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Why early voting is crucial for Nevadans

The power of the vote is undeniable. It is one of the freedoms that makes our country great. For those whose right to vote did not come easily, Election Day is an important date on their calendars.

And for many Nevadans, the ability to vote early has provided the opportunity to vote outside of the normal hours, increasing opportunities for communities across the Silver State — from shift workers to students.

For more than a century, women and African-Americans were denied the ability to exercise our democracy’s most fundamental right. But now, more people are taking part than ever before. In Nevada, early voting has given diverse communities the opportunity to have their voices heard. That is why we must elect a candidate who will continue to protect and advance this fundamental right.

Recently, Donald Trump gave his pitch to the African-American community, saying that we have nothing to lose. With issues such as voting rights on the line, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

The contrast between Hillary Clinton and Mr. Trump could not be more stark, especially when it comes to defending our civil rights, including voting rights. While Mr. Trump has expressed disdain and disregard for the communities that have been treated as second-class citizens for generations, Hillary Clinton embraces our country’s diversity.

As a fierce defender of voting rights, Hillary Clinton is committed to continuing her work with a plan that will make it easier for Americans to vote and will protect citizens from state legislation that creates barriers to voting.

This includes a proposal to automatically register voters when they turn 18 and to monitor voter registration rolls for accuracy and security.

She will also fight to reinstate the components of the Voting Rights Act that were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court and bring back protections to communities that have been targeted by voting restriction laws. Mrs. Clinton also seeks to set a new national standard for early voting that gives all Americans 20 days to cast their ballot on weekends or evenings.

With early voting only 47 days away, we have the responsibility to engage in this important public debate about what we want for the future of our country. We have the opportunity to choose the candidate who has the ability to bring us all together so that we can grow stronger, united. Let’s remember to lend our voices along with our vote, so that we can make a decision that leads our country down a righteous path.

Pat Spearman, a Democrat from North Las Vegas, represents Clark County District 1 in the Nevada state Senate.

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