Churchill County said the turnout has been much better than 2004.

She said 2,024 voted as of mid-morning Friday and that, while a bit slower than most of the week, people were still lined up to cast their ballots. By mid-afternoon, she said 366 had cast ballots Friday.

A total of 13,959 voters are registered in Churchill County.

In Lyon County, Clerk Nikki Bryan said the situation was the same.

“As of this morning we had 4,658 early voters,” she said.

In addition, Bryan said, 1,302 of 2,136 absentee ballots have already been returned.

By comparison, total early ballots cast in the 2006 election were just 5,651, which, she said, puts Lyon on a course to double the 2006 early vote turnout.

“It’s a huge turnout compared to what we’ve had in the past. It would be nice if they (voters) did this all the time,” she said.

Total registration in Lyon is 28,877.

While most smaller counties haven’t been tabulating the percentage of turnout by the two major parties, Clark officials said the Democrats in southern Nevada are early voting at a rate double that of Republicans. After six days, the registrar’s office in Clark says 16 percent of all registered voters had gone to the polls.

Western Nevada counties, however, generally have a majority Republican registration.

– Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.