Let me preface this article first by saying I believe Nevada’s voting process is fair, minus a few things we could be better at. It is the most accessible it has ever been, and I think that’s a good thing. In my research, any fraud in vote counting that does occur is not significant enough to actually affect major outcomes and has been prosecuted as needed. I believe Barbara Cegavske is a woman of integrity and has done a hell of a job.
Ok, now that’s out of the way we can discuss the REAL fraud in Nevada elections. Not everything that transpires in the voting booth (or after) comprises the whole of Nevada elections. There are many moving parts including deciding who gets on ballots as well as how the public finds out about candidates, that all leads up to the actual voting process. I’ll argue that the real fraud in Nevada elections happens prior to November 8th.
Nevada currently has closed primaries, meaning only voters registered Republican or Democrat can vote in their respective party primaries to push one candidate through to the general election. Here’s a few problems with that:
- Over one-third of Nevada’s registered voters are NOT registered with the two major parties. As of writing this, nearly 37% of Nevadans are registered as something OTHER than a republican (30%) or democrat (33%). The fact that our election schedules, statutes, and procedures continue to revolve around these two parties is suspect at best.
- Taxpayers pay the bill for closed primaries, which obviously only benefits the Republican Party and Democrat Party…which are private entities. Is this not a government kickback to a private entity or possibly a conflict of interest? Are these underlying points of corruption and/or fraud? If nothing else, it is asset misappropriation.
- Closed primaries can exacerbate radicalization and encourage candidates to cater to their party’s “base” rather than the political center where most Nevadans sit.
A solution to this I support is open primaries and ranked choice voting. The Better Voting Nevada Initiative is in the signature gathering process in hopes to make it on the ballot in November. Of course Democrats have built a coalition to oppose this initiative and have lawyers challenging it in court. They don’t want fair elections, they want elections (and voters) they can control.
Polling plays a part in driving public perception just as much as they provide data. How well a candidate is polling can determine their ability to participate in debates, gain media coverage, and more. Yet the vast majority of polls don’t include candidates outside of the republican party or democratic party. This perpetuates the political duopoly and excludes other options. It literally increases name awareness for a select few. It’s misleading and furthers a broken system.
Media companies and advocacy groups pay groups like OH Predictive to run polling in Nevada, that fail to include options outside of the main two parties. I’ve received numerous polls like these that list “Republican, Democrat, or “Other”. Strange that the third largest political party in the U.S. with over 350 current elected officials, a sitting State House-member, a previous U.S. House member, and previous state Governor just doesn’t get included.
The media plays a large role in informing the public about candidates. They also can be big players in furthering the duopoly by NOT providing enough information. The media’s portrayal about what, or who, matters is intrinsic to public perception.
Speaking of what “matters”, the founder of a well-known media publication in Nevada uses the phrase #WeMatter a lot. This self-proclaimed “nonpartisan, nonprofit news and opinion website” focused on “ethical, unbiased and transparent journalism” has a whole section of their site dedicated to election coverage.
As I write this, their Governor’s race page lists me as “Parties:Undefined” even though
- The Secretary of State and declaration of candidacy public info and data clearly shows me as the Libertarian Candidate for Governor,
- I’ve emailed their team twice providing correct info and a headshot, with their team emailing me back confirming it was received. That was weeks ago and it still hasn’t been updated.
Plenty of major news media outlets don’t seem to have much interest in providing clear and correct information to the public. You can sort through plenty of Nevada news sites and find very little information or coverage of non-Republican or non-Democrat candidates in the 2022 election cycle.
This isn’t meant to be individual attacks on them, I’m merely showing examples of ways the public is swayed in our political process. We need true non-biased independent journalism and full inclusion in our polling. The betterment of our political system depends on it.
Our political process, our polling, and our media must be more inclusive to all candidates, all parties, and not be contributors to a broken political system that picks winners and losers. To ensure a political process that’s fair and inclusive we must stop guiding the public down a narrow path to two choices, forwarding the perception and narrative that the duopoly is all that matters.