Early voting finishes strong | RecordCourier.com

Early voting finishes strong

by Kurt Hildebrand
Shannon LitzGardnerville resident Matt Simpson votes at the old courthouse on Thursday morning.

With well over half the county’s active electorate having already cast a ballot, lines are expected to be shorter on Election Day Tuesday.Douglas County Clerk Treasurer Ted Thran said the last early voters left at a few minutes past 6 p.m. Friday.“It was the same thing as we had on the first day with the line up and down the hall,” he said of the turnout on the final day.Friday’s was the largest single turnout at the historic Douglas County Courthouse, with 1,242 voters casting a ballot, bringing the total number of early voters to 13,784. The clerk’s office has received 3,181 absentee ballots. Voters may drop off absentee ballots up until 7 p.m. Tuesday.Thran said that so far voting has progressed smoothly, with none of the claims that were made about the machines that came out in the 2010 election.Thran said anyone who has a question when they are voting on Tuesday is welcome to ask a poll worker or call him.He urged voters to review their ballot before casting it and if they had any questions to contact a poll worker.Results from Tuesday’s election won’t be released until after the last polls in Nevada are closed, Clerk-Treasurer Ted Thran said Friday.As of Friday morning, half of Nevada’s voters turned out early or turned in absentee ballots.Douglas County was in the top three in the state for early turnout, following Carson City and Humboldt County. Even turnout in Clark County cracked 56 percent, with 48,205 people early voting on Friday, according to the county’s voter registrar. That’s more people than live in Douglas County.Thran predicted when early voting started that more than half of the county’s active voters would cast a ballot early or absentee.Turnout among independent and minor party voters in this election has been light both in Douglas and statewide. Voters must go to their precincts to cast a ballot on Election Day. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, with initial results usually being released after 8 p.m.As of the close of voter registration, there were 15,319 active Republicans, 7,316 active Democrats, 4,168 nonpartisans, 1,330 Independent Americans, 214 Libertarians, and 67 Green Party voters.Douglas has 5,383 inactive voters, who are defined as people the county has received a returned mailing from or has some other reason to believe have moved. Those voters may still cast a ballot.Thran said that the county is allowed to start running absentee ballots through the counting machine early, but they would tabulate those and early voting until after the polls close 7 p.m. Tuesday.The Record-Courier’s deadline comes before the polls close on Tuesday night, so election results will be published in Friday’s edition and online.Candidates filed their final campaign and expenses report on Friday. Douglas County Commission District 5 hopeful Barry Penzel raised $42,559 so far in the campaign, with $7,372 of that coming in the last three weeks. Penzel’s largest contributors are Gardnerville resident Mark Stapleton and Colorado resident Matt Hudkins who donated $750 each. Penzel spent $41,015 in the campaign with $5,162 going out in the last three weeks. Incumbent commissioner Mike Olson raised $21,509 during the campaign, with $2,375 in the last three weeks. Olson’s largest contributors were the Committee to Elect Kelly Kite, which donated $1,000.Olson spent a total of $17,046, with $6,061 in the last reporting period.In District 3, incumbent commissioner Doug Johnson has raised $8,337 total so far in the campaign, including $67.45 in the last three weeks. The two-term commissioner has spent $7,910 total so far, with $4,649 in the last three weeks.Opponent Frank Godecke raised $8,949 in the campaign, including $1,300 in the last three weeks, including a $800 donation from RO Anderson.University Regent Ron Knecht gained some ground on his opponent in the final three weeks of fundraising before the election. Knecht lent his campaign $10,000 of the $14,100 he reported to the state, and spent $13,084 since Oct. 16. Challenger Michon Mackedon raised another $7,750 in the last three weeks of the campaign, and spent $25,585 of it. She lent her campaign $5,500 of that amount.