Three Republicans joined Senate Democrats to approve a bill for ward-only voting in city council or supervisor elections.
Senate Bill 457 would revise the city charters of Carson City, Reno, Sparks and Henderson.
Supporters of the bill argue that allowing voters city-wide to cast ballots for representatives in different wards or districts dilutes the power of minority voters and goes against the idea of equal representation.
Opponents countered that such decisions should be left to local governments and their citizens to decide.
Republican Sens. Michael Roberson of Henderson and Scott Hammond and Mark Hutchison of Las Vegas joined with Democrats to approve the bill on a 14-7 vote.
The bill now goes to the Assembly.