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Monday, August 1, 2016

Major Parties Lose Voter Share As Non-Partisan and Minor Parties Out Front in Growth

The Nevada Democratic Party could be seeing the impact of Bernie Sanders supporters. The Republican Party could be seeing the impact of Donald Trump. Or it could be the trend of voters believing the major political parties do not represent them continues unabated.

Whether one or all of the above apply, July, 2016 voter registration numbers show Non-Partisan and minor party registration out-pacing both the Democratic and Republican Party in rate of growth while at the same time gaining voter share as both major parties lose.

The question also needs to be asked, what is happening with the “other” category? This is a consolidated group of parties not ballot qualified such as the Green and Whig and is continuing to show growth of over 10 percent. This is happening at the same time the Libertarian Party is growing by approximately 5 percent and the Independent American Party by 1 ½ percent.

State-Wide
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
8,564
1.62
39.88
-0.11
R
5,938
1.29
34.51
-0.20
NP
7,890
3.10
19.48
0.23
Other
2,531
3.17
6.12
0.07
Total not D or R


25.70
0.30
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 8 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +1.71%; Lib +4.27%; other 8 parties +10.56%

Clark County
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
7,146
1.80
43.53
-0.11
R
3,678
1.32
30.21
-0.21
NP
6,000
3.26
20.42
0.24
Other
1,851
3.56
5.78
0.08
Total not D or R


26.20
0.32
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 8 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +1.64%; Lib +4.58%; other 8 parties +11.73%
  
Washoe County
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
1,161
1.31
36.36
-0.15
R
1,264
1.34
38.56
-0.15
NP
1,342
3.06
18.31
0.02
Other
474
2.92
6.77
0.08
Total not D or R


25.08
0.10
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 8 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +2.25%; Lib +4.12%; other 8 parties +4.71%

Rural Counties
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
257
0.61
24.92
-0.15
R
996
1.15
51.98
-0.02
NP
548
2.07
16.03
0.14
Other
206
1.76
7.07
0.04
Total not D or R


23.10
0.18
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 8 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +1.36%; Lib +3.16%; other 8 parties +3.84%

18 – 34 Year Old
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
2,598
1.91
39.90
-0.45
R
1,835
2.23
24.27
-0.20
NP
3,743
4.01
28.01
0.25
Other
1,157
4.64
7.53
0.11
Total not D or R


35.54
0.36
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 8 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +2.66%; Lib +5.71%; other 8 parties +10.07%

55+
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
2,381
1.04
40.31
-0.07
R
2,305
0.99
41.02
-0.10
NP
1.654
2.17
13.66
0.13
Other
556
1.98
5.01
0.04
Total not D or R


18.67
0.17
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 8 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +1.11%; Lib +2.14%; other 8 parties +9.67%


Major party loses are also the trend in congressional and legislative districts.

Congressional Districts
Party
# Districts Lose Voter Share
# Districts Gain Voter Share
# Districts No Change
Democratic
4
0
0
Republican
4
0
0
Non-Partisan
0
4
0
Other
0
4
0
In CD 1 the number of voters not affiliated with either major party exceeds those registered as Republican by 4.77%

State Senate Districts
Party
# Districts Lose Voter Share
# Districts Gain Voter Share
# Districts No Change
Democratic
19
1
1
Republican
20
1
0
Non-Partisan
0
21
0
Other
2
19
0
In 12 districts (57.14%) the number of voters registered as Non-Partisan or the total number not affiliated with either major party is greater than or within 5% of the number of voters registered to one of the major parties. This is an increase of 1 district over June, 2016

State Assembly Districts
Party
# Districts Lose Voter Share
# Districts Gain Voter Share
# Districts No Change
Democratic
37
5
0
Republican
28
2
2
Non-Partisan
0
42
0
Other
1
40
1
In 23 districts (54.76%) the number of voters registered as Non-Partisan or the total number not affiliated with either major party is greater than or within 5% of the number of voters registered to one of the major parties. This is an increase of 1 district over June, 2016

The 2017 session of the Nevada legislature convenes in six months. Bill draft requests (BDR) are being submitted now. By filing a BDR for the Nevada Election Modernization and Reform Act of 2017 (NEMRA – 2017), legislators can show they are ready to address the partisanship that is causing the continuing exodus.

You can let the secretary of state and legislative leaders know you want NEMRA – 2017 passed during the 2017 session by signing the petition on Change.org.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Race for Washoe County School Board District C – Another Justification for NEMRA – 2017

The race for Washoe County School District Board of Trustees District C trustee has become a textbook example of why the 2017 session of the Nevada legislature needs to enact the Nevada Election Modernization and Reform Act – 2017 (NEMRA – 2017).

Because the incumbent resigned before completing one-half their term and after the filing deadline for the primary election, the new school board trustee could be elected with the support of less than 15 percent of the registered voters in the district. Perhaps 80 percent of those who did vote will have voted for someone else. Mandate? Not even close.

 As of July 14, 2016, there were 47,552 registered voters in District C. Since this race is non-partisan, party registration does not matter. Average voter turnout for school board trustee elections in presidential election years (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012) is 67.9 percent. Using current registration, this means 32,288 voters can be expected to cast ballots for District C school board trustee. With a relatively strong turnout why such low support for the winner and such a strong justification for NEMRA - 2017?

