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County canvasses election results, voter turnout in Washoe was 83%

By Carla O'Day
Published: Last Updated on

Washoe County commissioners voted 4-1 on Monday to approve the canvass of the vote for the 2020 general election that garnered an 83% voter turnout.

Participation in Washoe County eclipsed the 2016 general election, which had a 79% turnout. The 2018 general election had 70% turnout locally.

By comparison, approximately 77% of voters turned out statewide for the 2020 and 2016 general elections with 62% in 2018.

“Thank you to the Registrar of Voters and the dedicated staff for ensuring democracy is solid and our voting is fair,” Commissioner Kitty Jung said. “And it does not go without notice that 2 years ago I was bemoaning the voter turnout.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state legislators required mail-in ballots be sent to all active registered voters.

Washoe County Registrar of Voters Deanna Spikula said the county received 132,241 mail-in ballots. It also had 95,595 people vote early and another 24,727 who voted on Election Day, which was Nov. 3.

Washoe County had 15 early voting locations, an additional 15 ballot drop-off sites and 328 early voting election workers. On Election Day, there were 29 polling sites with an additional 16 ballot drop-off locations.

Spikula said the post-election audit conducted Nov. 12 by the county’s four-member Accuracy Certification Board showed no errors. Eligible provisional ballots were processed and included in final results, she said. The audit is required by state law.

Washoe County has 108,586 registered Republicans, 107,807 registered Democrats, and 87,831 nonpartisans or third party registrants.

“The nonpartisan and minor party voters definitely have been increasing in Washoe County,” Spikula said.

Commission Chairman Bob Lucey praised Spikula and her staff.

“I think your team did a wonderful job this year with all of the challenges that were put forth,” Lucey said. “We were thrown a couple of curve balls in the middle of July that you’ve had to adjust for and you did a wonderful job. With the amount of turnout and the amount you’ve accomplished in that short amount of time is tremendous.”

Commissioner Jeanne Herman declined to approve the canvass without explanation.

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