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You shouldn’t obsess over NV’s early voting numbers. But here are a few anyway.


by April Corbin Girnus, Nevada Current

More than 618,000 Nevadans have already cast ballots in this year’s midterm elections, according to data from the secretary of state’s office.

Nevada’s two-week early voting period ended Friday with approximately 280,000 people voting in-person. Meanwhile, more than 333,000 people have already voted via a mail ballot. (The SOS does not differentiate between mail ballots that are delivered via the United States Postal Service and those physically delivered to dropboxes.)

Those numbers are approximate and as of Saturday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m.

Republicans are disproportionately voting in-person while Democrats are disproportionately voting via mail ballot. Registered Republicans made up just about half of all in-person early voters but make up only 30% of active registered voters. Registered Democrats cast 54% of mail ballots but make up only 33% of active registered voters.

That trend is unsurprising given the political talking points adopted by prominent candidates on the right. For example, Jim Marchant, who is running for secretary of state, has said he would abolish early voting and has encouraged his supporters to vote on Election Day only. Even removing that extreme position, Republicans up and down the ticket have embraced (to varying degrees) doubt about possible election fraud using mail ballots, despite having no such proof that widespread mail ballot fraud has ever occurred.

Universal mail ballots are relatively new to Nevada and have only been used in one election cycle – 2020, a year that lends itself to incomparability.

In 2018, approximately 554,000 Nevadans cast ballots during early voting. They made up 57% of the 976,320 votes cast that year. Election Day voters represented 34% of total votes cast. The remaining 9% were mail ballots, which were available to anyone who requested one but were not widely used.

Mail ballots, which must be postmarked by Election Day, can be received by county clerk offices up until Saturday, Nov. 12 and still be legally counted. County clerks have warned that this means same-day results may not be available in close races.

Nevada Current is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Nevada Current maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Hugh Jackson for questions: [email protected]. Follow Nevada Current on Facebook and Twitter.

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