Counting down to E-day
September 30, 2010
Today marks exactly one month until the general election, but thanks to early voting there’s a lot less time for electioneering than that.
The first voters hit the polls two weeks from Saturday, meaning campaigns are starting to ratchet up their efforts to reach them.
This is the first year Nevada has had a June primary election, and we feel the distance between that and the general hasn’t been helpful.
Turnout was apparently improved in June with 42.23 percent of voters casting an election.
Looking back at past elections, we agree that turnout in August was dismal, particularly in 2008 when turnout hit a low of 32.8 percent. August 2006 wasn’t much better with 38.93 percent.
None of the above was as good as the September 2004 primary turnout which cracked 46 percent.
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The popularity of a primary election is directly related to the ballot. People don’t always feel an obligation to vote in an election where there isn’t any serious conflict.
And the primary doesn’t predict what turnout will be in the general, since all four years had general election turnouts in the mid-90s.
We realize that it isn’t practical to hold the primary in September any longer. That’s too bad, because it provided a bright line for the start of election season.