Activist groups and community members recently marched from downtown Reno to the Washoe County Public Library as an initiative to encourage people to vote. As Julie Johnson reports, participants also rallied for environmental causes being voted on in ballot questions.
Participants sing and wave blue signs as part of efforts to get people to vote, as early voting is underway in Reno. Photo by Julie Johnson for the Reynolds Sandbox
In the 2014 midterm elections, only 29.3 percent of eligible voters in Nevada are reported to have voted, placing Nevada 47th in the country according to nonprofit vote.com.
Nevada is considered a critical swing state in the 2018 midterm elections, with many key races and ballot questions being voted upon. At the state level, it could be the first state with an all female legislature in the nation’s history. At the national level, Nevada could contribute to a majority Democratic senate, with a Republican incumbent Dean Heller facing re-election in a state which Hillary Clinton carried in 2016.
Some of the groups involved in the recent “March to the Polls” were Organizing for Action (OFA), One Source Network (OSN), Clean Air Moms for Action, Battle Born Feminists and Moms Against Gun Violence.
Midterm candidates were in attendance as well, including Kalie Work running for Washoe County Recorder, Democrat Clint Knoble running for Congress, Chip Evans for Washoe County Assessor, and Democratic Senate candidate Jackie Rosen.
One Source Network director, Jennifer Ann, said she wants to empower young people to go out and vote. Her company, One Source Network, promotes initiatives to protect the planet.
“A lot of times people think that their vote won’t make a difference. If you look at some of the results from previous elections that have happened across the country some of them have come down to 3–4. Your vote could make the difference. Take the 5 minutes to go down and vote, and be proud to be an American.” — Jennifer Ann.
“The strength of our democracy is dependent upon how many people turn out and vote. I think it is imperative for anyone that can vote, does vote. If people don’t vote things stay the same. If you are unhappy with where things are go out and vote.” — a member of OFA said.
“We have some major problems in our current American politics. We have got to change and unify this country and get healthcare taken care of, we need to get women’s rights voters out.” — Ann Owen from the group Battle Born Feminists.
As many participants noted, a high voter turnout rate from either political party could be the deciding factor in Nevada, and in turn that could impact the entire country.
More photos from event below:
Photography and Reporting by Julie Johnson and Lucia Starbuck shared with the Reynolds Sandbox