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‘Open primaries’ and ‘ranked choice voting’ are terms that you will hear a lot about before the November election. If approved, Nevada Question 3 would change two fundamental ways how elections are conducted in Nevada.

The first, is not too difficult: an open primary means you can vote for whoever you want in the primary election, regardless of party affiliation. The second, is complex. ‘Ranked choice’ means instead of voting for your favorite candidate in the general election, you rank your top five choices according to preference.

…this is the cat’s meow of ideas.

Those in favor of the change say the measure would allow more non-partisan voters to participate in primaries, and it would give third-party candidates a real chance at victory.

“To get to the majority of the votes, and to have a wider selection of candidates to choose from that might stand a chance, this is the cat’s meow of ideas,” said Fred Lokken, professor of political science at Truckee Meadows Community College.

Opponents say it is too confusing and could impact voter turnout as people would be turned off by the process and it would take longer to declare a winner.

“Our complexities of our ballots are part of the problem. People feeling that they are not informed or confident in how to process the voting,” said Lokken.

If voters approve this question, we would have to vote for it again in 2024. If approved twice, this change would not go into effect until 2026.

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