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Don’t Downplay “Down-Ballot” Elections

Election apathy has consequences

In case you haven’t heard, 2024 is an election year. Some of you may be enthusiastic to vote out the corrupt individuals currently holding various elected positions, while others of you may be dreading this season, or worse, APATHETIC!

While the media focuses more on the presidential race, our focus should be on our local, or down-ballot elections. Communities across this nation have endured the bitter taste of the power that local officials/governments can wreak on their citizens. If you haven’t felt the impact first-hand, it’s highly likely you have seen reports of the destruction to communities and states at the hands of woke, socialist elected officials. And we scratch our head and wonder, “how do these people keep getting elected or re-elected?”

The demise of blue cities like New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco and California as a whole, is an on-going catastrophe. Mayors, district attorneys, county commissioners et al. have turned a blind eye and even strengthened mob rule; violence; vandalism; corruption; human trafficking; homelessness; drug abuse; rape; and homicide by their failure to enforce the law and hold law-breakers accountable. But let’s not forget – these people were elected locally.

Like the Federal Government, local (city/county) government typically consists of three branches – legislative, executive, and judicial.

  • Legislative Branch: The legislative branch is responsible for making laws and policies for the city or county. This branch is composed of an elected city council, or county commission, which is typically divided into wards or districts. Each council member represents a specific area of the city or county and is responsible for making decisions on behalf of their constituents. Additionally, they play a key role in selecting city or county appointed positions, such as city manager, county manager, library board director.
  • Executive Branch: The executive branch is headed by the mayor, who is responsible for enforcing the laws and policies made by the legislative branch. The mayor is often the highest-ranking official in the city and is responsible for appointing department heads and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the city government. At the county level, these responsibilities fall on the county manager, who again is appointed by the county commissioners.
  • Judicial Branch: The judicial branch is responsible for interpreting the laws and resolving disputes within the city. In a mayor-council system, this branch is typically composed of a municipal court, which is responsible for hearing cases involving city ordinances and regulations. Some city judges are elected, while others are appointed. County court judges are elected using non-partisan procedures.

While certainly we have numerous elected positions at the state level, i.e. State Senate and Assembly; Governor; Lt. Governor; Secretary of State; State Treasurer; State Attorney General etc. the city and county elected positions are the ones that have more of a direct effect on our everyday lives.

Just look at damage an elected school board members can, and already have, inflicted on the minds of our children. Do they require young children to be taught gender ideology; or for boys and girls to share the same bathroom; or allow biological males to compete on girls sports teams; or shove the Marxist critical race theory nonsense into their minds; or downplay the violence that is occurring on school grounds; or administer gender-affirming care without parental approval or knowledge, while prohibiting issuing a Tylenol? The answer is likely “yes.” School Board members are elected positions! Vote wisely!Beth Smith Protest Parents won't vote Smith

Ethics Complaint Filed Against Andriola

Washoe County Commissioner Clara Andriola

Washoe County is in real jeopardy if some of the current Marxist whacko Washoe County Commissioners get re-elected to serve we the people! Of all the corrupt, under-handed, behind-the-scenes, non-transparent actions taken by these scandalous leftists, they hit a new low when the County Manager and Liberals on the County Commission Board invited a member of a Satanic cult to give the “invocation” to kick off the commission’s public meeting on January 23, 2024. Evil in plain sight!

Washoe County Commissioner Alexis Hill with crown

Washoe County Commission Chair Alexis Hill

The County Commission meetings are a joke (but you should still attend or watch on-line to see the corrupt circus). The Chair of the Commission, as well as the County Manager repeatedly fail to comply with the Commissioner’s Procedures and Rules concerning canceling board meetings; failing to put items on the agenda, such as an Election Integrity Resolution. These two clowns are pulling out all the stops to put forth actions that would silence we the people from the public comment portion of commission meetings.

