weather icon Clear

County clerk, staff see low early voting turnout on Saturday

Nye County Clerk Sandra “Sam” Merlino wasn’t expecting the low turnout for Saturday’s first day of early voting.

Merlino and her staff were anticipating long lines of voters at the courthouse, as has been the case during the past several election cycles.

She described the turnout as surprisingly poor.

“It was very uneventful and the turnout was fairly low,” she said. “We had 371 voters in Pahrump, which is a very poor turnout, especially for a Saturday and the first day of early voting. We only had 23 in the northern end of the county. I’m hoping it picks up a little bit more this week.”

Pahrump resident Douglas Shaw took advantage of early voting this year.

Shaw decided to complete the task, as he is not interested in languishing in long lines when the June 14 primary gets underway in two weeks.

“I’d just as soon get this out of the way right now rather than waiting because it’s less crowded,” he said. “I haven’t really settled on a particular candidate so it’s going to be down to the last minute with my decision. I don’t think there’s a real good crop of candidates this year.”

Among the contests on the primary sample ballot is the Democrat race for U.S. Senate, District 4 Congressional seat and the District 8 University Board of Regents.

The Republican ballot contains two additional races, including the District 36 Assembly seat and Nye County District III Commission.

Merlino said the light primary ballot speaks directly to the low turnout.

“We do have some of these statewide races but it’s still not enough to get that huge turnout it seems.”

Additionally, Merlino noted the high number of candidates in the two Senate and congressional races may have also kept voters away from the polls for early voting in this election cycle.

“There’s a lot of candidates and sometimes that makes it tough because some people think there are too many candidates in the race and they just stay away.”

Merlino also said overall, the clerk’s office and voters did not encounter any real problems or issues on the first day of early voting.

“My chief deputy, myself or my poll chairman are always there and they are all very experienced in any issues that may arise,” she said. “If any voter has a problem or question, we would like them to raise their hand before they cast their ballot. We always assist and help the voters if they do have issues.”

Early voting schedule:


1520 East Basin Avenue

Tuesday, May 31 through Friday, June 3; and Monday, June 6 through Friday, June 10.

Poll hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.



101 Radar Road, Tonopah

Today through Friday, June 3

Poll hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday, June 4

Poll hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Monday, June 6 through

Friday, June 10

Poll hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Supreme Court rejects California church’s challenge

Chief Justice John Roberts again was the deciding vote Friday when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a California church’s attempt to overturn the state’s coronavirus restrictions on in-person religious services.

U.S. 95 closing for repairs in Nye, Esmeralda counties

The Nevada Department of Transportation is temporarily closing U.S. Highway 95 between the U.S. Route 6 and State Route 360 junctions from 6 a.m. June 3, through 4 p.m. June 17 in Esmeralda and Mineral counties, a closure needed for $2.43 million in federally funded emergency repairs.

Golden announces Pahrump properties will reopen June 4

Golden Entertainment, Inc., announced Friday that Pahrump Nugget Hotel & Casino, Gold Town Casino and Lakeside Casino & RV Park will reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, June 4.

Administration considers resuming nuclear testing

The Trump administration has discussed whether to conduct the first U.S. nuclear test explosion since 1992 in a move that would have far-reaching consequences for relations with other nuclear powers and reverse a decades-long moratorium on such actions, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

Fire destroys several structures, vehicles

Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Services crews were met with explosions and red hot embers raining down upon them as they battled a destructive multi-structure fire on Tuesday evening, May 26th.

Thousands watch Nye County GOP virtual debate

The Nye County Republican Central Committee, with the participation of the Pahrump Valley Times, hosted a GOP debate last weekend for the contenders vying for the Republican vote in the 2020 primary election, with nearly three dozen candidates joining in to tackle a variety of topics pertinent to their various offices and thousands of voters watching over two days of discourse and debate.

Striving for success, commission reduces Pahrump Fall Festival vendor fees

The Pahrump Fall Festival is, hands down, the single largest community event in the valley each year but over the past few years, it has been dwindling a bit in terms of participation by vendors offering merchandise and goodies for the thousands of people who turn out on a regular basis. With this in mind, town and county officials have made the decision to revise the vendor booth fee schedule, lowering the prices in an effort to attract more vendors and make the 2020 Fall Festival a resounding success.

Pahrump’s Movies in the Park given the go-ahead

It’s been more than two months since the last community gathering was held in Pahrump and though certain restrictions are still in place regarding the number of people allowed to congregate in public or private settings, the town is now readying for the first large-scale public event since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nevada, its annual Movies in the Park.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Wednesday, May 27 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $10 million.