Nevada Primary Election Could Be Impacted by Nonpartisan Voters - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Nevada Primary Election Could Be Impacted by Nonpartisan Voters

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Nonpartisans in Nevada weren't able to participate in this year's Democratic and Republican caucuses and many will not be able to participate in Tuesday's partisan primaries.

According to political experts, the closed primary process is impacting voter turnout.

While people are coming and going at this polling location, experts tell us a significant number of Nevadans won't be able to cast their ballot. If you don't identify with one of the major two political parties, you can't vote in contests, unless they are nonpartisan. 

Fred Lokken, a political scientist with Truckee Meadows Community College said, "When you have a state that now has at least 20 percent of it's registered voters being nonpartisan, you're now disenfranchising them from this process completely. Which reaffirms to most nonpartisans why they're nonpartisan."

Nevada is a closed-primary state, meaning voters registered as a democrat or republican can vote within party lines and not outside of their party. All voters can weigh in on nonpartisan races, which includes judges and regent contests. But if you're a non partisan, you can only vote in non partisan contests.

While experts say this system sends a strong message to the two parties about nonpartisan voters, we decided to ask a few locals about their thoughts on the closed primary process. 

Kris Pierson, from Reno said, "I might not necessarily always vote for a democrat. So I think it's important that everybody could vote, because they're not necessarily going to vote one way or the other."

Kathleen Williams from Reno adds, "It should be open yes. I mean, everyone should be fairly a part of the voting system."

The first chance that nonpartisans will have to vote for president will be in the November election. 

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