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One role of the County Commissioner Board is to appoint department heads and county officials. Two of these positions have proven to have a detrimental impact on our children and our elections. The County Commission clowns appoint the Washoe County Library Director, as well as the Washoe County Registrar of Voters. The result you ask – “Drag Queen Story Hour” and a serious lack of “Election Integrity.”

I could go on shining the light on elected officials running our local government, but perhaps the baton should be passed to you – a citizen of this county. Let’s get out of the habit of voter apathy. Local down-ballot elections are just as important as the ones at the federal level; in fact even more so. Why do so many people seem not to care who local candidates are, given the impact their actions and decisions have on our lives.

In the past three-plus years we are hearing more people vocalize their concern with our failing nation, at all levels. Yet, we should ask ourselves when we express a complaint about the government, “how much civic engagement do I have?” We can’t simply justify our lack of interest, or energy in doing more, with statements like, “I don’t get involved in politics,” or “Look, I do my part by voting.” Okay, but do you really know for whom you are voting? And, are you skipping the real down-ballot candidate positions like school board members?

Here’s the action plan for this year’s elections. First, don’t “poo-poo” the primary election. Many local government races are nonpartisan, which means candidates are not identified by political party and all voters, regardless of party registration, can vote in the race.

In some nonpartisan races, the June 11 primary election can be even more pivotal than in partisan races, as candidates who win more than 50 percent of the vote are automatically elected to the office without having to run in the Nov. 5 general election. For more guidance on those races from the secretary of state’s office, click here. This is critical especially for School Board elections!

Primary Election is Tuesday June 11, 2024; Early Voting is Saturday May 25 thru Friday June 7, 2024. It includes various offices, with the exception of President of the United States. This election is for each political party to separately choose a single candidate to run office for office and represent their party in the General Election. Should a party have zero candidates running, then zero candidates for that office will show up on their ballot. Should a party have one candidate running, then no candidates will show up on their ballot as there is only one candidate running for that party and that candidate automatically advances to the General Election Ballot to represent that party.

This year’s primary for Washoe County has candidates running for Justice of the Peace; Sparks, City Council; Reno City Council; General Improvement Districts; Washoe County School Board Trustee; University of Nevada Regent; Nevada State Board of Education; Washoe County Commission; Nevada State Assembly; Nevada State Senate; United States Representative in Congress; and United States Senate.

Now, here is an eye-opener. Do you know the names of the people currently holding these positions in the district in which you live? Chances are, you might know a few, but not all. I confess that I don’t know all of their names. Again, the lack of interest and/or voter apathy is part of the reason we are in the shape we currently find ourselves. Secondly, we voters can be lazy in researching candidates.

If we do vote for down-ballot candidates, it’s often just checking a box for the person with our party affiliation next to it, or if we like the sound of someone’s name. Don’t be fooled. A perfect example is a current member of the Washoe County Commission who is listed as a Republican. Actually, she is not a conservative, but a RINO as her voting record and support of leftist woke ideology on the board indicate. How about using the “R” and “D” in the voting process not as a party affiliation, but as a research then decide approach?

What are some causes for voter apathy? For one, our lovely education system removed Civics from the curriculum in exchange for gender studies and critical race theory. So, there isn’t a foundational political education among voters, especially with young voters. Without adequate education on how the government functions and why voting matters, citizens may feel disconnected from politics and unsure of their role in the democratic process.

Media and social media have played a significant role in shaping political perceptions. Sensationalism, negative campaigning, dis-information, and omission of facts in the media can lead to disillusionment and a sense of pointlessness among potential voters. The media’s emphasis on political scandals and partisan conflicts, rather than on substantive policy discussions, can contribute to a perception that politics is inherently corrupt and unproductive.

The truth is, that ninety-percent of politics is corrupt, mainly because the corrupters keep getting re-elected, likely due to reasons cited above, as well as downplaying down-ballot elections. If your community is dominated by socialists running for the city or county commissions, or the school boards, it’s a safe bet that your state will follow suit (if it hasn’t already). As more cities and states adopt lawless agendas, it continues to go up the food chain to the federal level, which can further promote such lawlessness as well.

