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New laws affect election procedures

Laws passed by the 2015 Legislature changed Nevada election procedures. One change involves partisan races; the other nonpartisan contests.

PARTISAN RACES

Previously, if there were only two contenders from the same political party, candidates would bypass the primary — where voters have to be registered with that party to participate — and advance to the November general election when all voters regardless of affiliation cast a ballot. If there were three or more, the top two finishers in the primary advanced to the general.

Under the new law, if a race draws candidates from only one party, the person who gets the most votes in the closed primary advances to the general election ballot as the de facto winner. Only one vote is required to win that general election race.

NONPARTISAN RACES

If only two candidates file for a nonpartisan race, they still go directly to the general election ballot. If there are more than two candidates, all names appear on the primary ballot, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the general election. However, if one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes in the primary, that person is declared elected and does not appear on the November ballot.

The exception is judicial candidates, whose names would still appear on the general election ballot even if they win more than 50 percent of the votes in the primary. Only one vote is required to win in each of those general election races.

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