A series of Republican-sponsored bills seek to tighten rules on elected officials running for another office and for minor-party office seekers who switch parties to run. A third item would make the registrar of voters in the state’s two largest counties, Washoe and Clark, an elected rather than appointed post. All three measures were heard Monday by the Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections, which did not vote on them. A “resign-to-run” measure would require elected officeholders to resign their current office if they announce candidacy for a different elected office more than a year before their current term ends. They would be resigned automatically if they don’t resign on their own. Resulting vacancies would be filled under current procedures for vacant seats.
Five states and a handful of cities have such laws on their books. Proponents say they prevent office-shopping by candidates who can hold onto their existing seat while running for another, while opponents say the move would unnecessarily create too many vacancies and more special elections.
Sponsors of the bill to elect registrars of voters in the state’s most populous counties said it would make elections officials there more accountable to voters instead of to the county commissions that appoint them.