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Early voting numbers ‘miserable’
by Jill Lufrano - jlufrano@dailysparkstribune.com
Jun 01, 2012 | 1905 views | 1 1 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/John Byrne
A Sparks resident stands at the voting booth at Sparks City Hall on Friday morning during early voting for the Primary Election. Sparks City Hall has seen only a few voters each day since polls opened May 26.
Tribune/John Byrne A Sparks resident stands at the voting booth at Sparks City Hall on Friday morning during early voting for the Primary Election. Sparks City Hall has seen only a few voters each day since polls opened May 26.
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Tribune/John Byrne
Sparks City Hall is hosting early voting for the Primary Election this year for the first time in history. They have seen very few voters since opening the polls on May 26.
Tribune/John Byrne Sparks City Hall is hosting early voting for the Primary Election this year for the first time in history. They have seen very few voters since opening the polls on May 26.
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SPARKS — Sparks City Hall’s debut as an Early Voting polling place hasn’t panned out. 

“It’s miserable,” said Washoe County Registrar Dan Burk. “We’re lucky to get two (voters) a day.”

The problem may not be the location, Burk said. And, Sparks voters are not unusual. Early voting throughout the state has been slow. Figures from the secretary of state’s office show that through Thursday, 50,265 ballots have been cast since voters were first able to start voting May 26 at a polling place or by absentee ballot.

In Washoe County, some 7,700 people have voted out of a total of 218,100 registered voters. 

“7,700 is an exceedingly low number,” Burk said. “We would need to hit 30,000 to have 30 percent in early voting for us to get close (to a typical primary election percentage). It’s not a great turnout.”

Early voting ends Friday, giving voters another week to get to the polls before the June 12 election day. 

In the last three primaries, Washoe County has hit at least 30 percent turnout numbers, and reached 37 percent in 2010. This year, the turnout may only reach 20 percent or less if voting doesn’t dramatically improve next week, Burk said.

In Sparks, Burk surmises the low turnout is a result of the fact that the City Council members up for election are running unchallenged. 

There are 17 early voting polling places located throughout Washoe County.
“We have a number of important local races coming up in this Primary Election in Sparks, the City of Reno and at the county, in addition to the state and federal level,” Burk said. “We hope to see our early voting numbers continue to grow over the next week.” 

The Primary Election early voting numbers are updated daily on the County Registrar’s webpage. 
For a list of hours on the early polling locations and the list of candidates who have filed to run for office visit www.washoecounty.us/voters.

Statewide, Republicans so far are outpacing Democrats at the polls.

Of the 394,304 registered Republicans, 25,061, or 6.3 percent, have cast primary ballots.

The number of Democrats who have voted total 20,620, just 4.7 percent of the 433,096 voters registered as Democrat statewide.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The list of early voting locations include:

• Incline Village Library 845 Alder Ave Incline Village 89451

• Registrar of Voters Office 1001 E 9th Street Reno 89512

• Reno Town Mall 4001 S. Virginia Street Reno 89502

• Sak ‘N Save Food Store 1901 Silverada Blvd Reno NV 89512

• Scolari’s Store #18 3310 S. McCarran Blvd Reno NV 89502

• Scolari’s Store #19 200 Lemmon Drive Reno 89506

• Scolari’s Store #20 8165 S Virginia St Reno NV 89511

• Scolari’s Store #24 4788 Caughlin Pkwy Reno NV 89519

• Scolari’s Store #26 1300 Disc Dr Sparks NV 89434

• Scolari’s Store #28 6255 Sharlands Ave Reno NV 89523

• Shoppers Square Virginia & Plumb Ln Reno

• Spanish Springs Library 7100 Pyramid Hwy Sparks 89436

• Sparks City Hall 431 Prater Way Sparks 89431

• Sparks Library 1125 12th St Sparks 89431

• South Valleys Library 15650A Wedge Pkwy Reno 89511

• Sun Valley Neighbr. Center 115 W. 6th St. Sun Valley NV 89433

• UNR Joe Crowley Student Union
Comments
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zeta0
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June 03, 2012
I looked at my sample ballot. Since i am registered as non-partisan there are only three races for me to vote in. Two have only one candidate. The third, it isn't worth the time.

Even if i were registered Democrat or Republican it would be no different. The nominees of each party are decided, at least at the presidential level.

I am not sure why the caucuses were moved to earlier in the year. Moving the primary to February or March would have garnered higher participation. I'll wait for November.
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