Nevada needs an Open Primary
An open primary is a primary election in which any registered voter can vote in any party's primary. Voters choose which primary to vote in; they do not have to be members of that party in order to vote. These primaries are nonpartisan. Each position lists out all candidates for each position regardless of party. The top 2 vote getters for each office are then brought through to the general election. By increasing competition for most offices, candidates will have to do a better job explaining why people should vote for them. By opening up the primary to everyone, for once candidates might have trouble pandering to the base and succeeding. By not forcing people to register for a third party primary, parties such as the Green Party are likely to gain more exposure and perhaps make it on to more general ballot races. For all these benefits, there is no additional cost for the elections. Our deeply flawed electoral system produces partisan government, unpopular candidates and frustrated voters. With poverty, income inequality and social injustice affecting so many, we can’t wait any longer to fix our political system. The Associated Press reports that 70% of Americans favor open primaries. The question is whether the parties will listen to the people or cling to control by partisan interests. We need to be able to make the right choice for elected office regardless of "party". Let's get to work fixing our election system. I hope you will join me by signing this petition. Here is some information to help you understand the issue. Open PrimariesIn an open primary, voters of any affiliation may vote in the primary of any party. They cannot vote in more than one party's primary, although that prohibition can be difficult to enforce in the event a party has a primary runoff election. In many open primary states, voters do not indicate partisan affiliation when they register to vote. One area of contention in open primaries is "crossover" voting. It most often involves voters affiliated with one political party voting in the primary of another political party to influence that party's nomination. For example, if a district routinely elects the Democratic nominee, Republican voters may attempt to swing the Democratic primary election toward a more conservative nominee. Occasionally, there also are concerns about sabotage, or "party crashing," which involves partisans strategically voting for a weaker candidate in another party's primary in the hope that the opposition party will nominate a candidate who is easier to defeat in the general election. Closed PrimariesIn a closed primary, only voters registered with a given party can vote in that party's primary. States with closed primaries include party affiliation in voter registration so that the state has an official record of what party each voter is registered as. Closed primaries preserve a party's freedom of association by better ensuring that only bona fide members of the party influence who that party nominates, but critics claim that closed primaries can exacerbate the radicalization that often occurs at the primary stage, when candidates must cater to their party's "base" rather than the political center. In a few states, independent voters may register with a party on Election Day. However, they must remain registered with that party until they change their affiliation again. A handful of states even allow voters registered with one party to switch their registration at the polls to vote in another party's primary. In these rare instances, a closed primary can more closely resemble open or semi-closed primaries than the closed primaries of other states. Semi-Closed PrimariesIn a semi-closed primary, unaffiliated voters may choose which party primary to vote in, while voters registered with a party may only vote in that party's primary. Representing a middle ground between the exclusion of independent voters in a closed primary and the free-for-all of open primaries, the semi-closed primary eliminates concerns about voters registered in other parties from "raiding" another party's nominating contest. People who align with a given party may theoretically still vote in another party's primary if they are registered as independent. The potential for such tactical party registration is also present in the strictest of closed primaries. http://www.fairvote.org/primaries#open_and_closed_primaries Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Allow DNA Testing for Kirstin Blaise Lobato
Kirstin Blaise Lobato is an innocent woman stuck in prison while evidence in her case goes untested for DNA. In 2002 at 19 years old, Kirstin was convicted for the murder and sexual assault of a homeless man named Duran Bailey in Las Vegas. But there was no physical evidence tying Kirstin to the crime and the evidence that was tested for DNA actually excluded her. There were four identifiable crime scene fingerprints - none matched Kirstin’s. A bloody shoe print was found next to the body and a footprint expert testified that it came from a “U.S. men’s size 9 athletic shoe.” Pubic hair found on the victim was tested for DNA and the results excluded both Blaise and the victim as the hair’s source. Multiple people testified that Kirstin was nearly 200 miles away from Las Vegas at the time of the crime. What happened to Kirstin could happen to anyone. But now, Kirstin has the opportunity to prove her innocence if Clark County District Attorney Stephen Wolfson makes two very reasonable decisions: to allow DNA testing of crime scene evidence and to not file any opposition to Kirstin’s appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court. The Innocence Project, an organization whose DNA testing work has freed 292 innocent people from prison, has offered to pay to test and re-test 13 pieces of evidence related to the crime using the latest in DNA technology and Wolfson still won’t allow it. In addition to the DNA evidence, Kirstin has proven her innocence by way of her Habeas Corpus petition's new evidence grounds. If the State of Nevada District Attorney doesn't oppose her Appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court, justice will finally be served and she can regain her life.Clark County District Attorney Stephen Wolfson has a chance to do the right thing and to seek true justice in the murder of Duran Bailey. Please sign this petition and ask District Attorney Wolfson to allow DNA testing of crime scene evidence and to not file any opposition to Kirstin’s appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.