Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008 | 1:13 p.m.
Clark County's top election official sounded surprised.
"We're going to go way over what I predicted," Larry Lomax said just before noon today.
Lomax, the county's registrar of voters, was studying a report he had just run that told him 10,000 more people had voted early in Clark County this morning — bringing the early vote total number up to 319,205.
He had been expecting about 320,000 people to vote early for the Nov. 4 election. But with a day and a half to go before early voting ends Friday night, he's revising that up to 380,000.
"We're going to be way up there," he said. "Normally we get a very, very high turnout on the last day."
Early voting continues today and Friday in 22 locations. And if you plan to vote early, give yourself some time: "You might be waiting in line a half hour," Lomax said.
Lomax had been expecting a total turnout of about 80 percent for Tuesday's election, which would be 640,000 of the county's 815,077 registered voters. Of the total turnout, he was expecting 50 percent to come from early voting, 10 percent to come from mailed-in votes and 40 percent to be from those who vote at their regular polling place on Election Day.
"Obviously, there's a whole lot of interest in this eelction," he said. "It would be hard to imagine a 90 percent turnout, but who knows what will happen."
As the campaigns head into the final stretch, Democrats are still leading the turnout at the voting machines, while Republicans have the edge with the mailed-in votes.
The latest numbers from the county's election department, showed that as of Wednesday night, 309,150 people had cast ballots at early voting polling places. The breakdown was 163,789 Democrats (53 percent), 93,018 Republicans (30 percent) and 52,343 voters with no party affiliation (17 percent).
The election department reported 38,390 people have mailed in their votes: 18,012 Republicans (47 percent), 15,484 Democrats (40 percent) and 4,894 with no party affiliation (13 percent).
County registration figures show Democrats outnumber Republicans 396,910 (48.7 percent) to 261,662 (32.1 percent).
Here's a look at early voting trends in eight contested partisan races as of Wednesday night:
• In the 3rd Congressional District, which features a tight contest between incumbent Republican Jon Porter and Democrat Dina Titus, 87,606 Democrats, 57,700 Republicans and 30,484 voters with no party have cast ballots. For the mail-in votes from that district, 11,011 were Republicans, 8,337 were Democrats and 2,833 were from non-affiliated voters.
• The 2nd Congressional District has a race between incumbent Republican Dean Heller and Democrat Jill Derby. So far, 6,446 Democrats, 4,410 Republican and 2,493 voters with no party have cast ballots. The mailed votes came from 1,223 Republicans, 576 Democrats and 370 non-affiliated voters.
• The County Commission District District A race has a heated race between Republican Brian Scroggins and Democrat Steve Sisolak to take over the seat being vacated by Bruce Woodbury. Independent candidate Scott David Narter is also running. In that district, 33,447 Democrats, 26,658 Republicans and 12,914 voters with no party have cast ballots. The mailed votes came from 4,731 Republicans, 2,854 Democrats and 1,110 voters declaring no party.
• In the state Senate 6th District race, which features a battle between incumbent Republican Bob Beers and Democrat Allison Copening, 11,548 Democrats, 8,554 Republicans and 3,781 voters with no party affiliation have voted so far. The mailed votes in that district came from 1,906 Republicans, 1,482 Democrats and 415 non-affiliated voters.
• The state Senate 5th District race is between Democrat Shirley Breeden and incumbent Republican Joe Heck. In that district, 25,902 Democrats, 18,964 Republicans and 9,445 voters with no party affiliation have voted. Mailed vote: 2,719 Republicans, 1,988 Democrats and 678 non-affiliated.
• State Assembly District 21 features a contest between Republican Jon Ozark and Democrat Ellen Spiegel to represent the Green Valley area district. So far, the early voting turnout has been 5,536 Democrats, 4,287 Republicans and 2,154 voters with no party. Mailed vote: 700 Republicans, 508 Democrats and 156 voters declaring no party.
• The State Assembly District 23 contest is between Democrat Allison Herr and Republican Melissa Woodbury. Early voting shows there have been 4,461 Democrats, 2,849 Republicans and 1,470 voters with no party who have cast ballots. Mailed vote: 536 Democrats, 476 Republicans and 151 voters with no party affiliation.
• State Assembly District 29 features newcomers Sean Fellows, a Republican and Democrat April Mastroluca. As of Wednesday, there were 5,951 Democrats, 3,968 Republicans and 2,180 voters with no party who have voted. Mailed vote: 525 Republicans, 396 Democrats and 148 voters declaring no party.