Be ready to sign up if primary in January

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This editorial appeared in the Friday edition of The Record-Courier.

Moving the primary election to January is probably the only way Nevada will both get some say in who becomes president and not have to pay for a third election.

In the last decade, Nevada's primary, in which the political wheat is separated from the chaff, has moved all over the calendar.

Since the turn of the century, the primary has been in September, August or, most recently, June.

But because the presidential primary for both parties is determined long before June, waiting until then isn't practical for a small state like Nevada to have its voice heard.

Combine that with the general disdain voters have shown for the caucus meetings in which we express our presidential preference, and the answer is easy. Move the primary forward.

Now, whether the easy answer will prove to be the one the Legislature chooses is another matter entirely.

Even the bill's sponsor, Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Minden, was critical of how long the campaign season has become.

Having filing three months ahead of a January primary puts it a year and a few weeks before the general election. That's a lot of time to have actual candidates roaming around. But perhaps it reflects a reality that they're out there anyway, so we might as well flush them out, so we can get a good look at them.

It will be interesting to see what the Legislature does with this proposal in the future months. Those interested in public office are going to have to saddle up by Nevada Day if it passes.


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