Voter registration ends in Nevada |

Voter registration ends in Nevada

Associated Press

Voter registration for the Nov. 2 elections ended Tuesday, with election officials saying preliminary numbers show a record 1.1 million Nevadans have signed up to cast ballots.

While final numbers won’t be available for several days, reports from state and local election officials indicated Republicans were hanging onto a slim registration lead over Democrats.

As of late last week, Republicans were up 2,267 over Democrats in several Nevada counties where most of the state’s voters live. Updated late Tuesday to include latest figures from the Las Vegas area, the state’s biggest city, the margin was down slightly to 2,110. The registered voter total included 429,327 Republicans and 427,217 Democrats.

The overall total of 1.1 million is well above the 878,970 registered voters four years ago, just before the November 2000 presidential election. That included about 366,000 Republicans and 365,000 Democrats.

“It’s been an amazing year, with Nevada seeing more than 100 groups working on registering people,” said Steve George, spokesman for Secretary of State Dean Heller. “Hopefully we have reached the secretary’s goal of a minimum of 65 percent of eligible citizens registered.”

“Now the real task is to get the majority of those people out to vote. Registration is one thing. Now we have to get people to the polls.”

Clark County Registrar Larry Lomax said that at the Clark County Government Center late Tuesday election officials were “absolutely swamped. There was a line a quarter-mile long. There were hundreds of people in line.”

In Washoe County, election officials said people wanting to register crowded into the registrar’s office throughout the day.

In Clark and Washoe counties, where 85 percent of all Nevada voters live, the preliminary registration total was more than 913,000. That’s up nearly 232,000 from the totals in the two counties at the start of the year.

A breakdown shows a gain of about 95,000 Democrats and an increase of about 83,000 Republicans in the two counties.

Compared to the 2000 election cycle, the gains are startling: The two counties had an overall increase of 70,817 new voters – less than a third of the increase this year.