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GOP turnout about 8 percent in Reno area

The Associated Press

Party officials say turnout at Nevada Republican caucuses in Reno and surrounding Washoe County appears to be much lower this year than it was statewide four years ago.

Washoe County GOP spokeswoman Jill Tolles tells The Associated Press that about 6,900 party members cast ballots Saturday in 459 precincts at 15 caucus sites countywide.

That represents about 8 percent turnout among the 34,000 active Republican voters in northern Nevada's most populous county.

By comparison, turnout was 11.2 percent among just under 396,000 active registered GOP voters statewide during the 2008 GOP caucus.

Party officials are blaming this year's low numbers on early morning cold weather, the lure of good skiing and a desire to cast ballots in a primary instead of a caucus.