Nevada

Nevada

In Nevada, the deadline for collecting signatures has come and gone, with no citizen-initiated measures able to qualify for this November’s ballot. Petitions were circulated on two conservative-backed measures, but both failed to collect the 101,000 required signatures. One measure would have required voters to present a photo ID at the polls and the other would have blocked state government from setting up a state exchange as part of the national Affordable Care Act.

No citizen-initiated measures have qualified for the Nevada ballot since 2006. 

A lot of offices will be decided in Nevada this November, but not a lot of issues. The deadline for signature petitions has passed and the two being circulated didn’t get enough signatures to qualify. Both were conservative-backed issues. One asking that all voters provide photo ID was re-worded and then failed to get enough signatures. The second asked that a statewide health insurance exchange be banned. No signatures were turned in on that one either.

Officials say the number of questions on the ballot in a general election varies every cycle.

Robin Warren is a middle school student from Las Vegas who is better known as “Wild Mustang Robin” because of her work in advocacy for wild horses.

Warren first started collecting signatures to save horses and burros in July of 2010. Three years later she had collected nearly a quarter million signatures from supporters all over the world on Change.org.

On June 13, the student filed her first petition that will be officially recognized: “The Wild Horse and Burro Initiative.” If she is able to collect more than 100,000 signatures then Warren’s initiative petition will appear on the 2016 Nevada ballot.

Restricting Nevada initiative petitions to a single subject invites legal challenges that stall the process and prevents backers from gathering signatures by a mandated deadline, critics of the requirement told the Nevada Supreme Court.

Las Vegas attorney Kermitt Waters on Tuesday asked justices to make it easier for groups to qualify measures for the ballot.

Waters brought the challenge on behalf of Citizen Outreach and two other groups. They argue the limitation makes it nearly impossible for citizens to bring proposals before voters.

Read More: here

Yesterday, the Nevada Supreme Court heard oral arguments in People’s Legislature, et al, vs. Miller, a challenge to Nevada’s single-subject rule brought by attorney and activist Kermitt Waters. Waters is also a member of Citizens in Charge Foundation’s board of directors.

Nevada’s state constitution expressly limits legislative statutes to a single subject. Waters’ lawsuit argues that the legislation imposing the single-subject rule on citizen initiatives itself contained numerous subjects in violation of the constitution – and is, therefore, unconstitutional and should be declared null and void.

That would strike down the single-subject rule as applied to citizen initiatives.

A District Court lawsuit has been filed by groups aimed at stopping an anti-abortion petition from appearing on the election ballot.

“We hope the court will do the right thing and reject the latest attempt to insert the government into personal, private medical decisions Nevada women and families make every day,” said Elisa Cafferata, president and chief executive officer of Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood Affiliates.

The lawsuit was filed in Carson City on Tuesday by the Planned Parenthood Federation and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Read more at the Las Vegas Sun.

As early voting began today, the negative back-and-forth continued in the special recall election for the Ward 6 spot on the Las Vegas City Council, featuring incumbent Steve Ross and his challenger, Byron Goynes.

Two early voting centers have been operating today for the special election, which Ross claims is being spurred by car dealer Joe Scala, who was denied a waiver to continue operating a dealership in Centennial Hills, which is in Ross’ ward.

Read more at the Las Vegas Sun.

Red TapeNevada Governor Brian Sandoval has signed Assembly Bills 81 and 82, and Senate Bill 133 into law, making several important changes to the petition process both good and bad.

In February of this year Citizens in Charge Foundation gave Boulder City, Nevada council member Linda Strickland the Lilburne Award for her work defending local citizens from frivolous lawsuits filed against them by their own city government. The city doesn’t seem to appreciate the citizens actually utilizing their First Amendment initiative rights.

This news article in Las Vegas City Life is from last month but provides a bit of an update on the situation in Boulder City:

A District Court judge has indicated there may be enough valid signatures on an ballot initiative petition seeking a special tax for a $500 million sports-entertainment arena on the Las Vegas Strip. Proceeds from the tax would finance bonds to build the 27,000-seat arena. Judge Todd Russell ordered attorneys to submit closing briefs to determine if there are too many defects with the petition to disqualify the question from being placed on the 2012 Nevada election ballot.

Read the story from the Las Vegas Sun

The cause of citizen control of government won a big victory last Friday in little Boulder City, Nevada, as a judge ruled in favor of citizens and against the heavy-handed legal tactics the city government used in filing numerous lawsuits designed to threaten and intimidate citizens petitioning their government. 
strickland

Bubbling tension over Boulder City’s decision to sue the petitioners of several ballot questions on November’s ballot inspired about 30 residents to march on the front steps of City Hall on Tuesday. The demonstrators held neon-colored signs that expressed their frustration. Some examples: “R.I.P. First Amendment Rights,” “Don’t Silence the People” and “Don’t Sue Me.”

Read the story from the Las Vegas Sun

You may recall our previous stories and articles on the events transpiring in Boulder City, Nevada. Citizens there have been repeatedly sued by their own city council…for the horrible act of collecting signatures and putting measures on the ballot for a vote.

Citizens decided to take to the streets to make their displeasure known:

Setting the Record Straight

Mon, Mar 21 2011 by Staff

Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge want to set the record straight with regards to our February 2011 Lilburne Award Winners: Tracy and Linda Strickland.

It seems there was some confusion on the part of one Boulder City resident about the nature of the award and how and why we give it. You can view his blog post here.

Today, Citizens in Charge Foundation president Paul Jacob sent the following letter to the author of the blog post:

Mr. Stubbs,