Sen. James Settelmeyer introduces bill in Nevada Legislature to open primary elections | NevadaAppeal.com

Sen. James Settelmeyer introduces bill in Nevada Legislature to open primary elections

James Settelmeyer

Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, on Tuesday introduced legislation that would open Nevada's primary elections to all regardless of political party.

He said a number of his constituents were upset by the current system that restricts primary voters to just their registered party. Non partisans, the third largest voting block in the state, especially point out they're precluded from any participation in the primary under existing rules.

Settelmeyer said the existing system has often decided election races because the only candidates in the race were from just one party. All other voters are, therefore, excluded from having a voice in those races.

He said Senate Bill 103 would allow people to become candidates for partisan office regardless of their political affiliation. He would also allow voters to cast a ballot for any candidate in a primary regardless of which party they're registered with.

Finally, he said the top two vote getters in any primary election would move forward to the general election whether they're members of opposing parties or the same party.

The bill would essentially make the Nevada primary process nonpartisan.

Settelmeyer said he introduced similar legislation two years ago but it didn't survive the process.

SB103 was referred to the Judiciary Committee.