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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:

IAN DEUTCH GOVERNMENT COMPLEX – PAHRUMP

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.

NYE COUNTY CLERK’S

OFFICE – TONOPAH

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.

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