Close race is good for democracy |

Close race is good for democracy

Nevada Appeal Editorial

A close and contentious election is good for democracy. Want proof? Look at Nevada’s voter registration numbers.

For the first time, Nevada has more than 1 million people registered to cast their votes on Nov. 2.

The record number can be attributed to a booming population, of course, but county clerks and voter registrars have managed to push to 64 percent the eligible residents who have registered to vote.

That’s a testament to hard work and to an election nobody should want to skip. A great deal is at stake.

“Hopefully, the enthusiasm and interest in this year’s elections will carry over to people actually casting their ballot,” said Secretary of State Dean Heller.

Good point. In any given election, at least a third of those who are registered to vote didn’t bother to show up on Election Day. Not much reason for that, especially with the ease and convenience of early voting.

Nevada remains a Republican state, though not by much. The figures show 434,239 registered Republicans, 429,808 registered Democrats and 161,620 registered as nonpartisan. (A half-dozen other parties make up the rest.)

But it is becoming increasingly separated from north to south – or, perhaps, from urban to rural.

Clark County has 43,000 more Democrats. Congressional District 2, which is almost the entire non-Las Vegas part of Nevada, has 48,000 more Republicans.

Carson City, Douglas, Lyon, Storey, Churchill and Washoe counties all remain Republican strongholds, with Douglas being the most Republican of all those. In fact, only three counties in the state have a Democratic edge – Clark, White Pine and Mineral.

President Bush and Sen. Kerry have paid more attention to Nevada than any presidential campaign in history. It’s good to see Nevadans are paying more attention to this election, as well.