Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008 | 11:28 a.m.
With a week to go before the Nov. 4 election, Democrats continue to lead Republicans in casting their early ballots at voting machines scattered throughout the Las Vegas area. And Republicans continue to rule at the mailbox, using the postal service to cast their absentee ballots.
However, it's hard to tell exactly what that means in terms of which candidates are benefiting from the early voting, according to Harvard L. Lomax, the county's registrar of voters.
"I don't try to tell who's going to win and who's going to lose," Lomax said this morning. "I don't even try to read anything into this except for turnout.... It is a good turnout, that's for sure."
The latest numbers from the county's election department as of Monday night show that 241,861 people had cast ballots at early voting polls. The breakdown is 131,622 Democrats (54.4 percent), 70,425 Republicans (29.1 percent) and 39,814 (16.5 percent) voters with no affiliation.
The election department reported 32,457 people have mailed in their votes: 15,048 Republicans (46.4 percent), 13,318 Democrats (41 percent) and 4,091 with no party affiliation (12.6 percent).
Lomax said he was hoping about half the expected 640,000 vote turnout, or 320,000 to 330,000 voters, would cast their ballots early. There are 815,077 voters registered in the county and he's expecting about 80 percent of them to vote in the Nov. 4 election.
"We're right on track," he said.
One reason Democrats may be turning out early is because there are more of them in the county. County registration figures show Democrats outnumber Republicans 396,910 to 261,2662, he said.
Early voting continues through Oct. 31 at 87 locations.
Here's a look at early voting trends in eight contested partisan races:
• In the 3rd Congressional District, which features a tight contest between incumbent Republican Jon Porter and Democrat Dina Titus, 70,583 Democrats, 43,627 Republicans and 23,162 voters with no party have cast ballots. For the mail-in votes from that district, 9,183 were Republicans, 7,166 were Democrats and 2,387 were from non-affiliated voters.
• The 2nd Congressional District has a race between incumbent Republican Dean Heller and Democrat Jill Derby. So far, 4,772 Democrats, 2,939 Republican and 1,678 voters with no party have cast ballots. The mailed votes came from 1,040 Republicans, 596 Democrats and 310 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, 26,453 Democrats, 19,673
Republicans and 9,595 voters with no party have cast ballots. The mailed votes came from 3,964 Republicans, 2,475 Democrats and 936 voters declaring no party.
• In the state Senate 6th District race, which features a battle between incumbent Republican Bob Beers and Democrat Allison Copening, 9,428 Democrats, 6,555 Republicans and 2,910 voters with no party affiliation have voted so far. The mailed votes in that district came from 1,554 Republicans, 1,260 Democrats and 355 non-affiliated voters
• The state Senate 5th District race is between Democrat Shirley Breeden and incumbent Republican Joe Heck. In that district, 20,910 Democrats, 14,382 Republicans and 7,188 voters with no party affiliation have voted. Mailed vote: 2,293 Republicans, 1,714 Democrats and 567 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 4,534 Democrats, 3,220 Republicans and 1,673 voters with no party. Mailed vote: 597 Republicans, 455 Democrats and 133 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 3,634 Democrats, 2,170 Republicans and 1,139 voters with no party who have cast ballots. Mailed vote: 479 Democrats, 416 Republicans and 132 voters with no party affiliation.
• State Assembly District 29 features newcomers Sean Fellows, a Republican and Democrat April Mastroluca. As of Tuesday, there were 4,799 Democrats, 3,024 Republicans and 1,615 voters with no party who have voted. Mailed vote: 437 Republicans, 346 Democrats and 122 voters declaring no party.