With one exception two years ago, Nevada’s primary election turnout is generally miserable, and early data for the 2022 primary election indicates this election will likely follow the trend.
At least 111,460 voters submitted early ballots in the first week of voting, according to data from the Nevada secretary of state’s office Tuesday. Statewide, more than 71,000 Nevada residents chose to vote by mail in the first week and another 40,000 voted in person.
The voting data shows that preliminary voter turnout for this year’s primary got off to a slow start compared to 2020, despite the availability of mail when voting.
Early voting in the 2020 primary election has been phased out altogether in favor of an all-postal system. Turnout for the 2020 primary election, held almost entirely by mail, was one of the highest in state history – 491,654 the votes have been castalmost 30% of all registered voters.
Voter enthusiasm is an important driver of voter turnout. Voters are also more likely to vote when a race is competitive. In Nevada, nearly all elected officials in the state are Democrats and few face significant challenges in the primary. But there are high-profile Republican primaries for several state and federal races, including ticket contests for US governor and senator.
Combine a relatively fairly Democratic primary with high gas prices and the traditional headwinds facing the party that doesn’t control the White House in the midterm elections, it’s no surprise Republicans voted outnumbered Democrats in the first week of early voting. Republicans cast 4,600 more votes than Democrats in the first week.
Republican voters preferred voting in person to mailing ballots. According to state data, 57% of Republicans who have voted in the primary so far voted in person, while about 37% voted by mail.
By contrast, more Democratic voters chose to vote by mail than in person. About 43% of Democrats who have voted so far have chosen to vote by mail and 34% have voted in person.
Early voting began on May 28 and will continue until Friday, June 10. The last day to vote in the primary will be June 14 on election day.
Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske reported a slight but steady increase in the number of active registered voters month over month. SOS representatives said the pattern could be attributed to automatic voter registration at the DMV.
During the month of May, the first data available, the SOS office reported an increase of 15,403 active registered voters compared to April. The total number of active registered voters in Nevada is 1,821,058, an increase of 0.85%.
This increase is largely due to an increase in the number of Republican and nonpartisan active registered voters. Registered voters active in the Republican Party rose 6,982 or 1.30%, while nonpartisan voters rose 5,257 or 1.01%.
However, nonpartisan voters in Nevada cannot vote for Democratic or Republican candidates in primary elections.
Active registered voters for the Democratic Party rose 3,587 or 0.60%. The Independent American Party and Libertarian Party of Nevada both saw a slight increase of 0.02%. Active registered voters from a compilation of ‘other’ minor political parties fell by 413 (0.81%).
The Democratic Party still has a small advantage of 3% in the number of active registered voters compared to the Republican Party. Democrats make up 33.13% of active voters while Republicans make up 29.90%. In third place are nonpartisan voters who make up 28.89% of registered voters in Nevada.
Early voting options
Eligible Nevada voters who do not vote at an early primary voting location can still vote by mail or in person.
Registered voters should already have received a mail-in ballot. Voters who have not received their absentee ballot by May 30 can contact the Elections Department by email at [email protected] or by phone at 702-455-VOTE (8683) to request a new mail-in vote.
To return the absentee ballot, you can:
- Submit it in person to the Elections Department
- Mail the ballot through the US Postal Service
- Drop off the absentee ballot in a secure drop box at any early polling station or on Election Day
Mail-in ballots must be received or postmarked by June 14 to be counted. All Election Day Voting Centers in Clark County are also mail-in ballot drop-off locations and perhaps found here.
Nevada residents who have not yet registered to vote can register online at the Nevada Secretary of State’s website. website. Online registration requires a driver’s license number or ID card number. Those unable to provide this information will need to register in person at the county election office or via mail form.
Nevada residents can also vote in person at a number of early voting locations, from malls to grocery stores. Clark County early voting locations and times may be found here. Early voting locations in Washoe County can be found here.
Nevada voters also have the option to register and vote the same day at any polling center on Election Day.