Nevada's ballot questions: What are the next steps?
Here's a round up of Nevada's ballot questions and what comes next in seeing them implemented.
Complete, unofficial results in the 2018 Midterm Election are now available. You can see them all by clicking here.
Rights for Crime Victims Marsy's Law
Yes - 61 percent
No - 39 percent
Question 1, otherwise known as Marsy's Law, is an effort to make our criminal justice system in Nevada more victim-friendly by removing current provisions for victims of crime and replacing them with more robust rights.
- the right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim’s privacy and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment and abuse;
- the right to be reasonably protected from the defendant and persons acting on behalf of the defendant;
- the right to have the safety of the victim and the victim’s family considered as a factor in fixing the amount of bail and release conditions for the defendant;
- the right to prevent the disclosure of confidential information or records to the defendant which could be used to locate or harass the victim or the victim’s family;
- the right to refuse an interview or deposition request, unless under court order, and to set reasonable conditions on the conduct of any such interview to which the victim consents;
- the right to reasonably confer with the prosecuting agency, upon request, regarding the case;
- the right to the timely disposition of the case following the arrest of the defendant;
- the right to reasonable notice of all public proceedings, upon request, at which the defendant and the prosecutor are entitled to be present and of all parole or other postconviction release proceedings, and to be present at all such proceedings;
- the right to be reasonably heard, upon request, at any public proceeding in any court involving release or sentencing, and at any parole proceeding;
- the right to provide information to any public officer or employee conducting a presentence investigation concerning the impact of the offense on the victim and the victim’s family and any sentencing recommendations before the sentencing of the defendant;
- the right to full and timely restitution and to have all monetary payments, money and property collected from any person who has been ordered to make restitution be first applied to pay the amounts ordered as restitution to the victim;
- the right to the prompt return of legal property when no longer needed as evidence;
- the right to be informed, upon request, of the conviction, sentence, place and time of incarceration, or other disposition of the defendant, the scheduled release date of the defendant and the release of or the escape by the defendant from custody;
- the right to be informed of all postconviction proceedings, to participate and provide information to the parole authority to be considered before the parole of the defendant and to be notified, upon request, of the parole or other release of the defendant;
- the right to have the safety of the victim, the victim’s family and the general public considered before any parole or other post-judgment release decision is made; and
- the right to be specifically informed of these constitutional rights and to have information concerning these constitutional rights be made available to the general public.
Question 1 was approved by the Nevada Legislature in 2015 and 2017. Now that it has passed, it becomes a constitutional amendment.
"By making it a constitutional right you can then petition the court to make sure those rights are enforced," said Will Batista, the statewide director for Question 1.
Critics, however like Holly Welborn with the Nevada American Civil Liberties Union, say while the idea of enhancing victims' rights may sound good to many voters, this measure is much more complicated that. Welborn says she's concerned the rights of the accused could be jeopardized since victims will be required to be notified even before a defendant is formally charged with a crime. She also says there is time involved, and costs when it comes to notifying victims in every case.
"I think it's more complex. I think we're looking at a more transient community. You might not be able to find those victims," Welborn said.
Critics of Marsy’s Law say they plan to challenge the measure in court if it passes.
Pink Tax Repeal
Yes - 56 percent
No - 44 percent
Nevada has joined 14 other states that does not tax feminine hygiene products, now that voters in the Silver State have decided to nix the ‘pink tax’ this November.
Now that question 2 has passed, tampons and sanitary napkins will be added to the list of medical supplies like bandages, prosthetics, and prescriptions already exempt from local and state sales taxes.
The sales tax exemption would go into effect January 1.
Open Electric Energy Market
Yes - 33 percent
No - 67 percent
This ballot measure proposed to amend the Nevada Constitution to require the Legislature to provide -- by law -- for an open, competitive retail electric energy market by July 1, 2023.
If passed, this measure would have given Nevadans the constitutional right to get energy from any utility service, functionally dismantling NV Energy’s exclusive control on the market.
This is the second time Question 3 has gone in front of Nevada voters. It passed with overwhelming support in 2016, and was defeated with near-opposite margins.
QUESTION 4: Becomes law
Medical Patient Tax Relief
Yes - 67 percent
No - 33 percent
This ballot measure proposed to amend the Nevada Constitution to remove the sales tax from the purchase of durable medical equipment, oxygen delivery equipment, and mobility enhancing equipment prescribed by a licensed health care provider acting within his or her scope of practice.
Now that voters have approved Question 4 at the November 2018 General Election, the Legislature and Governor need to approve legislation to implement the sales and use tax exemptions specified within the question before these exemptions could become effective.
The next session of the Nevada Legislature convenes in 2019.
Automatic Voter Registration
Yes - 60 percent
No - 40 percent
Question 5, also known as the "motor voter" initiative, may add thousands of new eligible people to the state voter rolls.
Under current law, Nevadans can choose to register to vote at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Now that Question 5 has passed, eligible people would be automatically added to the voter rolls unless they opt out in writing.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan policy institute, 13 states and Washington D.C. have approved automatic voter registration.
Oregon saw registration rates quadruple thanks to automatic voter registration, and rates jumped by 62 percent shortly after Vermont implemented the new policy.
At the time this article was written, it was not immediately clear when the changes would take effect.
Renewable Energy Standards
Yes - 59 percent
No - 41 percent
Question 6 ultimately gives voters the choice to decide where Nevada's energy of the future will come from.
A "yes" vote supports this initiative to require electric utilities to acquire 50% of their electricity from renewable resources by 2030.
A "no" vote opposes this initiative, thus keeping the existing requirement that electric utilities acquire 25% of their electricity from renewable resources by 2025.
Though approved by voters in 2018, the measure must be approved again in 2020 since it came about as the result of a citizen petition.