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North Las Vegas, Henderson vote

If you’re looking for easy money, but you can’t qualify for a federal farm subsidy, you have another option: score a gig as a municipal election poll worker.

Turnout for today’s municipal ballots in Henderson and North Las Vegas is projected to be so small, cities will need a microscope to measure it. As a percentage, we’re talking low single digits, which should give a typical election worker enough down time to read “War and Peace.”

In exchange for staying on site for more than 12 hours, poll workers are paid $120. No one’s getting rich collecting your ballots, but no one’s getting blisters, either.

We joke here. The fact is, you’re the one who chooses to make their job easy. Civic-minded poll workers would be more than happy to help long lines of voters all day long. They routinely applaud voters upon arrival. But Southern Nevadans simply aren’t engaged in city politics in the spring of odd-numbered years. That’s too bad, because city governments have more direct effect on your daily quality of life than state or federal operations do. And the last two municipal races to be decided this year, while lacking the buzz of a U.S. Senate campaign, remain important enough to justify a 10-minute trip to the precinct.

In North Las Vegas, two Clark County School District teachers emerged from a four-candidate primary for the Ward 1 City Council seat being vacated by Robert Eliason. Isaac Barron, a Rancho High School graduate who now teaches there, faces Jared Hardy, a Legacy High School educator. Mr. Barron advocates streamlining regulations to help entrepreneurs, supports economic development initiatives and vows to help heal rifts within ailing city government. The Review-Journal endorses Isaac Barron in Ward 1.

In Henderson, Municipal Court Department 1 incumbent Mark Stevens is seeking re-election against longtime county prosecutor Sandy Allred DiGiacomo. In the Review-Journal’s 2011 Judging the Judges survey, Judge Stevens was the second-lowest-rated Municipal Court jurist in the county, with 64 percent of attorneys recommending retention. Ms. DiGiacomo has locked up enough serious criminals to understand the importance of making sure lower-tier offenders don’t find their way into state court. The Review-Journal endorses Sandy Allred DiGiacomo for Henderson Municipal Court.

Without question, this should be the last off-year municipal election in Southern Nevada. Low turnout is indeed a joke. City governments must consolidate their ballots with statewide elections, starting next year.

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