Why the Better Voting Nevada Initiative is Bad News

Bob Zeidman

In November, Nevadans will vote on the badly misnamed Better Voting Nevada Initiative. Disguised as a “fairer” method of voting, if this initiative passes there will be two major effects, both of which have very bad consequences.

First, you’ll be giving up your First Amendment right to assemble. Second, if you’re concerned about voter verification, voter fraud, voter disenfranchisement, ballot tampering, ballot harvesting, voting machine hacking or just plain vote-counting mistakes, you will have driven those issues through the roof.

If you think the 2020 presidential election was contentious, well you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

I’m going to cover the issues in a three-part series, the first on open primaries and the second on ranked-choice voting, and then a summary of the two very bad consequences of this initiative. This is the first part, on open primaries.

Voting Away Your First Amendment Rights

This bill enables “open primaries” where all voters get to vote in any party’s nomination process.

The First Amendment allows people to assemble in groups of their own choosing. If you choose to be a member of the Democratic Party, you have the right to meet and, among other things, choose your own political candidates for various government offices. The same goes for Republicans. And Green Party members. And Libertarian Party members. And even for members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the Peace and Freedom Party and every other political party.

If you vote for this bill, you’re voting to give up that right.

This bill allows all people to enter primary elections for any party. For example, Republicans can enter the Democratic Party primaries and vice versa.

What’s even more troubling, Republicans can call themselves Democrats in that primary election, and vice versa, because Section 17.1.b states, “A person may become a candidate at the primary election for partisan office regardless of the person’s affiliation with a political party, or lack thereof.”

Section 17.6 states, “A candidate for partisan office may state a political party that he or she prefers. A candidate’s preference does not imply that the candidate is nominated or endorsed by the party, or that the party approves of or associates with that candidate.”

In other words, this bill defines a new identity, “political identity,” that allows a person to temporarily identify as a member of any political party. And the voters must not question that identity. In fact, the voters won’t even know if the previous year, or previous month, that politician identified as a member of some other party.

Now some people might argue that California has open primaries since 2010 and it works well for them.

Sure, it works well for a state that was run almost entirely by one party before open primaries, and which has completely cemented the one-party rule in such a way that it would take a rare upheaval to elect a Republican or member of some other party to any significant office. There hasn’t been a single Republican governor, state executive officer holder, or U.S. Senator since 2010. Also, 31 of 40 state senators and 60 of 80 state assembly members are Democrats.

Nevada needs to be open to all political opinions, and the voters need to decide with a full slate of ideologically diverse candidates.

Nevadans don’t want to be like California. We want and deserve truly free and fair elections, not ones that conform to some activist’s vision of fair. To preserve our rights, you must vote no on the misnamed Better Voting Nevada Initiative in November.

Bob Zeidman is the creator of the field of software forensics and the founder of several successful high-tech Silicon Valley firms, including Zeidman Consulting and Software Analysis and Forensic Engineering. He is an inventor, with 25 patents, and an expert witness, having consulted on over 250 IP lawsuits. His latest venture is Good Beat Poker, a new way to play and watch poker online. He is the author of textbooks on engineering and intellectual property as well as screenplays and novels. His latest novel is the political satire Animal Lab, a modern sequel to George Orwell’s classic Animal Farm.

Bob Zeidman

Bob Zeidman

Policy Fellow

Bob Zeidman is an inventor, author, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and high-stakes poker player. He created the field of software forensics and founded Software Analysis and Forensic Engineering Corporation to develop and sell software forensics tools. He is the founder of Zeidman Consulting, an engineering consulting company that has worked on over 250 major litigations involving billions of dollars of disputed intellectual property. His cases have included ConnectU v. Facebook, on which the Oscar-winning movie The Social Network is based, and Oracle v. Google that went up to the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the inventor of the famous Silicon Valley Napkin on display at the Computer History Museum. He is also a high-stakes poker player, and his latest tech venture is Good Beat Poker, a new way to play and watch poker online.

Bob writes about politics, society, and business for national magazines. His latest book is Election Hacks, about the true story of how he challenged his own beliefs about voting machine hacking in the 2020 presidential election and made international news and possibly $5 million.