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‘None’ takes the lead

It has been a confusing election season so far in Nevada and it’s not over yet. Plus, there is an actual resident of Boulder City on the ballot for one of the two major political parties.

The confusion part started back in 2020. Nevada had long been a state that decided candidates based on a caucus —a 200-year-old process in which voters in a specific area gather and debate the merits of their preferred candidates. Supporters of a caucus system say that it presents a unique opportunity for neighbors to pitch their preferences and convince their peers.

Detractors pointed to the inconvenience of having to gather in one location for a process that could often take hours to complete and the fact that people had to publicly declare their support for a candidate rather than having the anonymity of a secret ballot and, after the chaos in the counting process in the Iowa Democratic Caucus that year (final tallies were not released until more than three weeks after the caucus) they really started to fall out of favor.

In Nevada, the fact that eventual nominee, now-President Joe Biden was defeated handily by Bernie Sanders likely sealed it. In 2021, the Democrat-dominated Nevada Legislature passed AB126, which mandated the creation of a Presidential Preference Primary, intended to replace the caucus.

But the Republican party of Nevada sued. They lost, but the judge left open the option for the GOP to still use a caucus to award delegates and that is what they did. And they took it a step further, saying that candidates had to choose and could not participate in both the state-mandated primary and the GOP-blessed caucus. Which has left voters with a confusing situation in which there was a primary today that counts for Democrats but not for Republicans who will decide who gets their delegates in a caucus on Feb. 8.

And don’t forget that in Nevada, unlike most states, there is an option on the ballot called None of These Candidates.

Got all that?

Maybe it was the low-impact nature of the vote, which was meaningless for one party and featured no real competition for the top slot for the other party, or maybe it was just the wet and cold weather, or the fact that all voters registered with one of the two major parties got ballots in the mail.

Regardless, by early afternoon, foot traffic at both Boulder City polling locations (the Boulder City Recreation Center next to City Hall and Martha King Elementary School) had slowed to a trickle.

One voter emerging from the Rec Center polling place, Laura Robertson, a Boulder City resident, reported that she had voted the Democrat ballot and said she was satisfied with her choices. She voted for President Joe Biden and plans to do so again in November.

When asked about the most important issues facing Nevadans, she said, “Employment, of course, and education. And I think President Biden has strong programs in those areas.”

Oh and that BC resident on the ballot?

Along with someone by the name of Superpayaseria Crystalroc (that first name is basically Spanish for “really big annoyance”) voters had the chance to vote for Brent Foutz, a name some might find familiar.

Foutz ran in the local primary for city council candidates in 2021 and received 33 votes. When he was unsuccessful in getting past the first hurdle for a council seat, he ran for state Senate in 2022, a race he also lost.

With almost 90% of the votes counted, Superpayaseria got one-tenth of one percent. Foutz had 82 votes. On the Democrat side, President Joe Biden got just shy of 90%.

The Republican side was way more interesting, with that aforementioned “None of These Candidates” option beating out former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley by a nearly 2-1 margin.

The None of These option was also the second choice among Democrats, but at about 6% of the vote, not more than 60%.

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