Five candidates, no runoff of the top two vote getters as the case with the other four school board races that were contested in the primary, and 32,288 votes split five ways.  With less than 6,500 votes needed for election, the new trustee will not have the support of a significant majority of voters.

Under NERMA – 2017 this would be different. Regardless of the number of candidates, the winner would have the support of a much larger segment of the district. With a large plurality, if not majority of support, the newly elected trustee would take their seat knowing they truly represent the district and voters would be confident their representative on the school board represents their interests.

By utilizing a system where the primary and general election are rolled into one, where voters only have to go to the polls once, voter turnout is maximized and those elected have a much larger base of support.

Allowing government officials to be elected with low levels of support can make governing, the setting of policy, difficult. Can an elected official make the right decision knowing they are speaking for only a small portion of their constituents? Can voters have confidence in the decisions of their representative when a significant number did not support their election? It’s unlikely. And an election system that fosters such an outcome needs to be seriously re-evaluated and eventually replaced.

The race for Washoe County School District Board of Trustees District C will be the 22nd election contest this year where the winner is decided by a small minority of voters, perhaps less than 15 percent.


Nevada’s lawmakers can make 2016 the last year where outcomes such as this are possible by passing the NEMRA – 2017 during the legislative session beginning in February.  

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Non-Partisan Voter Share Extends Gaining Streak as Democratic and Republican Parties Continue to Lose

The trend continues. Voter registration numbers for June, 2016 once again show Non-Partisan gaining voter share across all demographics at the expense of both the Democratic and Republican Parties. Non-Partisan also leads all other categories, with minor exception, in rate of growth. In this area, the two major parties are also eclipsed by the minor parties; Independent American, Libertarian, and the consolidated group of parties not ballot qualified such as the Green and Whig. The only bright spot for the Democratic Party is among 18 – 34 year olds where their voter share increased by over three percent.  

State-Wide
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
10,465
2.02
39.99
0
R
6,800
1.50
34.71
-0.18
NP
7,183
2.90
19.25
0.16
Other
1,842
2.35
6.05
0.02
Total not D or R


25.30
0.18
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 8 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +1.67%; Lib +3.12%; other 8 parties +5.31%

Clark County
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
9,617
2.48
43.64
-0.04
R
5,191
1.90
30.48
-0.20
NP
6,512
3.67
20.18
0.21
Other
1,562
3.10
5.70
0.03
Total not D or R


25.88
0.24
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 8 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +2.13%; Lib +3.50%; other 8 parties +7.55%

 Washoe County
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
478
0.54
36.51
-0.02
R
468
0.50
38.71
-0.03
NP
310
0.71
18.08
0.02
Other
130
0.81
6.69
0.02
Total not D or R


24.77
0.04
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 8 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +0.61%; Lib +2.08%; other 8 parties +0.35%

Rural Counties
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
370
0.54
25.07
-0.08
R
1,141
1.33
52.00
0.05
NP
361
1.38
15.89
0.02
Other
150
1.29
7.03
0
Total not D or R


22.92
0.02
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 8 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +1.10%; Lib +3.18%; other 8 parties +0.25%

18 – 34 Year Old
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
4,505
3.43
40.35
3.16
R
1,853
2.30
24.47
-0.22
NP
3,596
4.01
27.76
0.21
Other
878
3.15
7.42
0.03
Total not D or R


35.18
0.24
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 8 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +2.66%; Lib +3.67%; other 8 parties +6.95%

55+
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
3,254
1.45
40.38
0.02
R
3,009
1.31
41.12
-0.04
NP
1,229
1.64
13.53
0.02
Other
386
1.39
4.97
0
Total not D or R


18.50
0.02
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 8 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +1.19%; Lib +2.14%; other 8 parties +2.58%

 Major party loses are also the trend in congressional and legislative districts.

Congressional Districts
Party
# Districts Lose Voter Share
# Districts Gain Voter Share
# Districts No Change
Democratic
4
0
0
Republican
3
1
0
Non-Partisan
0
4
0
Other
0
4
0
In CD 1 the number of voters not affiliated with either major party exceeds those registered as Republican by 4.77%

State Senate Districts
Party
# Districts Lose Voter Share
# Districts Gain Voter Share
# Districts No Change
Democratic
17
3
1
Republican
17
3
1
Non-Partisan
0
20
1
Other
4
16
1
In 11 districts (52.35%) the number of voters registered as Non-Partisan or the total number not affiliated with either major party is greater than or within 5% of the number of voters registered to one of the major parties

State Assembly Districts
Party
# Districts Lose Voter Share
# Districts Gain Voter Share
# Districts No Change
Democratic
29
12
1
Republican
33
7
2
Non-Partisan
3
39
0
Other
12
30
0
In 22 districts (52.35%) the number of voters registered as Non-Partisan or the total number not affiliated with either major party is greater than or within 5% of the number of voters registered to one of the major parties

Partisanship has reached new toxic levels and voters are reacting by rejecting both major parties. This will continue, creating legislative stalemates at all levels of government unless systemic change takes place. The choices:
Legislators can lead and implement change
Voters can force change by initiative
Do nothing  


Legislators in the 2017 Nevada legislative session can select the first choice, lead, by enacting the Nevada Election Modernization and Reform Act of 2017 (NEMRA – 2017)