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Ralston Reports

The early voting blog

A couple walks past a voting sign during primary election day at Sahara West Library on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)
Last updated: June 9th, 2020 - 12:40pm

Editor’s Note: This blog will track turnout in Nevada’s mostly mail balloting for the June 9 primary (which probably won’t end until a week later when all ballots are counted). I will also use this space to track developments in the war on facts being waged by those trying to cast doubt on the election. I usually track early voting, which this cycle goes from May 23 to June 5. But with this election being almost all mail (only a few hundred have voted in-person so far), the task is a little different. My main focus on this blog will be the two congressional district GOP primaries in CD3 and CD4, but I will add legislative districts, too, in addition to the Democratic scrum in SD7. I’ll also track turnout in that packed race on the Democratic side for Lawrence Weekly’s Clark County Commission seat, which effectively ends in the primary because of the overwhelming Dem registration advantage.

June 9

4:55 PM

SOS updated again: 370,000 have voted, or just over 23 percent.

12:40 PM

SOS updated: 366,000 have voted, or 23 percent.

Don't forget to watch IndyTV tonight!

7:45 AM

Clark is up just above 218,000 (19.2 percent) -- no SOS update yet.

I thought there would easily be records set. But it has slowed a bit, so perhaps not.

Watch IndyTV tonight for results.

June 8

Noon

SOS has updated: 343,000 ballots cast, or 21.5 percent. Reminder of last few primaries:

2018: 23 percent

2016: 19 percent

2014: 19 percent

2012: 19 percent

Clark is at 215,000, or 19 percent

Washoe: 67,000, or 23 percent

Rurals: 61,000, or 29 percent (!)

More to come....

8 AM

Still no SOS update, but Clark now up above 209,000 votes, or 18.5 percent. I'll try to update individual races later. But you should discuss all of this with me tonight at 6 on our Ask Jon Anything Zoom call. Sign up for just a mere $50.

June 7

9:45 AM

No SOS update since Friday, but Clark is approaching 200,000 ballots (it's just under 197,000 now), which would be 17.5 percent.

I have been talking about records being set, and they will be, but unless there is a surge in the last few days and more purists than myself and a few others who won't mail until Tuesday, the numbers won't be staggering.

But by Monday, more ballots will already have been cast than in the 2018 primary in Clark (199,000), when the turnout in the South was 20 percent. In 2016, it was 16 percent and 144,000 voters.

June 5

2:10 PM

SOS has updated. Totals:

Statewide: 310,000, or 19 percent

Clark: 189,500, or 16.8 percent

Washoe: 62,000, or 21.2 percent

Rurals: 58,500, or 28 percent

Only 20,000 ballots away from the 2016 record. It's going to happen.

9:15 AM

AM update: Clark is up to 185,000 ballots returned -- 16.4 percent. The SOS updated just before 5 yesterday, and adding the new Clark total puts the state at 293,000, or a little more than 18 percent.

More later....

June 4

2 PM

The latest from the SOS:

Nearly 287,000 ballots returned statewide and 1,000 more in-person voters, or 18 percent. In 2018, 330,000 turned out; in 2016, 240,000. As I said, a record is coming.

Totals are:

Clark: 180,000 (16 percent)

Washoe: 52,000 (18 percent)

Rurals: 56,000 (27 percent)

Terrible that so many people (relatively speaking) are voting, isn’t it?

Truth is the only terrible thing is that everyone is not doing what I am doing: Sending in my ballot on Election Day, of course!

8:30 AM

Morning update: 175,500 now in Clark -- 15.5 per cent.

No new SOS updates yet. But the SOS did sent out a release yesterday with some interesting stuff:

--"Four Nevada counties currently have turnout above 30 percent: Douglas (33 percent), Humboldt (33 percent), Lincoln (40 percent), and White Pine (34 percent). "

--"Of the 1,829,050 ballots mailed to registered voters, 248,868 have been returned to the county election official by the U.S. Postal Service as undeliverable. This represents nearly 14 percent of all ballots mailed." That is, a small percentage have been delivered and thrown out or are just lying around.

More later...

June 3

2 PM

The latest, with SOS updated as of 10:55 AM:

277,000 have voted statewide – that’s 17 percent.

Reminder of recent overall turnouts for primaries (saving you from having to scroll down):

2018: 23 percent

2016: 19 percent

2014: 19 percent

2012: 19 percent

As of 10:55 today:

Clark: 171,000 (15 percent)

Washoe: 52,000 (18 percent)

Rurals: 54,000 (26 percent)

A third of registered voters in Douglas County have turned out! The GOP-dominated rurals love mail balloting. Dems better get on this and stop all of this mail-in stuff!

At a glance:

CD3 GOP: 18 percent (28,000 voters)

CD4 GOP (Clark portion): 19 percent (19,000 voters)

SD7 Dem: 16 percent (5,000 voters)

Clark Commission D Dem: 12 percent (7,800 voters)

It’s amazing that so few voters will determine a seat on the most powerful local government board in Nevada. Maybe under 10,000.

Democrats have returned about 5,000 more ballots than Republicans, but this is your friendly reminder that it means very little, more dependent on which primaries are engaging voters and has no impact on general turnout.

