Nevada Primary Results: Ron Paul Absence Means Low Turnout


Tuesday's Nevada primary is a non-event and likely to set new records for low turnout.

The two largest counties, Clark and Washoe, home to Las Vegas and Reno respectively, are projecting between 18% and 22% based on early voting turnout (voters casting ballots between May 26th and June 9th).

After early voting, Clark County is reporting 8% turnout compared to 39% in 2010, while Washoe County is reporting 8% compared to 31% in 2010.

There are several reasons for this low turnout.

The presidential race is not on the ballot. Nevada uses party caucuses held in February to choose delegates to the party conventions.

Even with the creation of a new congressional district in the southern part of the state, there are no contentious contests. There is no Sharon Angle vs. Sue Lowden race. Senator Dean Heller and his likely Democratic opponent Shelley Berkley are running virtually unopposed. Republican incumbent Congressman Mark Amodei is also running unopposed and, given his seat has never been held by a Democrat, little attention has been given to the Democratic race.

The races for party candidates in the other three congressional districts are not expected to attract voters even though they have been slightly more active. Nevada also allows voters to register as non-partisan. Sixteen percent of active voters hold such registration and are therefore restricted to only voting in non-partisan races. School boards, judges, and city councils do not normally attract voters and this year many of these races have only one candidate. In fact in Sparks, a city of 90,000 in Washoe County, there is no primary for city offices, as all incumbents are unopposed.