| Doug Goodman | Reno Gazette Journal |
There is an opinion shared by many that our political system is broken and corrupt. Where those we elect make promises while campaigning then fail to act leaving their constituents feeling abandoned, not represented.
Voters are saying “enough.” It’s time for us, the voters, to be our representatives’ priority. It’s time for our state, our nation to take precedent over political party. If this is what we want, we cannot keep doing the same thing expecting different results. If we are serious, “enough” must translate into changing the system.
Bottom line: The winner has the broadest overall support.
Nevadans are saying “enough” through their voter registration . The largest voting bloc (nearing 40%) in the state — in Clark and Washoe counties, among voters 18 to 34 years of age, in three of the four Congressional districts (75%), nine of the 21 state senate districts (43%), and 18 of the 42 state assembly districts (43%) — are those not registered Democratic or Republican. Among younger voters it’s over 50 percent. These voters agree you should not have to belong to a political party to exercise your right to vote,
Nevada voters will have the opportunity to take the first step in regaining their rightful place by voting “yes” on Question 3 this November .
Question 3 implements an easy, proven process recognizing the rights of all 1.8 million Nevada voters — an easy, proven process that provides better choices and louder voice sending a clear message to candidates and elected officials that they need to relook their priorities.
Ask the RGJ: Why are there only 3 races on my ballot? You’re probably nonpartisan
Instead of low-turnout party primaries where a small vocal base of voters determines our choices for the general election, all 1.8 million voters will have the chance to vote for any candidate, regardless of party, in the primary. Could a Democrat prefer a Republican or nonpartisan (independent) candidate or vice versa? Because more voters are given the opportunity to participate, more and different ideas will be debated. Better choices serving all Nevadans. Because of our election laws, we have races that are decided in the primary. This means the party with the largest turnout is making the decision for all. How is this just to all voters? Shouldn’t all voters have a vote in deciding who represents them?
Instead of having an accept it or leave it choice in the general election — the proverbial lesser of two evils — voters will be able to vote for up to five candidates in order of their preference: first, second, third and so on. Like a candidate but under the current process believe you will be wasting your vote? No problem. Under Question 3 you can give that candidate your first choice vote without any negative impact. If your first-choice candidate does not make the cut, the candidate you marked as your second choice gets your vote. Bottom line: The winner has the broadest overall support. Your single vote (one person, one vote) still counts . A candidate cannot win with less than 50%.
In most elections the candidate with the highest number of first-choice votes ends up winning . If that does not happen, that is exactly how the process is designed to work. Should a candidate that has more votes against them win the election?
Critics want you to think this is confusing. If you believe making choices, something you do several times every day is confusing, then they are right. However, I believe none of us find making first, second and third choices of what to wear or where to go for dinner difficult. Neither do the millions of voters in more than 50 cities, counties and eight states who vote by ranking candidates in some form. Approximately 80% of voters find the process easy and preferable to our current process.
If the process was confusing, political parties would not use it for internal decision-making. Hundreds of businesses would not use it for planning business strategies. Elected officials would not use it to poll constituents . The Oscars would not use it to select the best motion picture winner. And the Nevada Democratic Party would not have used it for those who voted early in their 2020 presidential caucus.
Nevada’s voting equipment does not need to be changed to implement Question 3. Educating voters will need to happen at a minimal and justifiable cost. We are currently seeing the impact of the state not funding voter education can have.
Question 3 is an easy, proven process that will restore to Nevada voters their rightful place in the election and legislating process. Vote “yes” on 3.
Doug Goodman is founder and executive director of Nevadans for Election Reform and a coalition partner of Nevada Voters First.