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Nevada judicial elections

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Judges in Nevada participate in non-partisan elections in even-numbered years.[1]

Supreme Court District Court Justice of the Peace Courts
Non-partisan election - 6 year terms Non-partisan election - 6 year terms Non-partisan election - 6 year terms

Primary election

The primary is held on the second Tuesday in June in even-numbered years.[2]

In the non-partisan primary, the two candidates who receive the greatest number of votes advance to the general election. Though Nevada has a closed primary system, where voters may only vote for members of their own political party, this does not impact the judicial elections, which are non-partisan. Voters registered with either major party, or those who are not registered with any political party, may still vote for all judicial candidates in the primaries.[3][4]

If there are only two candidates who file to run for any one seat, they skip the primary and compete only in the general election.[5]

Unopposed candidates

If only one candidate files for election to any one seat, he or she must still appear on the primary ballot. They then only need at least one vote in the primary to be elected to office without appearing on the general election ballot.

This does not apply to supreme court candidates. Unopposed supreme court candidates skip the primary and appear on the general election ballot.[6]

Only candidates in contested elections may accept campaign contributions; unopposed judicial candidates may not.[7]

Filing

The filing deadline for judicial candidates is 5 p.m. on the second Friday after the first Monday in January.[8]

If zero or one person files to run for a seat in the primary election, latecomers have a chance to enter the general election if they file between "8 a.m. on the third Monday in June" and "5 p.m. on the fourth Friday in June."[9]

History

  • 2007, 2009: A legislatively-referred constitutional amendment was rejected by voters which: 1) would have required a public review of judges by a performance evaluation commission prior to a retention election and 2) would have increased the percentage of "yes" votes required for a retention to 55%.
  • 1994, 1996: In both these years, a constitutional initiative to impose term limits on judges was rejected by about 70% of voters. The measure would have forbid judges from being elected to the same court twice or more than once if they had previously served on the court.[1]
  • 1864: Nevada became a state and the Nevada Constitution was passed, which mandated the election of supreme and district court judges.[10]

Ethics

The Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct states, regarding elections (Canon 4, Rule 4.1):

(A) Except as permitted by law, or by Rules 4.2 and 4.4, a judge or a judicial candidate shall not:
  1. act as a leader in, or hold an office in, a political organization;
  2. make speeches on behalf of a political organization;
  3. publicly endorse or oppose a candidate for any public office;
  4. solicit funds for a political organization or a candidate for public office;
  5. [Reserved];
  6. publicly identify himself or herself as a candidate of a political organization;
  7. seek, accept, or use endorsements or publicly stated support from a political organization;
  8. [Reserved];
  9. use or permit the use of campaign contributions for the private benefit of the judge, the candidate, or others;
  10. use court staff, facilities, or other court resources in a campaign for judicial office;
  11. knowingly, or with reckless disregard for the truth, make any false or misleading statement;
  12. make any statement that would reasonably be expected to affect the outcome or impair the fairness of a matter pending or impending in any court; or
  13. in connection with cases, controversies, or issues that are likely to come before the court, make pledges, promises, or commitments that are inconsistent with the impartial performance of the adjudicative duties of judicial office.

(B) A judge or judicial candidate shall take reasonable measures to ensure that other persons do not undertake, on behalf of the judge or judicial candidate, any activities prohibited under paragraph (A).

(C) Except as prohibited by law, a judge or judicial candidate subject to public election may at any time:

  1. attend political gatherings or attend or purchase tickets for dinners or other events sponsored by a political organization or a candidate for public office;
  2. upon request, identify himself or herself as a member of a political party;
  3. be a member of or pay an assessment to or make a contribution to a political organization or make a contribution to a candidate for public office;
  4. make a public declaration of candidacy;
  5. make a public speech or appearance or speak to gatherings on his or her own behalf; and
  6. appear in newspaper, television, or other media.[11]

—Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 4, Rule 4.1[12]

The "Standing Committee on Judicial Ethics" was created in 1998 to oversee and issue advisory opinions relating to judicial conduct in various areas, including elections.[13]

Candidate lists

Lists of candidates for statewide offices are posted on the Nevada Secretary of State website after the filing deadline. Candidates can also be found on county websites and in local newspapers.

Results

Statewide results are posted on the Secretary of State website, while county results can be found on the county election websites and in newspapers.

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Elections

See also

References

NevadaNevada Supreme CourtNevada District CourtsNevada Justice CourtsNevada Municipal CourtsClark County Family Court, NevadaUnited States District Court for the District of NevadaUnited States bankruptcy court, District of NevadaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitNevada countiesNevada judicial newsNevada judicial electionsJudicial selection in NevadaNevadaTemplate.jpg