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The Nevada Independent

Non-major party voters now make up plurality of registered Nevada voters for first time in state history

Jannelle Calderon
Jannelle Calderon
Elections
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For what appears the first time in Nevada history, non-major party voters have surpassed Democratic and Republican voters. 

According to numbers released on Wednesday by Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske’s office, of the 1.8 million active registered voters in Nevada, non-major party voters — including those registered as nonpartisan as well as with smaller political parties —  now make up roughly 34.8 percent, or more than 651,000 individual voters.

Those totals overtake registration numbers for both major political parties — 34.78 percent are Democrats and 30.4 percent are Republicans.  

Voters listed under non-major parties made up the majority in nearly every age group tracked by the secretary of state.  

The secretary of state’s office has previously credited the increase to the DMV’s automatic registration system, which took effect in January 2020. Voters who do not select a party affiliation when updating information are automatically registered as nonpartisan, unless they opt out. 

Overall, there was an increase of 14,739 active registered voters, or 0.79 percent, in August compared with July. 

Despite the rise of voters not affiliated with either major political party, Nevada still operates under a closed primary system — meaning that only voters registered with a certain political party can cast votes in primary races.

Prior to 1950, Nevada did not break down the total number of registered voters for each party. According to the secretary of state's office, that year, Nevada had 83,950 registered voters: 53,050 Democrats, 26,601 Republicans, and 4,299 listed as “Miscellaneous.” 

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