Politics limits participation

On Friday, Gardnerville resident Eric Rieman ran hard up against state law when he tried to file for Douglas County Board of Commissioners.

Because he is registered as a nonpartisan voter and was filing for a partisan office, he would have had to decide sometime in April. Under Nevada law, someone who is not registered with a major or minor party has to file a petition with the clerk's office 25 days before they intend to file.

Then they have to gather 100 signatures from registered voters in the county and then, finally, they get to file for county commission, if the signatures check out.

We could see some of this rigmarole being justified if the party structure was involved in selecting candidates for commission, but it really isn't. Otherwise, we wouldn't have three Republican races.

There's no justification that we can see for forcing someone who is a citizen of the United States, a resident of Douglas County and their district and a registered voter into a political party.

If Rieman had been a member of the Natural Law Party, he could have filed for office. Green Party, Independent American, Libertarian, or any other party, he could have walked in the door on Friday, put his $100 down and run for office.

But he wasn't a member of any political party, and therefore when he came in to file, he was shown the door by the Nevada Legislature.


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