Campaigning has hit hard for months, and the residents of Churchill County and beyond are heavy into contemplation during the final days of election 2016.
Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump along with Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party Jill Stein are trying to capture the votes on the national stage. According to RealClearPolitics, Clinton is ahead of Trump by 2 points nationally, while he is ahead 2 points in Nevada.
But the tightest race in the nation may very well be the battle for retiring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s six-year Nevada senate seat. Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, former Nevada attorney general for eight years, and Republican Joe Heck, a U.S. congressman and former emergency room physician, are vying for the spot that may tip which party holds the Senate majority.
Tom Jones is the Independent American Party candidate, while Tony Gumina, Tom Sawyer and Jarrod Williams list themselves as not affiliated with any party.
Both the state and central Nevada are having district races as well.
Rep. Mark Amodei, Republican, is aiming for a third two-year District 2 term against Democrat Chip Evans. Amodei has explained how effective he can be paired with his spot on the Appropriations Committee, while Evans has been known as a consensus builder with a strong history in radio. John Everhart, Independent, and Drew Knight are also running.
A two-year State Assembly District 38 run is being between Democrat George Dini and the incumbent Republican Robin Titus. Titus is a physician, and Dini is the current mayor of Yerington. Both agree on many of the region’s issues but diverge on how to solve them. Wendy “Rooster” Cochran and Justin Smith, Independent, are also on the ballot.
The University of Nevada Board of Regents District 9 contest is between Carol Del Carlo and Sara Lafrance. Del Carlo is a native Nevadan with an understanding of the military and a goal of increasing communication between education levels. Lafrance, retired from the software industry, has worked in higher education for 14 years.
The State Board of Education District 2 is between David Carter and Pat Hickey. Carter is a retired school district controller, and Hickey is a professor and small family business owner as well as a former assembly minority leader.
There are four state questions and one Churchill County question also on the ballot.
State Question Number 1 proposes prohibiting a person from selling or transferring a firearm to another person unless a federally-licensed dealer first conducts a federal background check on the potential new owner. The LVN is not in favor of this proposal because this is more regulatory red tape that criminals wouldn’t abide by anyway.
State Question Number 2 proposes allowing a person 21 years or older to purchase, cultivate, posses or consume a certain amount of marijuana as well as manufacture, transport, distribute or sell marijuana paraphernalia. There would also be a 15 percent tax on wholesale marijuana sales in addition to regulation and licensing as well as criminal penalties.
The LVN opposes this question because as seen in Colorado, the revenue would likely go to increased law enforcement and the courts instead of education funding.
State Question Number 3 proposes requiring the Legislature to provide by law in the state constitution for the establishment of an open, competitive retail electric energy market that would prohibit the granting of monopolies and exclusive franchises for electricity generation.
The LVN is in favor of this proposal so more information from both sides would be disseminated — since it will eventually result in a constitutional amendment, meaning voters would go to the polls again in 2018.
State Question Number 4 proposes exempting durable medical equipment, oxygen delivery equipment and mobility enhancing equipment prescribed for use by a licensed health care provider from any tax upon sale, storage, use or consumption of tangible personal property.
Again, the LVN favors this proposal.
County Question Number 1 proposes the Churchill County Board of Commissioners enact an ordinance to impose from Jan. 1, 2017, to Dec. 31, 2026, that would result in annual increases in vehicle fuels tax based on the construction inflation rate. The annual increases would not exceed three cents, and the sole purpose would be to fund county road construction and maintenance.
The LVN says give this the approval due to the county Road Department and city having done all they can with this revenue that hasn’t kept up with inflation costs; inferior roads and streets keep increasing every year. Learn more about fuel indexing at www.FixNVRoads.org.
Candidates running unopposed in this election are Republican county commissioners Bus Scharmann and Carl Erquiaga, who are on board to serve four more years. Additionally, two six-year Supreme Court justice seats are slotted for Jim Hardesty and Ron Parraguirre. Also three six-year Court of Appeals judge seats are open for Jerry Tao, Michael Gibbons and Abbi Silver.
The newest members to serve on the Churchill County School Board of Trustees and Churchill County Mosquito Abatement District Board were elected after the primary election due to a lack of candidates.
Only in Nevada, do voters have the ballot option of “none of these candidates” in races for president, federal and constitutional offices. Created in 1975, this choice — which has won out before and been a close second — doesn’t mean the candidate with the most votes doesn’t win, but it does show a lack of voter confidence and cause winner embarrassment.
Since opening Oct. 22 through Wednesday, early voting counts total 5,716 in person and 653 absentee ballots. There have been 3,888 Republican, 1,300 Democrat and 1,181 Independent ballots cast.
Early voting closes today at 6 p.m. in the Churchill County Commissioners Chambers at 155 N. Taylor St. Absentee ballots must be returned by 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday. Election Day hours are 7 a.m.-7 p.m. in the Fallon Convention Center at 100 Campus Way.
Voters are encouraged to review and notate their mailed sample ballot beforehand to save time on location. Plus the information on the mailing label will assist poll workers in speeding up the voting process; workers won’t open sample ballots.