This is it, people.
Believe it or not, early voting for Nevada’s primary election starts this Saturday, May 24. And that means you need to be ready to narrow down races for November’s ballot.
Will Sue Lowden or Mark Hutchison win the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor? Will Niger Innis or Cresent Hardy win the right to challenge Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District? Which Republican will go up against incumbent Democratic state Sen. Justin Jones in the all-important District 9 race? Will “Revengers” Lou Toomin and John Bonaventura advance to the general election in their respective County Commission races?
It’s all up to you.
But how will you decide? Here are a few places you can find information as you decide for whom to vote in the primary:
■ The Review-Journal’s election guide: Reporters and editors from the Review-Journal will review all the primary races for the newspaper’s election tabloid, which will be published Sunday, May 25. (That’s the second day of early voting.) You’ll find candidate interviews, photos and other helpful information about the races there.
■ The Review-Journal’s website: You can search the Review-Journal’s archives (www.reviewjournal.com/archive/search) for key names or issues in a given race. Searches are free, and so are articles that have appeared within the past seven days, but access to older stories requires a fee.
■ Judging the Judges: When it comes to judicial races, the Review-Journal’s Judging the Judges survey is the most comprehensive look at the Las Vegas judiciary, compiled from anonymous surveys of the lawyers who appear before those judges. A quick look at the results of the 2013 survey is here: www.reviewjournal.com/news/judicial-performance-evaluation.
■ Blogs: Blogs on politics will have plenty of good information — including links to past stories and other supporting information — on many of the races you might be interested in. In addition to my blog (SlashPolitics.com), you can check out the Review-Journal’s political team (www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/political-eye), my friend Jon Ralston’s blog (www.RalstonReports.com), and the Reno Gazette-Journal’s Inside Nevada Politics blog, written by Ray Hagar (http://blogs.rgj.com/politics/).
■ Television: Plenty of information about local and state politics can be found on television, especially from shows that focus almost exclusively on the topic. VegasPBS’s weekly show “Nevada Week in Review” is a good place to start. (Full disclosure: I occasionally guest host that program.) “Ralston Reports” on KSNV, Channel 3, is another. And my talented colleagues at 8NewsNow have cataloged political stories, including fact-checks for political ads, here: www.8newsnow.com/category/173483/politics.
■ Government: The websites of the Nevada Secretary of State’s office (look under “Election Center”) and the Clark County Elections Department are excellent resources. They’ve got lists of offices up for election in 2014, voter-registration statistics, past election results and, best of all, places for you to find out which district you live in and who your elected representatives are. The county should also send you a sample ballot that will tell you where your polling place is and, depending on which political party you signed up with, which choices you’ll get to make in early voting or in the June 10 primary election.
■ Candidate websites: Obviously, candidates will tell you only what they want you to know, but most of them will give you a basic biography and, usually, where they stand on some of the major issues. There should also be phone numbers, email and contact information if you have further questions. If you’re lucky enough to be home when a candidate comes calling, you’ll be able to ask them face to face.
However you choose to get your information, be sure to educate yourself and vote. The future of your government is in your hands.
Steve Sebelius is a Las Vegas Review-Journal political columnist who blogs daily at SlashPolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter (@SteveSebelius) or reach him at 702-387-5276 or firstname.lastname@example.org.