Voter turnout 64.5 percent in Nevada |

Voter turnout 64.5 percent in Nevada

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Predictions of an almost two-thirds Nevada voter turnout nearly came true amid intense interest in Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid’s contest against Republican Sharron Angle, officials said Wednesday.

Some 64.5 percent of 1.1 million registered voters statewide cast ballots in Tuesday’s midterm election, the Nevada secretary of state’s office said, compared with a turnout of more than 59 percent of the state’s 990,000 registered voters in the 2006 midterm election.

In Las Vegas, Clark County elections chief Larry Lomax reported that more than 63 percent of registered voters cast ballots. Almost 40 percent voted early or by mail. Turnout in the state’s most populous county was up 7 percent from 2006.

In Reno, the Washoe County Registrar of Voters Dan Burk put turnout at just under 64 percent of almost 221,000 registered voters. Just under 38 percent voted early or by mail.

Results were unofficial. The Nevada Supreme Court was scheduled to certify statewide election results on Nov. 23.

The election ended in suspense after Secretary of State Ross Miller delayed reporting statewide results for more than an hour after most polls closed because several precincts remained opened to serve voters in line in rural Elko, Eureka and Washoe counties.

Other voters were stuck in lines after a minor traffic accident knocked out power at a Las Vegas-area polling place.

Miller said rural precincts in Elko were overwhelmed by after-work crowds.

The state’s top election official said he waited to release the results because he didn’t want voters to be deterred if early numbers showed their favorite candidate far behind.

“This is not a change in policy,” he said. “I have never released the results prior to the polls being closed.”

The Reid-Angle campaign drew intense interest, Miller said, and appeared to draw more Internet traffic to the state’s election website Tuesday than during the 2008 presidential election.

“Obviously the entire nation was fixated on us,” Miller said.

The midterm election was marred by accusations of illegal get-out-the-vote tactics, especially involving the Reid and Angle race.

Miller said most complaints were unsubstantiated. But he said his office was still investigating an Election Day complaint filed by Angle supporters alleging that Reid staffers were involved in a voter intimidation campaign.

Miller himself won re-election Tuesday against Republican challenger Rob Lauer.