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EDITORIAL: For secretary of state

Term limits have shaped the race for secretary of state. Republican state Sen. Barbara Cegavske, an 18-year veteran of the Legislature, faces state Treasurer Kate Marshall, a Democrat. They can’t seek re-election to their current posts, so they’re running for the job being vacated by Democrat Ross Miller, also because of term limits.

The secretary of state has many duties. The office oversees state elections, from voter registration to ballot initiatives to campaign financing. It also registers and licenses businesses and corporations, regulates the securities industry and maintains records for the executive and legislative branches of government.

Sen. Cegavske vows to protect the integrity of elections in Nevada, which has lax registration standards and no photo identification requirement at the polls. A former small businesswoman, she understands the importance of keeping the licensing process as simple and inexpensive as possible to encourage more business creation. If elected, she said she would seek legislation to allow county district attorneys to help the attorney general prosecute securities violations and protect the public. Although Sen. Cegavske voted with a bipartisan majority of lawmakers against improved campaign transparency, she said she would support more frequent reporting of election contributions and expenses. She supports requiring candidates and office holders to report cash on hand when filing reports. (Whether the Legislature will ever come around on the issue is another matter entirely.)

Ms. Marshall doesn’t support voter photo identification. And she supports allowing voters to register on Election Day, even though Nevada’s counties are ill-equipped to handle registration duties while overseeing balloting. Ms. Marshall says she’s a stronger advocate of transparency than Sen. Cegavske, but the treasurer’s refusal to meet with the Review-Journal to discuss her candidacy would suggest otherwise. Transparency and accessibility go hand in hand.

The Review-Journal endorses Barbara Cegavske, who has the experience and work ethic to be an excellent secretary of state.

▶ ON THE WEB: For an up-to-date list of the Review-Journal editorial board’s 2014 election endorsements, go to www.reviewjournal.com/endorsements. A complete list of candidate endorsements will be published Oct. 17 and Nov. 2.

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