Nevada voters back big changes to their election system

Nevada voters have approved a ballot measure by 52.8% establishing open primary elections where the top five candidates advance and a ranked-choice voting system decides the victor in the general election. The system will now be put into place for state and federal elections but will not be used in presidential elections. Nevada had previously had closed primaries where people can only vote for candidates with the same political affiliation as their voter registration and voters could only cast their vote for one candidate per race. With the new open registration system, voters will cast their vote for the candidate of their choice regardless of their party affiliation. Next, using the ranked-choice system in the general election,voters will rank their choices from 1-5. If a candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, they will be declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of the vote, the candidate with the least first-place votes will be dropped, and that candidate’s voters’ second choices will be redistributed as votes for the other candidates. This reallocation process continues until some candidate reaches 50% plus one. However, nothing will change immediately; Nevada voters will need to approve the measure again in 2024 for it to take effect in 2026, since the measure amends the state constitution.

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