Under current law, filing for a presidential primary in Nevada is less than four months away.
Republicans are challenging the approval of the law enacting a Feb. 6, 2024, presidential preference primary, but they might have an uphill battle since Nevada has held presidential primaries for the parties before. On Saturday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Gardnerville for Adam Laxalt’s Basque Fry, due to the possibility DeSantis will have to file in Nevada in October.
Until the 1952 general election, presidential candidates didn’t even show up on ballots in the Silver State. Instead, electors’ names appeared on the ballot and were voted on like every other candidate. Then those electors would cast their ballots for president at the electoral college.
That was changed in the 1949 Legislature, and ever since presidential candidates would appear on the ballot and the two major parties would select electors and alternates at their conventions, according to the Legislative Counsel Bureau.
Nonpartisan candidates for President have to pay a filing fee, and then have to come up with signatures equal to 1 percent of the number of voters who cast a ballot in the last general election.
Why is that? According to the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office, there were 588,528 nonpartisan voters in Nevada in May, more than the 548,890 Republicans, and not far from the 601,140 Democrats.
The Democratic and Republican parties are private organizations that enjoy more governmental and legal protections than big agriculture.
While the Republican majority is in no danger in Douglas County, there are more nonpartisan voters than Democrats here. That might be because the DMV puts people in the nonpartisan slot unless they say otherwise, but that’s been going on for years, now.
We don’t expect the major parties to surrender what they’ve enjoyed for so long. But do we really need to make someone who wants to run as a nonpartisan, representing a third of the voters in the state, ask a bunch of people to sign a petition so they can run for office?