Carson to decide ward or citywide supes primaries

Carson City voters will voice their preferences in the general election on whether the community’s supervisors should be nominated by ward in primary elections.

Question No. CC 1 calls for an advisory vote of approval or rejection regarding the following ballot question:

“Shall the Nevada Legislature amend the Carson City Charter to provide for nomination by ward only voting in ward-supervisory primary elections with an at-large general election run off between the two highest primary vote receivers in each ward?”

In other words, local voters are being asked for input regarding legislative deliberations on the question of how Carson City’s supervisor elections should be held. This is because the Nevada Legislature makes the final determination. The question boils down to nominating by ward only if three or more candidates file for supervisor in a given ward. The consolidated city has four wards.

The issue of ward voting in some form has been a ballot question on three previous occasions, the last time in 1992 when the electorate split with 8,504 on each side. No recount was sought, so the question failed without a majority.

Currently, supervisors and the mayor are chosen in at-large, citywide balloting in both primaries and general elections. Supervisors must live in the ward they represent, the mayor anywhere in the community.

Proponents say the proposed change would encourage neighborhood and area political involvement initially, when candidates seek the nomination, but still require citywide running and representation when each supervisor is chosen in November. They also contend it could cost less for primary candidates to run.

Opponents see it as possibly encroaching on citywide representation. They fear Nevada’s Legislature could widen the proposal to ward voting only for supervisors in general elections as well, thus pitting wards against each other. They say if could mean residents are represented by just a mayor and one supervisor, not all five board members.


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