Two of six county charter amendments likely to pass as ranked-choice voting is soundly defeated


Preliminary election results show two of six amendments to the Clark County Charter are likely to be approved by voters. 

As of the updated election results released on Saturday, Nov. 12, measures involving selection processes for top officials in the county were poised to be approved with strong margins in their favor. A measure regarding the addition of a preamble looks like it will fail, while measures regarding ranked-choice voting, reducing the signature requirement for initiatives and the establishment of a diversity and inclusion officer were trending toward defeat.

The amendments likely to pass had significant leads as of Saturday.

Amendment 11 garnered about 63.8% in approval. The amendment requires a public meeting, which includes the county council and other elected county executives to appoint a new Clark County manager.

Amendment 13 had about 63.2% approval as of Monday morning. It requires county elected positions to “provide a certified list of senior office employees to serve in that official’s role if the position became vacant until the position is filled in the next general election.”

Potentially the most prominent of the ballot measures, Clark County Charter Amendment 10, would have allowed for ranked-choice voting in county government elections. As of Saturday’s count, the amendment had about 41.8% of ballots in approval.

The amendments would have allowed voters to assign a “rank” to each candidate on the ballot. The candidate with enough first-choice votes to gain a majority would then automatically move on. If no candidate received a majority, then the candidate with the least first-choice votes would be eliminated, and the second-choice vote for those who had the eliminated candidate as their first choice would take its place.

Following the initial results released on Tuesday night showing the amendment’s demise, Stephanie Houghton, who is the managing director of FairVote Washington, remained optimistic.

“Many Clark County residents are ready for ranked-choice voting, but we still have some work to do,” Houston stated in a news release. “We’re looking forward to continuing to build our movement in Clark County and working with the Legislature to open up even more opportunities for better elections.”

The updated results on Saturday showed three other amendments as likely to fail, though one was trailing by a thin margin.

Amendment 12, which would have added a preamble to the charter, was trending toward defeat after a small initial lead. As of Saturday’s count the measure had only about 49% in favor after it had roughly 50.9% approval on Nov. 8.

Proponents of the preamble mentioned similar governing documents like the U.S. Constitution includes one. Opponents argued the inclusion was “an afterthought” since it was not in the original draft of the charter.

Amendment 14, which would reduce the number of petitioners required to put an initiative or referendum vote on the ballot and would allow transfer of those signatures to a “mini initiative” that would go to a public hearing in front of the Clark County Council, received 40.9% of the vote in favor as of Saturday’s count.

If the amendment was approved it would have reduced the amount of petitioners required from 10% of voters in the last gubernatorial election to 8%.

The last measure to fail, Amendment 15, was essentially a retry of the only measure put forth by last year’s charter review commission that did not pass. The measure would establish both a “diversity and inclusion officer position” and a similarly-titled advisory commission.

As of Saturday’s count, the measure had a 38.7% approval rate. That was lower than the roughly 43.7% approval the similar amendment garnered last year. 

As of Saturday, there were about 202,000 ballots counted with an estimated 5,000 left to count.