IVGID GM’s Corner: Make sure you vote this election season
Early voting begins October 22 here in Incline Village/Crystal Bay. You should be getting your sample ballot in the mail any day now. There is still time to register to vote. The deadline to register to vote online or in person is October 18. Visit bit.ly/OkN9Hv to get started.
And while most of the attention and campaign advertising has focused on the National races, don’t forget we have a very important race right here in Incline Village/Crystal Bay.
Three seats are up for election on our Five-Member Board of Trustees. The original field of ten was narrowed to six after the June primary and all registered voters in Incline Village and Crystal Bay can vote for up to three of the finalists.
Election by the Numbers
Back in June, less than 30 percent of our registered voters selected the final six candidates. A total of 4,698 votes were cast by approximately 2,000 voters. This turnout was very similar to the last primary election back in 2014 and about 20 percent less than the votes cast back in the 2012 primary.
Turnout for the General Election is expected to be far more robust than the turnout experienced in the primary. The participation rate will also be much higher than the last General Election back in 2014. Voter turnout in the last two Presidential Election years was nearly 80 percent. The last two Midterm election years saw turnouts of just over 50 percent in 2014 and 64 percent in 2010.
So what would 80 percent participation look like for Incline Village/Crystal Bay? With 7,222 registered voters, that would mean nearly 5,800 of you would be selecting our Trustees — which would be nearly triple the number of residents who participated in the primary.
How would that turnout translate into votes? Historically, many voters only choose one or two Trustee candidates. I’m not sure if this is on purpose, due to the fatigue of the long ballot, or voters not realizing that one can select up to three candidates. So with 5,800 voters, approximately 12,500 total votes will be cast. The top three candidates who receive the most votes typically garner between 2,100 and 2,700 votes.
So with numbers this modest, it certainly proves that every vote counts!
More Election Trivia
While the Trustee race is non-partisan, the IVGID electorate is 43% Republican, 30% Democratic and 20% Non Partisan (eight other parties comprise the other 7% of the electorate).
The majority of you will likely vote during the early voting period. Since 2004, when early voting was implemented for the General Election, early voting has become extremely popular — especially in high turnout Presidential election years. In 2008 and 2012, overall turnout was 78 percent in the fall. In each election, less than one in three voters cast their ballot on election day. About ten percent voted absentee and nearly 60 percent voted early.
During Primary Elections and Midterm General Elections, there is a more equal split between early voters and Election Day voters.
While voter registration numbers have been relatively flat in Incline Village/Crystal Bay, there is likely about a twenty percent turnover in voters during each two-year election cycle and a 50 percent turnover in voters since 2008.
The average voter is typically older than the voting age population as a whole. Voter registration rates are typically much higher for older citizens. Overall about 75% of eligible voters register. The rate for those under 30 is closer to 60 percent.
The disparity for those who vote is also closely correlated to age. In the last Presidential Election, the national voter participation rate was nearly 70 percent for those over the age of 65, while only 38 percent of 18-24 year olds voted.
On the national level, the age 65 and over population is the only age group with an increase in voter participation since 1964. All other age groups have experienced double-digit drops in voting rates.
While voter participation rates have dropped over the past five decades, the overall number of citizens voting has increased in every Presidential election since 1996. Nearly 133 million people voted in 2012 versus 105 million in 1996.
More on Early Voting
As I noted above, early voting begins on October 22 at the Incline Village Library (845 Alder Ave, Incline Village). Other voting days include October 25, 26, 27 and 29, along with November 1-4. Voting hours are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Visit bit.ly/2dd8XRd for a full list of early voting locations. So whether you decide to vote early, absentee or on Election Day, just be sure to vote!
“GM’s Corner” is a recurring column from Incline Village General Improvement Distinct General Manager Steve Pinkerton, who will discuss issues and offer updates regarding various district matters. He may be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.