Don’t be disenfranchised in Douglas election (guest opinion)

In Douglas County, if you’re not a registered Republican, you won’t be able vote to help determine who wins the three seats on the county commission in the upcoming primary election.

Why? Primary elections in Nevada are closed, meaning that a voter must be registered with a party in order to participate in that party’s primary. As is typically the case in Douglas, all commission candidates are Republicans. If you are registered in any other party, the candidates for county commission will not appear on your ballot.

Also, in Nevada, the winners of primary contests are determined by plurality vote. That means the candidate with the highest number of votes is declared the winner of the primary even if he or she did not win with more than 50% of the vote.

There are no Democrat or other party candidates for county commission this year, so those who prevail in the primary are elected and there is no general election for commission in November.

It’s also important to point out that while commission candidates must run from the district in which they live, all registered voters, Republicans in the case of this year’s primary, can vote for all three open seats. We believe all registered voters in Douglas County should be able to vote for candidates for county commission.

Fortunately, Douglas voters can act to ensure they are able to cast ballots for three county commissioners in this spring’s election. You can change your party registration to Republican for just this primary and then change it back.

If you are not affiliated with the party candidates you want to vote for, you can make a change at

Tahoe Chamber has joined with the Carson Valley Chamber, Business Council of Douglas County, and others to sponsor a Douglas County Commission candidates forum at 6 p.m. Monday, May 4.

This will be a virtual forum. You can watch live or OnDemand on many different platforms including Roku TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV, Mobile devices and on the Internet. Retired Judge Tom Perkins will be the moderator.

The program will be available for viewing on multiple platforms if you’re not able to view on May 4.

The June 9 Douglas County Primary will be conducted entirely by mail. If you are a Douglas County resident, Tahoe Chamber urges you to change your party registration if necessary so you are not disenfranchised from voting in this pivotal election.

Steve Teshara serves as chief executive officer of the Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce (Tahoe Chamber.)

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