A voting sign with an American flag.

File photo/Nevada Sagebrush
A voting sign stands on March 10, 2015.

Hate questions? Sorry, that was a question. If you hate questions, then opening up your ballot might be a bad idea. There are five questions in the back—initiatives brought forth by citizens for policies you can vote on. You should definitely vote on these, even if you hate questions, so I’ll take out all of the questions for you!

Question 1: Remove Constitutional Status of Board of Regents Amendment

The Board of Regents is a part of the Nevada state government that oversees higher education. Their role is cemented in the constitution, and, unlike other state agencies, they do not have oversight from the state legislature. If their constitutional status is removed, the legislature could reorganize the governing body of Nevada higher education if they so choose.

  • Vote YES if you want the state legislature to have more oversight over higher education.
  • Vote NO if you want the Board of Regents to stay insulated from the legislature.

Question 2: Marriage Regardless of Gender Amendment

In 2002, the Nevada Constitution was amended to say that the only type of marriage recognized by the state was marriage between a man and a woman. This proposition undoes this amendment, and changes the language so that marriage is between couples regardless of gender. It also allows for clergy-people and religious organizations to refuse to marry people.

  • Vote YES if you want the language of the Nevada Constitution to affirm marriage as a union between couples regardless of gender and/or want to give religious groups and members the right to refuse to marry couples. 
  • Vote NO if you want to keep the current Nevada language that affirms marriage as between a man and a woman. 

Question 3: State Board of Pardons Commissioners Amendment

The State Board of Pardons meets twice per year to discuss canceling fines, commuting sentences and giving out pardons. The board is made up of the Governor, Attorney General, and seven Nevada Supreme Court Justices. In order to grant any reprieves or pardons, a majority must vote in favor, and that majority must include the governor. This initiative would make the board meet more frequently—four times a year instead of two—and removes the stipulation that the governor has to be included in the majority vote to pardon.

  • Vote YES if you want more chances for pardons to be given.
  • Vote NO if you do not want the chances for pardons to be given to increase.

Question 4: State Constitutional Rights of Voters Amendment

In 2002, a declaration of voters’ rights was passed, providing for a host of privileges for voters. These include things like the right to request assistance while voting and the right to not be intimidated at the polls. This initiative would add these privileges to the State Constitution, making it much harder to remove these rights and provisions. 

  • Vote YES if you want to make it harder to remove or restrict voting rights.
  • Vote NO if you want to make it easier to remove certain voting rights.

Question 6: Renewable Energy Standards Initiative

This initiative would require electricity providers to produce 50 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2030, and places this requirement in the Nevada Constitution, making it much harder to repeal. Currently, the Nevada Senate has approved a similar measure already, but this could be repealed in future legislatures. Nevada generally does not produce a lot of energy, importing millions of dollars of non-renewable energy from other states to use for electricity. Approving this measure would increase the pressure to develop more solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric energy within the state.

  • Vote YES if you want Nevada to move towards renewable energy.
  • Vote NO if you want Nevada to continue their current rate of use of fossil fuels for electricity. 

Vincent Rendon can be reached at vrendon@sagebrush.unr.edu or on Twitter @VinceSagebrush.