In Clark, it is interesting to note that even though Reps. Susie Lee and Steven Horsford have no real races, many more Dem voters are turning out in those CDs than on the very competitive GOP sides. Probably doesn’t mean anything, either, but….

Overall in Clark: Dems have a 14 percentage point lead in turnout, which is commensurate with reg figures.

8:15 AM

AM update: Clark reports 167,299 ballots returned -- nearly 15 percent. Statewide the total is about 265,000 -- 16.5 percent. Washoe is at nearly 52,000 -- or almost 18 percent.

I'll try to find time later for more details.

June 2

8:20 AM

Quick update:

Clark total is above 156,000 now -- almost 14 percent. Daily increases have slowed a bit, but still a week left.

State total has not been updated yet, still at 254,000.

June 1

10:20 AM

The SOS page has updated:

254,000 ballots returned: 16 percent

Clark: 155,000 (14 percent)

Washoe: 49,500 (17 percent)

Rurals: 49,500 (24 percent)

By the way, this just shows how dumb and counterproductive to their own interests what the GOP leaders in Nevada are doing vis a vis mail ballots: The rurals make up about one and a half times what their actual registration numbers are (13 percent of state reg total but 19 percent of overall turnout) in the mail ballots so far. Republicans usually do better than Democrats in absentee voting anyhow; if the general is all-mail (doubtful), the rurals would have a disproportionate impact on the turnout.

Heckuva job, Adam & Co.

8:30 AM

Quick update -- a few more ballots from Clark to report. Up to 151,000 -- that's 13 percent. 246,000 statewide -- that's approaching 16 percent. More later if SOS updates.

May 31

9:30 AM

About 240,000 ballots have now been returned – SOS last update Friday afternoon, Clark through this AM. That’s 15 percent of the state’s 1.6 million active voters.

It’s still hard to tell how high turnout will get because we have never done this before (mostly mail and starting so early). Clark seems to be ticking up a little under 1 percent a day, and Washoe turnout is steadily increasing, too. The 23 percent in 2018 almost surely will be eclipsed by a week from now, and I still think 30 percent-plus is possible.

Clark at 145,000 voters is 12 percent and Washoe at 47,500 is 16 percent. Turnout is very high in some rurals, too – Douglas is now at 29 percent.

Nevada is still three states in one. Those crowded GOP congressional primaries in the South, some spirited legislative primaries in Clark and still the turnout is significant lower than Reno and the rurals. Sad.

At a glance:

CD3 GOP: 16 percent (25,000 voters)

CD4 GOP (Clark portion): 16.3 percent (16,700 voters)

SD7 Dem: 14 percent (4,500 voters)

Clark Commission D Dem: 10.4 percent (6,500 voters)

Better than usual, but you can’t exactly sense the excitement. The low turnout in that County Commission race is really something considering four candidates have at least some money.

Democrats have returned about 4,000 more ballots than Republicans statewide, but I remind you that those numbers don’t mean much in a primary. I report them because some people might be curious.

8:30 AM

About 230,000 ballots returned now -- Clark (updated this AM) and SOS sites (updated Thursday afternoon) not synced, so I did the math for you -- and that is up about 15,000 ballots from Thursday's count. That's 14 percent.

I'll take a look later to see if there are major changes in any of the key races, but 139,000-plus have been returned in Clark and 45,000 in Washoe. Some rurals not updated yet.

Turnout will be high by the time everything is counted -- with "high" here defined as much better than the usual pathetic turnout. Higher turnout brought about by mail balloting -- I wonder why the president and the state GOP are so upset.

May 28

8 AM

Here’s where we are this morning, with overnight numbers from Clark County and the last secretary of state’s update at 4:22 PM on Wednesday:

Of the state’s 1.6 million active voters, about 215,000 have turned out so far – that’s a little more than 13 percent. Perspective on total turnout for recent primaries:

2018: 23 percent

2016: 19 percent

2014: 19 percent

2012: 19 percent

You get the picture. It’s usually low, but it seems as if the convenience of mail voting is going to help set a record. I’d guess it will be at least 30 percent and maybe as high as 40 percent if more interest is generated closer to Election Day.

You can see turnout by county here, although there is a reporting lag (especially with Clark today). Turnout in Clark (11.5 percent) is lower than Washoe (14 percent).

Some rurals are much higher. Douglas County, the super-red county, is at – wait for it – 27 percent already. No idea what this means for Danny Tarkanian’s bid for the County Commission there…

 The turnout numbers:

CD3 GOP: 14.3 percent

CD4 GOP (Clark portion): 14.7 percent

SD7 Dem: 12.7 percent

Clark Commission D Dem: 9 percent (!)

Statewide Democratic turnout is 13.7 percent and Republican turnout is 15.8 percent. (Indie/others turnout is 7 percent.)

Caveats on Dem and GOP turnout: 1. Remember this is highly dependent on which party has competitive primaries. The GOP has them in two congressional districts and both parties have them in races for Carson City seats. 2. Primary turnout is no predictor of general election turnout. Totally different electorate, and turnout will be much higher in November.

I’ll add more races if they look interesting – please email me your requests at [email protected] – and I’ll update this blog at least once a day.

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