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Voters to decide on removing slavery from state constitution

Updated February 23, 2023 - 12:48 pm

CARSON CITY — Voters will soon be asked whether slavery or involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime should be removed from the Nevada Constitution.

The question will be placed on the ballot during the 2024 general election, after the resolution was unanimously approved by the state Senate on Thursday.

Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas, spoke in support of the resolution and said the language is “unnecessary and offensive.”

“I think it is about time that we have this particular resolution come before the voters so we can remove that language,” she said.

The resolution passed unanimously in the Assembly last week. It was first passed during the 2021 legislative session.

Measures that aim to amend the state constitution must be approved by lawmakers in two consecutive sessions before they can be placed on the ballot for final approval by voters.

Other lawmakers spoke in support of the resolution, including state Sen. Dallas Harris, D-Las Vegas.

Harris reminded lawmakers that similar language still exists in the U.S. Constitution and urged federal representatives to “take similar steps.”

“In the immortal words of Melissa Jefferson, better known as Lizzo, ‘It’s about damn time,’” she said.

Contact Taylor R. Avery at TAvery@reviewjournal.com. Follow @travery98 on Twitter.

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