Voter engagement should be warming like the weather. It isn’t.
Early voting for Nevada’s June 10 primary election starts today at locations around the valley. Campaign signs are everywhere. Candidate literature is filling up mailboxes, and advertisements are taking up airtime on the radio and TV. Candidates are working hard for votes because so few are expected to be cast.
Secretary of State Ross Miller is predicting statewide turnout of between 15 and 20 percent — and Clark County turnout generally falls short of voter participation in the rest of the state.
It’s embarrassing. Citizens have a duty to educate themselves about candidates for office and cast informed votes for their representatives in government. The public loves to complain about politicians and their performance, but those complaints lack credibility if someone never bothered to cast a ballot in the first place.
Early voting lasts two weeks. That’s plenty of time to learn about the offices on your ballot and the candidates seeking election. And the Review-Journal offers resources to help citizens cast an informed vote.
On Sunday, the newspaper will publish its biennial Primary Election Voter Guide, with stories on every county race. The reports will highlight candidate positions and biographies, and distinguish the hopefuls to help voters make a choice.
At reviewjournal.com, voters can find more information about candidates and the races on their ballots. At the newspaper’s home page, scroll down to “R-J Features” and look for the link to the Voter Election Guide. The guide features candidate-submitted information and links to campaign websites. Additionally, if voters click on the “R-J Features” link, they will find the newspaper’s biennial Judging the Judges survey, which asked Clark County attorneys to rate the region’s judges. Several of those judges are on the primary ballot.
Also on Sunday, the Review-Journal’s editorial board will offer a few endorsements in judicial races, as well as recommendations against a handful of judicial candidates. That editorial will be posted online this morning for anyone who wishes to cast an early ballot today.
Don’t resolve to blow off this year’s primary election. Even if you’re a nonpartisan, you have a full ballot. The field must be narrowed in important judicial races, as well as the contest for Clark County sheriff. And if you go to the polls, but haven’t taken the time to educate yourself about a particular race, leave it blank. Don’t cast an uninformed vote. You’ll cancel out an informed ballot.
Put in the effort to make your governments better and more accountable.