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EDITORIAL: Plenty of reasons to vote on Tuesday

Many independent and moderate voters are dismayed over their choice at the top of the ticket this Tuesday. Even some partisans are having a tough time getting excited about President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

There are third-party alternatives, of course, and Nevada voters have the unique choice of “None of These Candidates.” Others, however, may opt to sit this one out.

That would be a mistake.

Aside from the importance of civic participation in our democratic republic, there are a number of races and issues on Nevada’s crowded ballot that could determine the direction of the state for years to come. Those include contests involving the Legislature, the judiciary and education posts. At least one ballot question will also have major ramifications.

In Carson City, Democrats are a single seat in the Senate from enjoying supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature. That would drastically alter the dynamic during the 2021 session, paving the way for tax hikes, an expansion of the regulatory state, the further erosion of Nevada’s business-friendly reputation and all manner of progressive mischief. There are a handful of competitive Senate districts, particularly in the northwest valley, in which residents hold the power balance of the Legislature in their hands. Our recommendations in these key races are on the opposite page. Voters should consider their choices carefully.

There are also more than 30 contested judicial races on the ballot in Clark County, including one Nevada Supreme Court seat. For voters who favor constitutionalist judges who exercise judicial restraint and respect the separation of powers, the choice in the latter race is clear: Douglas Herndon. In the many District Court and Family Court races, voters should avail themselves of as much information as possible — the Review-Journal’s website includes debates with all the candidates — so they may cast an informed ballot. If you’re unsure, it’s OK to bypass a race or two.

Four seats on the Clark County School Board are in play. If the coronavirus pandemic has revealed anything, it’s the importance of affording parents more options when it comes to the schooling of their children. Southern Nevada voters should look for candidates in education races who will challenge the moribund status quo by embracing school choice, an increase in charter campuses and a quick return to in-person learning, particularly for younger students.

The most consequential initiative facing Nevadans is Question 6, which would mandate that, by 2030, 50 percent of all retail electricity provided in the state come from green energy sources. Nevadans need look only to California to survey the wreckage of a similar edict. Electricity costs there are the highest in the nation, and the state has been forced to impose rolling blackouts during heat waves to deal with shortages created by such market distortions. The Silver State is already making the transition toward renewable energy. Imposing straitjackets on utilities’ energy providers is unnecessary and would impose uncertainty on the electric grid. It’s bad policy disguised as environmentalism.

This presidential race, like virtually every one before it, is being hyped as the most important election of a lifetime. Perhaps. But there are many other down-ballot contests that will also help chart Nevada’s future course, particularly given the current makeup of the Legislature. So whether or not you’re enthused about the candidates at the top of the ticket, there are plenty of compelling reasons to make your voice heard.

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