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Group seeks to end closed primary elections in Nevada

August 12, 2018

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada residents who say they are tired of political parties are working on an initiative to scrap the state’s primary elections and instead allow all candidates to compete in a single November election.

Army veteran Doug Goodman was motivated to start the movement after he became frustrated that he is limited on what races he can vote in during Nevada’s closed primary elections as a nonpartisan voter, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported .

He started a group called Nevadans for Election Reform. The group filed the initiative, Greater Choice-Greater Voice, with the Nevada’s Secretary of State’s office in September.

The group needs to collect more than 112,000 signatures by Nov. 13.

If the initiative is successful, Nevada would become the first state to completely do away with the major-party primary system, which Goodman thinks would alleviate gridlock in the two-party system by giving more voters a voice.

“Right now, nothing gets done,” said Goodman, 69. “Lawmakers and legislators are not willing to sit down and collaborate on problems.”

But Goodman isn’t sure if the group will able to gather all the signatures needed by the deadline.

The group has collected less than 10 percent of the signatures necessary. It has also had difficulty finding volunteers to help spread the word.

Sherry Hobbs, another nonpartisan voter, is hoping to see the end of closed primary elections in the state. She moved to Henderson from California, where there are open primaries.

“To me, it sounds like it makes so much sense,” she said. “I haven’t lived in a state where you can’t vote in a primary — until now. It was very disconcerting to me to not be able to vote on the candidates.”

Another benefit to ditching the current system is saving money. A state fiscal analysis found that Nevada could have saved $6 million in 2016 if it had no primary election.

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Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com

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