This, coupled with a massive dis-trust of government, there has been ample evidence nation-wide that election fraud exists. Sadly, many public officials appear to be unconcerned with election fraud and fail to pursue cases that are reported to them. Preventing, deterring, and prosecuting election fraud is essential to protecting the integrity of our voting process.

And let’s not forget the Left’s long-standing strategy to flood America with more liberal voters, as evidenced by the multi-year invasion of our southern border. It is a crisis that thousands and thousands of non-citizens cast illegal votes in the battleground states during the 2020 presidential election – and Nevada was among them. So you can just imagine how many more illegal votes will be cast by non-citizens in this year’s election.

Federal Law 18 U.S. Code § 611 already prohibits non-citizens from voting in federal elections. To date, no state has allowed non-citizens to vote in statewide elections. However, some cities and municipalities in a few states allow non-citizens to vote in local elections. For example, sixteen cities/towns in California allow non-citizens to vote in some elections, such as school board or city council. Gee, what a surprise. Thank goodness Nevada hasn’t allowed this – yet! Are you beginning to see how crucial down-ballot voting is?

Earlier I mentioned step one (don’t poo-poo the primary election) in a game plan for this year’s elections. But there’s a lot more that we can do.

  • Attend a city council, county commission, or library board meeting. You can even watch them on-line. Here’s a link to the Washoe County Commission website where you can access their meetings. Then you will see the evil that is going on in our county leadership.
  • Go to the Washoe County GOP website to view candidates; check out their web pages; find out when “meet-n-greets,” town halls, or debates are taking place. They even have a “Guide to Candidate Selection” which can help in your vetting process.
  • Learn who currently holds the elected positions at your city, county, state, and federal level. Do some research into how they have performed. Are they representing you the way you like? If they are doing a good job, have integrity, and plan to continue in their role – re-elect them. If not, find a candidate who can do a better job and vote!
  • Communicate (text, call, email, letter) with those who are currently holding positions of leadership and voice your concerns; give praises; or offer suggestions. Remember, on day one, niney-nine percent of elected officials have one goal in mind – to get re-elected. So the more feedback they receive from their constituents, chances are they will do what is right because they know we the people are civically engaged!
  • Get involved with your local precincts; join a Republican club; volunteer in a campaign; but most of all vote in the Primary Election, as well as the General Election!
  • Research, research, research. At least ninety-nine percent of you have a computer or smartphone. Use them to read articles, news reports, or other helpful websites like Ballotpedia or BallotReady.
  • Have a ballot party with family and/or friends before the primary. It’s a great way to discuss the candidates’ pros and cons, as well as the all-important ballot measures. By the way, in the general election, you must vote “NO” on Measure 3 for ranked-choice voting!

In a presidential election year, we place more focus on the “bigger” positions, i.e. President, Senators, and Representatives. Then we receive our ballots and see that there are a whole bunch of positions and candidate names we’ve never heard of before. Who are these people? Our job is to find out who they are and select the best candidate.

Let’s open up conversations about down-ballot candidates with our friends and the people in our communities. When we skip out on voting for local positions, we are giving up our right to choose the best candidates for ourselves and leaving it up to someone else. The information is out there. The right candidates are out there. We just need to get out there and make our votes count. If we don’t, then the wrong candidates will be in charge – just look at our current situation.

Fill out your ballot from bottom to top in this year’s primary and general elections!

“When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.”  Proverbs 29:2


(Mist Carter is Christian patriot who is the author of three books. Her most recent release, “We the People—Daily Devotional for Loving God & Country” is now available. Her previous books are titled, Our Crumbling Foundation—Will God Cancel Us?” and “God’s Truth About America!” Proceeds from all her book sales go to support Tunnel to Towers!)

(The views expressed in this commentary are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Nevada Signal.)