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Douglas turnout heaviest in more than 20 years

by Christy Chalmers, staff writer

Turnout was heavy in Douglas County for the 2000 general election, but Dresslerville topped everyone with 100 percent.

The precinct’s 119 voters all cast ballots, leading what Clerk-Treasurer Barbara Reed said was the highest turnout she’s seen in more than 20 years of working on Douglas County’s elections.

“We had hundreds of inactives show up,” Reed said Tuesday. “That’s the first time it’s happened.”

She said some polling places ran short of ballots, but supplies were bolstered and no problems resulted.

The election went well, Reed said. The count was completed shortly after 11 p.m. and Douglas County’s 33 precincts averaged nearly 85 percent turnout. A total of 18,246 votes were cast.

The interest was not unexpected. More than 5,500 people voted early, 25 percent of the active voting population.

Reed said the turnout numbers are higher because of the inactive voters. There are 21,561 active voters and more than 6,000 inactive voters. However, the ballots cast aren’t categorized based on whether the voter is active or inactive, and the total number of votes is compared to the active number, which can raise the turnout average, Reed said.

Douglas County, which has a Republican majority, supported that ticket. George W. Bush got 62 percent of the vote compared to Al Gore’s 32 percent. U.S. Senate candidate John Ensign got 67 percent of the Douglas vote while his Democratic opponent, Ed Bernstein, mustered less than 27 percent.

Congressman Jim Gibbons, also a Republican, won nearly 73 percent of the vote to Democrat Tierney Cahill’s 22 percent.

For complete returns, go to the Douglas County clerk-treasurer’s web site at http://cltr.co.douglas.nv.us.

Statewide returns can be viewed on the Secretary of State’s site at http://sos.state.nv.us.