Election 2016: Nevada caucus fever spurs voter registration uptick | SierraSun.com

Election 2016: Nevada caucus fever spurs voter registration uptick

Geoff Dornan
gdornan@nevadaappeal.com

CARSON CITY, Nev. — With growing interest in the 2016 elections spurred by the approaching caucuses, Nevada's list of active voters rose by close to 16,000 from December to January.

But a full third of those additions are existing registered voters who reactivated their status by either listing a new address or reconfirming their old address to participate in the process. As of January, the overall total number of registered active and inactive voters in the state climbed just over 10,000 to 1,469,500 for all of Nevada.

Because only the two major parties hold caucuses, the numbers show only minimal increases in new voters for the minor parties.

Nevada Republicans and Democrats are hoping the Silver State is in for record turnout like the Iowa caucuses saw Monday night. Democrats in Nevada caucus on Feb. 20, Republicans on Feb. 23.

Nevada Democrats hold an overall voter registration advantage of 92,278 over the GOP — 585,890 to 493,612.

The third largest group is the non-partisans, who finished January with 295,319 registered voters. Political observers have long held that non-partisans decide who actually wins elections in this state, but that total is up just 554 from December.

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Democrats outpaced Republicans in adding to their total active registrations, but not by a huge amount — 7,142 to 6,720. In terms of new registrations, Republicans turned the tables, adding 5,004 compared to 4,805 for the Democrats.

For the Independent American Party, Nevada's largest group after non-partisans, active registration went up 365 to 56,005 while total registration — new voters increased by just 43 to 70,323.

The remaining parties, including Libertarians and the Green, have a total of just over 24,000 registered voters and, for the most part, changed little from December through January.

In Washoe County, there are 266,933 total voters as of the end of January, with 230,097 of those considered active. Of the active voters, 88,750 are Republican, and 81,350 are Democrat. Regarding Incline Village, the state doesn't provide a breakdown for number of active voters.

However, according to the Washoe County Registrar of Voters, there are 6,730 registered voters in the Incline precincts as of the end of January 2016.

Of that, 2,939 people are registered as Republicans (43.7 percent of all Incline voters), while 1,917 are Democrats (28.4 percent).

In Carson City, there are 21,098 active voters and 27,620 total registered. There, Republicans have a strong advantage — 10,002 to 6,466 actives, and 12,179 to 8,593 total voters.

The disparity is even wider in Churchill and Douglas counties. Churchill has 2,747 registered Democrats, 2,497 of them actives, compared to 7,360 Republicans (6,819 of them actives). Douglas reports 16,974 Republicans (13,736 actives), compared to 7,884 Democrats (5,667 actives).

Bonanza Editor Kevin MacMillan contributed to this report.

If you go

What: Nevada caucuses

Where: Incline Middle School

When: Democrats meet at 11 a.m. Feb. 20; Republicans at 5 p.m. Feb. 23

Who: Any registered voter for either party in Incline Village/Crystal Bay may participate.

Learn more: For basic info, visit washoecounty.us/voters; for detailed information, contact either of the major political parties.

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By the numbers

6,730: Number of registered voters in Incline Village/Crystal Bay

1,917: Number of registered Democrats

2,939: Number of registered Republicans

Source: Washoe County. Numbers are accurate as of Jan. 28, 2016